Last month we celebrated yet another Jewish holiday, Purim! Since Purim is not a holiday ordained by Moses in the first five books of the bible, it’s a very fun and causal holiday.

Here are the 5 Purim observances my family follows:

1) Reading of the Megillah 2) Giving money gifts to the poor. 3) Sending Mishloach Manot (or M&M’s as my family likes to refers to it) to friends 4) A festive Purim feast 5) Dressing up in disguising costumes.

My particular synagogue goes all out for Purim, so to keep with the trend, I think and plan for Purim the year before. However it always sneaks up on me! It’s right after TuBishvat and Valentine’s Day and before Sarah’s birthday. So it always comes as is I’m filled to the brim with numerous events and long to-do lists.

This year we planned to do a Sesame Street themed Purim. We decided Sarah would go as her favorite character, Abby Cadabby, and our M&M’s would be Elmo themed. So I bought all the necessary costume items and the M&M goodies in advance.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, I look at the calendar and am reminded that my middle sister has planned to visit us. After a few outings, I decided to put her to work. Here she is gluing the foam nose and mouth along with the googley eyes.

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The next morning I filled the bags with fruit juice, granola bars and fruit snacks. I also wrote a note on the back of each bag.

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After everyone went to bed, I quickly made a version of Abby’s tutu. It turned out cute and was much easier the second time around!

We started the celebration at Mommy & Me where Sarah was given a grogger and “megillah” (a few Purim coloring pages taped together). It was really nice to have my sister join us!

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A few days after my sister left we attended the Megillah reading. Here is Sarah listening as the boys read the Megillah in the family/kids room.

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Sarah’s good friend (from the womb) was there too. They are so cute together!

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The next day we attended Purim in the Wild West, complete with tractor hayrides and food to match. Here are Sarah and daddy on the tractor ride. MIL also joined us for the celebration.

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Purim wouldn’t be complete without homemade Hamentashen cookies!

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They were so good!

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My fillings included: lemon, apricot, Nutella, Dulce de leche and chocolate.

This recipe (Thanks SCUSY!) is really simple and can be adapted to any cookie style. So here it is.

Traditional Hamentashen

3 eggs
1-cup oil
1-cup sugar
1-teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1-teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour

In a large mixer, beat together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Add baking powder and flour until you get a workable dough. If dough is too wet, add more flour.

Divide dough into quarters. Roll to ¼-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Re-roll scraps. Place filling in center of each dough round. Fold three sides up to form a triangle, leaving some filling exposed in the center.

Place cookies 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush with egg wash if desired (see yeast dough recipe). Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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