And so the last night of Hanukkah is here. The bakery in town finished making jelly-filled donuts (aka sufganiyot) in the afternoon, so we did without. Probably a good thing given that we overindulged *kof* a bit this year.
Happy Festival of Lights!
Happy Festival of Lights!
Every winter brings the same dilemma… how do you spell Hanukkah?! The first spelling above is the spellcheck’s preference, but ask 2 Jews and you’ll get at least two opinions. Ask a Hebrew speaker and, in this case, you’ll get only one:
Despite the miracle which occurred during the rededication of the Temple following its desecration by the ancient Greeks, Hanukkah is really a very minor holiday on the Jewish calendar, which has gotten a leg up in the Diaspora because of its proximity to Christmas and other winter holidays. Here in Israel, however, the holiday centers around family get-togethers, lighting of the candles, singing songs, and, of course, food.
Add to the name confusion the special menorah that is lit during Hanukkah, the Hannukiyah, which has 9 candleholders, 8 for each night of Hanukkah and one separate one for the “Shamash”, the candle which is used to light all the others. Like many religious objects, the Hannukiyah is a folk art object and over time and varied cultures has taken many shapes. Nonetheless, the basic requirements above, 8 holders for candles or oil wicks, plus one for the Shamash, are what unite them all.
And because you can’t have a holiday without food, here are a few classic recipes. For obvious reasons, oil plays a big part in Hanukkah foods.
Janna Gur, Israel’s Diva of the Kitchen, Ashkenazi Potato Latkes
King Arthur Flour Easy Does It Latkes
Easy Jewish Recipes Yeast-free Sufganiyot
And here’s a recipe for the yeasty-type of sufganiyot that I shared with one of my mailing lists many years ago. Enjoy!
Hannukah Doughnuts (Sufganiyot)
2 tbsp dry yeast
3 1/2 tbsp sugar
3/4 c lukewarm milk
2 1/2 c flour, sifted
2 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
25 gm margarine, softened (my guess a little less than 1 oz)
2 tbsp brandy
jam of your choice (IMHO strawberry is best here)
oil for deep-frying
Method: Dissolve the yeast and 2 tbsp sugar in the lukewarm milk. Place flour on a board and make a well in the centre, add the yeast mixture, egg-yolks, salt, cinnamon and the remaining sugar. Now add the brandy (which keeps the doughnuts oil-free). Knead well. Add the margarine and knead until the dough is elastic. Cover and let rise about 2 hours.
Sprinkle flour on the board. Roll the dough out thin; cut into rounds 5cm (2″) in diameter with a cookie-cutter or glass. Cover and let rise 15 minutes more. Pour 5cm (2″) of oil into a heavy pot and heat to a slightly hotter degree than medium heat. Drop the doughnuts in the oil 4 or 5 at a time, turning when brown. Drain on paper towels.
If you have a kitchen syringe, fill it with strawberry jam and inject about a teaspoonful of jam in each doughnut. If you don’t have a kitchen syringe, using a tiny spoon take some jam and fill the doughnuts through a small slit. Dust with powdered sugar and serve while still warm. This recipe makes about 30-35 doughnuts.
Israelis favor sufganiyot to latkes to celebrate Hanukkah and in case you think donuts are a small change business:
Wishing you a Chag Urim Sameah, Happy Festival of Lights!
One each night from tonight for the next eight nights*. Rock it!
*As in candles, not jelly bismarks/sufganiyot.
The ultimate holiday song mashup done right by Straight-No Chaser.
(hat tip to Annette Fix)
Reminds me of the year (B.M.*) my Girl Scout troop stood outside the local department store in our neighborhood singing carols and freezing our bottoms off. We sang everything, including a light assortment of Hanukkah songs.
*B.M. means “Before Malls”, which I might add is also a Minnesota invention.
Our eldest and her boyfriend arrived Monday night for a 10-day visit and last night we lit the first candle of Hanukkah together with our youngest. Our middle son couldn’t be with us as he is in the US at the moment. It’s finally dawning on my husband and I that we are well on our way to having an empty nest and are both melancholy and delighted about it at the same time. Time is moving right along.
Since Christmas is getting closer each day, it’s also time for the first of my two Christmas Goodies for PI users. The 200712-1-JenT.ZIP file can be downloaded from the Box.net widget in the sidebar. This Goodies contains a UFO file with a gingerbread man cookie object, gum drops objects and a Christmas tree with decorations object. I’ve also included in the Goodie download three different SMP files for you to import into your EZPalette: Icing, Gum Drops and Cookie presets.If you are having any trouble importing the SMPs or using this Goodie, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
As always, this Goodie is being released under the following Creative Commons License. Questions about this license are always welcome.
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.