Any excuse to eat fried foods is a good thing in my books. Fried foods are my weakness, something I just can’t help myself from eating despite knowing that the outcome will usually involve an unhappy stomach and a lot of sparkling water to try to make myself feel better. If there’s anything fried on a restaurant menu, you can almost be certain that I’ll order it and I’m of the opinion that most things taste better after having been cooked in some hot oil until they are golden and crisp.
You have probably heard of Judah and the Maccabees, but what about Judith? At one time, the story of Judith—a young widow who slew the Assyrian general and led the Israelites to victory—was considered an important part of the Hanukkah narrative.
Ever since that one little jug found in the corner of the First Temple burned for eight days instead of one, olive oil has been political.
The one day supply of olive oil lasted for eight days, so the eternal flame did not go out while the temple was re-dedicated. Thus, Judaism’s victory against Hellenism was ratified by the holy light, and we now remember the miracle by serving fried food for eight days.
Hanukkah is coming, and with it my usual debate with my husband’s family. They are wonderful--sophisticated, warm and accepting of my last-minute hysterical gift decrees (no plastic toys, no battery-operated toys, whatever is bothering me that year). They are flexible about what a proper Menorah is, especially if a grandchild constructs it. But, don’t touch their toppings.
I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend. I certainly did, which is why I missed so many great posts and articles over the weekend. Here is a Thanksgiving weekend link roundup, just in case you missed them too.
Happy first day of Hanukkah! With Bernard Madoff bringing a bit of gloom and doom to our nation's holiday season, now is an especially important time for us to be (re)-inspired by those who bring out the best of Jewish life and social responsibility.
To help mark the eight days of Hanukkah, meet eight inspiring Jewish women whose stories are told at jwa.org...
Who knew that "Hava Nagila" could be "sexy" ... or "racy"...? Lauren Rose (formerly Lauren Goldberg), a Jewess from the UK, has given this familiar (and perhaps tiresome) traditional Hebrew folk song a somewhat dirty, teeny-bopper twist.
Our favorite Jewish cookbook extraordinaire, Joan Nathan, has invited an old friend to the Hanukkah table. In an article in today's NY Times, she shares with us the colorful -- and flavorful -- memories of babka in its original and contemporary varieties.