Chanukah is about so much more than presents and food. This sermon, in particular, struck a chord with me this year as we navigate visiting Christian relatives with our impressionable two year old. It is also important, however, to focus on the parts of our lives that give us joy. Presents and food are at the top of my list.
Eitan’s presents were primarily provided by his grandparents this year, including 4 nights of a train set, trucks and accessories, puzzles, books, and a bubble machine! My only job was to wrap it all. I decided to use my great-grandmother’s Chanukiah this year, primarily because I love to display it but have never used it. With a white tablecloth, it set my theme of white and gold.
In terms of food, I wanted to make sufganyiot this year as well as some latke recipes. I found a recipe that didn’t require yeast, rising, or anything harder than deep frying, which is annoying enough. They turned out pretty well, but they really need to be eaten immediately. Even that evening they didn’t taste great. I also found that it took a while for the oil to heat up to 350F, but then it got much hotter quickly. Perhaps slow and steady is a better maxim for heating oil. Not something I care to do often.
Latkes have always been a challenge for me. In the past, I’ve made them from scratch. This is always a mistake as it is a ton of work and they never really hold together. This year, I decided to use a mix. I tested Streit’s and Manischevitz, and Streit’s won, hands down. They were creamy on the inside, crunchy on the outside, held together, and had a great taste. I baked turkey bacon in the oven and added tomatoes to create a Chanukah BLT: bacon, LATKE, and tomato. Eitan got the deconstructed version and didn’t eat any of it. Rich and I enjoyed his leftovers.
Chag Chanukah sameach. I hope the next few weeks aren’t too difficult for our Jewish children!