CHANUKAH…………………………FESTIVAL OF LIGHT
We all love light and candles, a flame with a flicker of all the colors of warmth, candles to light up the dark, the soft glow of a few candles, a memorial candle….and of course the joy of candles on a Birthday cake. Chanukah, the Festival of Dedication, is the time when we light candles nightly and celebrate with songs, stories and eating foods made in oil. The symbolic part of the Chanukah is the history of a people, the challenges they faced and the dedication they had . to overcome all obstacles and believe in themselves..
In Israel we eat Doughnuts for the week. There are of course rehearsals as the bakers make them ahead of time……it is amazing how many doughnuts they sell before the Chanukah week. And then when all the calories, sugar and jam has been devoured, we vow no more until next year. They are so yummy….
SAFETY RULES WHEN YOU MAKE DOUGHNUTS…..PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY.
Working with hot oil can be dangerous, so be careful;.
Prepare all the mixtures before you heat the oil.
2.HAVE A LID LARGE ENOUGH TO COVER THE OIL.
3. Fill the saucepan , only half way. Test heat of oil. Drop a square of bread into it. If it browns quickly, it is hot enough.
4. Lower the food SLOWLY into the pot.
5.Only do a few at a time . It makes turning easier.
6. Do not have kiddies near the stove.
7.In event of a fire, turn flame off. Cover with lid. Do not pour water on the flames. You can smother the flames with a damp towel. I do not like to be negative, but one needs to be careful.
8. Finally, focus on what you are making, not the phone and the doorbell. If you do have to turn away, switch off the heat and remove the pot to the back of the stove out of danger to kiddies.
These are so easy and take ten minutes to make.
350grams of Self raising flour.
2cups of yogurt.
2 dessertspoons of sugar. I use brown sugar.
1 teaspoon vanilla essence.
A dash of salt.
Mix all well . Use a deep saucepan and let the oil fill it half way. Deep enough for the doughnuts to be submerged. Use a spoon to drop them carefully into the hot oil. Deep fry and have a strainer lined with absorbent paper. The doughnuts can be spooned onto this carefully.. This gets rid of excess oil. Have a teaspoon of jam ready .to inject into the doughnut and roll them into a bowl of sugar powder. Drain again on paper. …You can drizzle chocolate or carob sauce on the doughnut.
These are a change from doughnuts.
Use 2eggs, 2 Tablespoons milk, and a cup of water. Beat all together
Add the following: 1 teaspoon Baking Powder, half a cup of brown sugar, 2 cups flour, pinch of salt and half a teaspoon of vanilla essence.
.Slice 3 peeled Granny Smith apples. Slice thinly and add raisins and pecan nuts. Mix well. Heat the oil and fry the fritter. Simply use a large soup size spoon and drop carefully into the oil. Drain. These take a few minutes. Serve with pureed cooked applesauce, honey and cinnamon sugar. Leave all in little bowls and people can choose their favorite. Some people like it with ice cream or custard.
RAW POTATO LATKES.
1 tsp baking powder.
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
2 chopped medium size onions.
Half a cup of flour
Pinch of ginger or nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste and oil for frying.
Peel and grate the potatoes. Sprinkle with the soda and squeeze out the excess liquid. To avoid discoloring you can add a teaspoon of vinegar. Mix with the other ingredients.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls into deep oil and fry until the pancakes are crisp on the outside. Drain on paper and serve hot with apple sauce . These can also be part of a main meal.
These are fun and easy to serve as a cocktail snack.
3/4 cup corn. 1/4 cup cornmeal. 1/2 cup flour.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt.' 1/2 teaspoon curry powder.
1 beaten egg. 1/2 cup chopped onions.
1/2 cup milk. (soya milk for parave)
Mix all the ingredients well and drop by teaspoonfuls into a frying pan of hot oil. Turn once and drain. Serve with a cocktail stick, sliced cucumbers and olives.
If you make ready packaged latkes, drain them well and keep ready to reheat in the oven.
, I often use use the Gremslach mixture , that we use at Passover and serve these with a pineapple sauce or fried mushrooms and onions.
2 cups water.
2 tablespoon of oil.
Salt to taste.
Meat the eggs, add oil and beat well.
Pour in the water and seasoning. Add the matzo meal slowly. It needs to be a loose mixture. Let it stand for two hours. Mix in three tablespoons of crushed walnuts or pecan
nuts. Make balls and press them flat. Fry in hot oil. Drain. Serve with a cocktail stick.
Finally, have a theme for the evening. Let the Menorah be the focus of the table. Use blue, silver and gold for serviettes and yellow flowers. Let the wrappings and cards reflect the theme of Chanukah, candles and lit flames. Kids love chocolates and chocolate sauce to add to the doughnuts. Have a choice of fun edibles for them to enjoy. The money coins made for the festival are a great decoration all over the table. Print the prayer and a few songs for each person. That way everyone feels good to participate. Take photos of each family next to the candles and you can use them next year for an email card. If you look at the photos over the years, they are a great memory of a joyous occasion.
Wishing you fun, light and meaningful togetherness.
Love and lots of light