Imagine if Hitler had a Jewish mistress (but he didn’t know it) with a cousin who had saved his life, and one day in 1939 she revealed her identity, and he said, “Really? You’re Jewish? No way! Hey, I like Jews after all. I guess I really shouldn’t kill all the Jews in the world.” Would you call that a miracle? This is comparable to the Purim story. When Queen Esther revealed her hidden identity to King Ahashverosh, the decree to eradicate all the Jews in the world was mitigated by allowing the Jews to defend themselves. Skeptics could call it luck, chance, or coincidence because this miracle was hidden. It was less obvious than ten plagues, walking through the Sea of Reeds on dry land, eating manna from heaven, or one day’s worth of oil lasting for eight. It takes some insight to look at the whole story and say, “Wow!” This is reflected in the foods we eat when we’re celebrating. Traditional foods are all based on the famous idea of, ‘They tried to kill us; G-d saved us; let’s eat.’ On Purim we eat foods with fillings, surprises inside, stuffed stuff.
Filling and stuffing is time-consuming. For a cook short on time, this can be a challenge. I chose dishes that could be made ahead and frozen or with very easy fillings. Here are some last minute quick ideas for a stuffed stuff menu, soup to nuts:
- Turkey neck soup with kreplach. Kreplach are a traditional stuffed Purim food I have never made from scratch: meat-stuffed dough triangles usually served in soup, the Jewish version of wontons. Why turkey necks instead of classic chicken? The evil Haman wanted to hang Mordechai the Jew on the gallows, and he and his sons were hung in the end.
- Stuffed peppers, stuffed with meat or rice and covered in Hidden Veggie Tomato Sauce. It’s like the vegetables are all in costume.
- Vegan Burritos with Easy Refried Beans could be stuffed with ground meat as well. They go great with Sunny Avocado Salad.
- If you make hamentashen, try put different fillings, such as Lite Chocolate Ganache or a date-based chocolate filling, Gluten-Free No-Bake Brownie Bites stuffed into cookies. Or simply serve walnut-stuffed dates.
I hope this helped stuff up any holes you still had in your Purim menu.