A belated Hanukkah celebration with recipes

Since I was at Esalen at Big Sur California during most of Hanukkah, I promised my son and daughter-in-law we'd have a belated Hanukkah celebration after I got home, complete with my home-made potato pancakes - Latkes - a recipe I've been making for years. So to get into the Hanukkah spirit I'm going to share tomorrow's menu with recipes for the chicken dish and the pancakes. I plan to serve cheese and crackers and an olive tapenade as appetizers, a spinach salad, and a broccolini side dish to go along with the chicken and Latkes. I don't yet know about dessert since my husband is in charge of that. Since I'm both lactose intolerant and gluten-free I can't eat the dessert anyway, so he'll choose something he likes. The following recipe for potato pancakes comes from a year's old issue of the now defunct Gourmet Magazine. Lacy Potato Pancakes 2 large eggs 1/3 cup beer ½ cup flour 1 teaspoon salt Fresh pepper to taste 1 onion halved lengthwise and sliced thin 2 … [Read more...]

My favorite holiday ingredient

I also blog over at Red Room, the author's website. Last week we were asked to blog about a secret holiday ingredient, and I'm pleased and proud to say that my piece was one of three to be honored and receive a prize of a book. Here is the piece in its entirety. Most of the people in my family celebrate Hanukkah, and it had always been our tradition to give our nieces and nephews money – Hanukkah gelt – every year. The amount always varied depending on how wealthy or not we felt in a given year. However, as they grew up and married and had children of their own we felt our measly little check was insignificant and probably went to help pay for a half a bag of groceries. So we decided to look for something a little more meaningful and more in keeping with our tradition of giving to charity at year’s end. Every year on December 31, my husband and I sit down and make a list of the non-profit asks we have amassed through the year. Then we first make a decision about which c … [Read more...]

The first night of Hanukkah

Hanukkah was a big deal when the boys were young. We’d decorate the house with streamers and banners and other hanging Hanukkah icons, I’d make special meals that always included potato Latkes (pancakes), we’d give the boys a gift each night, and of course we’d always light the candles – adding one more each of the eight nights until the Menorah had all the candles burning on the last night. Early on Paul became our candle lighter. Once he was old enough he loved to strike the matches. After the candles were lit it was time for gift giving, playing the Dreidel (spinning top) gambling game, and eating foil-wrapped chocolate Hanukkah Gelt (money). All great memories – especially of Paul. Paul's on my lap All on his own That's Granny on the left By the way, tonight's the first night of Hanukkah. … [Read more...]