Oh Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah
You know…I love the holidays and in my home, we celebrate Hanukkah. The start of the 8 days of Hanukkah is never a specific date set in stone. Since we follow the Jewish calendar for our holidays they often shift by weeks. Sometimes Hanukkah is at the start of Dec (or even November!) and sometimes it’s near the end at the same time as Christmas.
For me, sometimes Hanukkah falls over my birthday and that is truly my favorite. I love lighting the candles for me and the menorah.
This year has been a turning point for our family. The boys are officially no longer little men. This summer Gavin went to camp for a full 7 weeks and got a true taste of independence. Both of the children now play hockey and Gavin is officially on the team. Not to mention school has become the real deal for both boys as Luke entered first grade and now has homework and Gavin is half way through 4th grade leading him soon into middle school. With their growth comes their greater understanding of the Jewish holidays.
Sunday night the gifting began with Adam’s parents who got the kids a few of the items that had been on their wish list. From that point on, we’ve been opening 1 gift per day, with the kids choosing which gift they want to open each day.
Of course, we light the candles each night while reciting the prayer. Luke made a menorah in Kindergarten and he now lights it every year and finds it so meaningful that I pull it out and never forget his work.
Monday night, we had a family dinner to celebrate the start of Hanukkah. We asked Alexa to play Hanukkah songs while we ate a home cooked meal that I made, played dreidel games and lit the candles. The big hit of the night, as always are my latkes. Everyone always asks for my latke recipe (because my latkes are the best) so here you have it…
Little Miss Party’s Latke Recipe (Serves 6)
4 large russet potatoes
1 small white onion, finely grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup beer
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
corn oil for frying
Preheat oven to 200 degrees
Peel and grate potatoes into a large bowl of ice water
Using a strainer or a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes, reserving liquid, to a bowl lined with a clean dish towel. Gently squeeze dry.
Set reserved liquid aside for ten minutes, allowing the starch to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
Carefully pour liquid from the bowl, reserving milky residue (potato starch) and discard the water.
Transfer potatoes to the bowl with the potato starch
Add in balance of ingredients and mix together
Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside
In a heavy non-stick skillet, heat 1/4 in of oil
Spoon a handful of potato mixture per pancake into skillet. make a few at a time
Fry on both sides until golden brown, 4-6 minutes
Transfer to lined baking sheet to drain
Keep warm in oven while preparing others
Seri’s latke tips:
1. As soon as the skin comes off of the potatoes and you start peeling, it is important to put right in cold water to prevent potatoes from turning brown.
2. Whenever cooking with beer or wine, use one that you enjoy drinking.
3. Serving suggestions: Applesauce, sour cream, smoked salmon, scallions, and mustard and ketchup are always fun.
I’m also often asked where our tree of life menorah is from so I’m linking to it here. Boy that link makes my menorah look OLD! I need to get it cleaned! My goodness.
For those who are celebrating, we hope you enjoy the rest of the holiday and the festival of lights! Happy Hanukkah