The III Bi-Annual Hen Potluck was a masterpiece. Frisch Kitchen was filled with the scent of mulled wine (recipe below) and a mellow playlist (listen at Grooveshark.com). What a radiant group of inspiring ladies, who yes, even succumbed to the name game (“I’m Emma for Egg or Escarole; I’m the other Emma for Endive; I’m Hot Mamma Heather for Habanero; I’m Shoshi for Strawberry; I’m Nicole for Nibbles of Everything…”).

Each hen brought one or more equally colorful dish to pass, a hankering for laughter and a collection of food items to trade in a hilarious gift exchange. The spread included Heather’s famous guacamole on tortillas withThe Piggery’s chorizo and Lively Run goat cheese; pears wrapped with gorgonzola and The Piggery’s deli ham; apples with vegan cranberry chutney; shredded winter salad in rice paper rolls; out-of-this-world dressing (or dip!) from Dancing Turtle with raw kohlrabi; hummus galore; apples wrapped in Nutella and peanut butter topped with crushed nuts; butternut squash crumble; and Shoshi’s divine Yemenite Charoset (recipe below).

We picked numbers, and unwrapped and haggled over pickled beets, vodka, smoked sea salt, canned fruit, Anna’s homemade soap, garlic stems and other pantry knick-knacks. Misty’s 12-year old daughter picked the vodka, quickly plucked by another hen. I made out with a sack of merlot-colored potatoes from Early Morning Farm; a fraction of the magic this evening.

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Yemenite Charoset

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 20 pyramids

This is just one, but perhaps my favorite, bite of wizardry that Shoshi manifests in her kitchen. This Yemenite Charoset unleashes such a stunning composition of flavors including coriander and citrus. Though a traditional Passover dish, you will never regret making these gorgeous treats year-round.

Ingredients

  • Slivered almonds - 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • Apricots - 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • Figs - 8 dried figs, quartered
  • Coriander - 2 teaspoons, ground (For a brighter burst of spice, freshly grind the coriander in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. )
  • Lemon or Orange rind - 2 teaspoons, finely grated
  • Honey - 1 tablespoon
  • Sweet white wine - 3-4 tablespoon to Passover sweet white wine, or any light white wine on hand like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc (Substitute with strong red rose tea. Um, yum!)
  • Sesame seeds - 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (To toast the seeds, put them in a small pan and heat over medium-high. When the seeds begin to pop, shake them around until they become slightly browned and then transfer to a bowl to stop the cooking process in the pan.)

Instructions

  1. This recipe requires a food processor or very good blender.
  2. In the food processor, mince the almonds and apricots, and then transfer to medium bowl.
  3. In the food processor, grind the figs to a fine consistency. Stir the figs into the almond-apricot mixture.
  4. Add the coriander, rind, honey and white wine (enough to bind the ingredients) to the bowl.
  5. Refrigerate the Charoset mixture for about 1 hour, but at least 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the Charoset from the refrigerator. Roll 1 tablespoon of the dough into a ball (about 1? in diameter). Roll the ball in the sesame seeds.
  7. Shape the balls into pyramids by pinching each side of the ball into a point, alternating sides that you pinch. Shape the bottom into a square, making corners with your fingers (see step-by-step photos below).
  8. Store extras in an airtight container in the refrigerator and pack along for a trail hike or mid-day snack.

Notes

Allergens: tree nuts

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