Cooking at home is a virtue for the ladies — almost always ladies, rarely men — who organize holiday affairs such as this. Once the labor-intensive work has been carried out in their private kitchens, the bazaar itself can be as much about catching up as about raising funds. During this event the museum's own small kitchen, on the lower level, across the hall from the meeting room that hosts a holiday boutique as well as a crowded display of baked goods, functions primarily as a conversational nook.
Shown, from various bazaars: honey cakes, apricot squares, and wafer cakes, whose eight crispy waffle-textured layers are painstakingly spread with chocolate before the confection is covered in crushed walnut, then cut into lozenges. Typical cost, for a pair of wafers or one slice of the larger items: $2, while they last.
Ukrainian Museum Christmas Bazaar 222 East 6th St. (Second-Third Aves.), Manhattan www.UkrainianMuseum.org (The 2016 bazaar is scheduled for December 3-4)
Opening day: Hester Holiday Market Friday, November 25, 11:00-8:00; continues daily through December 24 The Seaport District, enter at 117 Beekman St. (near Fulton St.), Manhattan www.Facebook.com/events /1120325658063085 Free admission
Navigate through the crafts-and-rummage main level — you can return later, especially to the shelves and tables crowded with Scandinavian packaged foods and home-baked seasonal specialties — to the downstairs gallery and a selection of smørbrødene, drinks, and sweets.
Like the Kathina celebration of Thailand, the Kahtein celebration of Myanmar is an occasion for lay Buddhists to pay respects to the monks of the local temple. The congregants offer robes, food, and other items to the monks, and share food and fellowship themselves. Since this congregation's temple is small, their rather intimate celebration was held in a public school cafeteria. The sole main dish on offer, mon di (shown) could be enjoyed in many permutations; my post from a previous celebration explains further.
Kahtein celebration of the Buddhist Missionary Society P.S. 69, 77-02 37th Ave. (77th-78th Sts.), Jackson Heights, Queens 718-821-2580 www.BMSNY.org/activities (The 2016 celebration was held on November 6)
Is there ever a reason to pair hot bhaji (Bah-jee) with cold bread? Not by my lights, or by Vatan's. At its Diwali festival stall, that restaurant buttered soft rolls, or pav (Pow), and toasted them on the tawa alongside a vibrant vegetable curry. As served, pav bhaji ($5) can be assembled into a sandwich, but it's customary instead to use the pav as a utensil, wiping up bhaji bit by bit like a very sloppy sloppy joe.
Saraswati Cultural Association Diwali Exchange Place (vicinity of Montgomery and Greene Sts.), Jersey City www.SCAofNJ.com (The 2016 celebration was held on October 16)
(Updated with additional photos.) Our party spent more time admiring the sunlit nave of the Romanian Orthodox church than we did inquiring into the making of pastramă de oaie (pronuounced "why"). "Smoked sheep" was the gist of it.
Che lun bing, literally "car wheel cake," is a Taiwanese name for the centuries-old Japanese confection called imagawayaki. Assembly is simple. To form the bottom half of the "wheel," a pancake-like batter is piped into a shallow mold. Before it sets fully, a filling is added; red bean paste is the most traditional, but a variety of other sweet and savory flavors are increasingly common in both Taiwan and Japan. Then the top half, often concave to allow room for the filling, is fitted to the bottom.
Finally, the wheel cake needs a couple of minutes to cool. A filling such as cream custard (shown, $3.50) should not be mouth-numbingly molten — warm and gooey will do.