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Some of the images and sounds from today's Cheetham Hill Spring Festival at the Ukranian Centre. Klezmer band kept us all entertained with contributions from all the communities of Cheetham Hill including a food stall from the Jewish Museum. ...

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Klezmer at the Cheetham Hill Festival ...

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Who knew hamantaschen-making could be such fun. Spent the afternoon making these Purim favourites with a group of volunteers at the Welcome Centre in Cheetham Hill. Many of them were experts in making samosas and other hand-rolled pastries of Middle Eastern origin, so the results were outstanding. Myself and Judy from the Recipe Revival group at Menorah joined staff and volunteers from the Jewish Museum for a belated Purim party with the lunchtime regulars at the centre.

Using a Florence Greenberg recipe, around 20 of us cooked up the Hamantaschen from scratch, with a choice of mohn and sweetcheese fillings - delicious. As we enjoyed the results over a communal lunch with diners from South East Asia, Eastern Europe and the Horn of Africa, we had the chance to retell the Purim story and celebrate our common religious and cultural heritage.
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Recipe revivalists enjoyed a taste of Purim last Sunday morning at Menorah for ARK. The Recipe Revival group entertained the ARK regulars with culinary tales of hamantaschen and kreplach as well as You Tube clips revealing how these festive favourites are put together.

As an added bonus ARK group member Sonia Strass brought in a Czech Jewish cookbook to share with us called Zidovska Svatecni Kucharka which loosely translated means Jewish Festival Cooking. The section on Purim included recipes for hamantaschen, complete with illustrations on folding. There is also an advert for Kosher Slivovitz, the ideal accompaniment.

Sonia also told us about the way her family used a special grinder - Mlynek Na Mak – to prepare the poppy seed filling for the Purim pastries. For the ARK talk we watched a clip from a Yiddish cookery show, all about the art of hamantaschen making. This included the two presenters singing a folk song about Yakhne Dvoshe who went to market to buy the ingredients for her hamanataschen.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ3xbAcB9nI

In another clip we saw a demonstration of Kreplach-folding, complete with Haman’s noose, from a 90 year-old Holocaust survivor. youtu.be/AQRskMstJlc

Recipe revivalist Clarissa Hyman gave us a cultural and historical excursion around Purim and its culinary traditions. This included the revelation that Haman’s hat could never have been triangular and the practical reason why stored foods feature so heavily in Purim recipes.

Concealed fillings are one of the defining characteristics of Purim dishes, linking what we eat on this festival with the story itself - the Megillah Esther. This is the only story in the Bible in which G-d’s name does not appear but as rabbinical scholars point out the Almighty’s presence is mysteriously revealed throughout.

Finally we finished with a classic clip from Seinfeld where Kreplach gave a whole new meaning to kitchen horrors. We have all been there, up to our eyeballs in boiling water and disintegrating dough balls.

If you would like to share your Purim food favourite or story please contact the Recipe Revival Society at reciperevivals@menorah.org.uk
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Celebrating the best of both Ashkenazi and Sephardi cuisine, the Recipe Revival club got down and dirty with a couple of Shabbos-style classics - hamin followed by a fruity lockshen pudding.

Images from the lunch at the Welcome Centre in Cheetham Hill show how our band of volunteers from Jewish Museum and the Centre recreated these classics for about 20 diners.

We started with a mash up of lockshen soup which was an ideal solution with the mountain of left-over lockshen we had boiled up for dessert. The barley soup had been stewing for a day before we added the lockshen. Just the ticket to lift the brew to a truly satisfying appetiser.

The main course and what a sight for hungry eyes it was, a bubbling cauldron of hard-boiled eggs, chicken and spice. The recipe was based on a Sephardi favourite, prepared the day before the Shabbos and often cooked in communal ovens. This hamin, based on the Arabic word for hot, lived up to expectations warming us up with its mixture of spices, eggs shells and melting chicken bones.

The carb-fest was completed with a 'low-fat' version lockshen pudding to save our stomachs from implosion. This one was full of dried fruit soaked in orange juice and lemon peel. Still this was heavy enough to sink our boats but I did notice a couple of kids in the corner who came back for seconds.

With Purim just around the corner we are planning to celebrate the 'ganze megillah' with a few festive classics. If you would like to join us, share your food memories or just have a good recipe, contact us at reciperevivals@menorah.org.uk.
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Great pictures from our Latke and Pakora fest at the Welcome Centre this week. Recipe revivalists from Menorah joined volunteers from the Jewish Museum and the Welcome Centre in Cheetham Hill. We had a 'grate' time preparing Latkes and Pakoras using a common recipe with some spicey variations. Accompanied with an Israeli-style salad, sour cream and apple sauce, the fried sensations went down a treat followed by jam donuts from the local Jewish bakery.

To complete the experience we retold the story of Chanukah, played dreidel with a giant dreidel and sang Chanukah songs. Thanks to the Museum and the Centre for all their help and support in putting on the event.

If you want to share your Chanukah recipe story or other food memories contact the recipe revival society at reciperevivals@menorah.org.uk
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Looking forward to taking part in the Chanukah Party at the Welcome Centre in Cheetham Hill next Wednesday. Planning to make Latkes and Apple Sauce as well as sharing recipe ideas and Chanukah stories with volunteers at the centre. Please feel free to join us from midday onwards. ...

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