Our family is Jewish, and although not very religious we like to celebrate the festivals and customs with our children…
Written by Say Yes Project and Social Media Assistant Sarah
We’ve recently moved to California from London. Away from our family and friends so the little things we grew up doing are now traditions that seem ever more important. Some would argue that Jewish festivals are largely food dependent and Chanukah is no exception. We like to show our love for our family and friends through food.
The Jewish Festival of Lights, or Hanukkah, lasts for 8 nights usually at the beginning of December. This year it starts this Saturday the 2nd. The holiday is in celebration of this miraculous story in Jewish history about a small jar of oil lasting 8 nights. Although some outside the Jewish community think of Hanukkah as a major Jewish holiday, it’s actually quite a minor one. It’s just that competing with Christmas adds a bit more emphasis on it sometimes.
Hanukkah traditions in our home include playing dreidel, eating Hanukkah gelt (chocolate coins – get yours at Trader Joe’s), giving presents, and lighting the menorah every night. We also like to celebrate with symbolic food fried in oil such as donuts (here’s our easy 10 minute version) and latkes.
Here is my favorite latke recipe. The important part is straining the water from the potatoes through cheesecloth (see in the images above). You’ll see the starch separate from the water, add that back in to make those latkes extra crispy when they’re fried.
It’s best served with sour cream and apple sauce, and you can make them in advance and heat them up later.
Happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends!