Happy Hanukkah!

Dear Liza,

Our household celebrates both Christian and Jewish holidays, so this time of year is extra festive. We have our Christmas tree up and the menorah on the table. We have delivered small gifts across town to Auntie Katie and the cousins and wrapped presents for each other in red and green paper.

Our brass menorah, bought from the now-closed Do Re Me Music in Carmel about 38 years ago, was the first piece of Judaica we owned. We love it because it is an abstraction of the word “Hanukkah”, which means dedication, and is different from any menorah we have ever seen. We keep it on the piano all year ‘round, as a piece of art.

The only problem with it is that when the lower candles are all lit, the upper one tends to ….. well….. melt. A slight design flaw. But a small price to pay.

This year we are not making latkes. They are traditional and I love eating them, but for just Auntie Bridgett and me (Grandpa Nelson doesn’t like them) it is a lot of grating and frying mess. Also, we have an extremely nervous smoke detector. So we will pass for now and hope for better things next year.

Because it usually happens so close to Christmas, people sometimes try to make Hanukah an equivalent holiday, but it just isn’t. It is not nearly as important to Judaism as Passover, Rose Hosannah, or Yom Kippur.

But in the middle of a cold dark season, candles are always good.

Love,

Grandma Judy

Happy Hannukah!

Dear Liza, Yesterday we celebrated Hannukah with Auntie Katie, Cousin Jasper and Cousin Kestrel. I started early, making the dough for sufganiot, or hannukah doughnuts. It is a sweet, soft yeast dough and needed to rise for a while. I packed it up for the trip.

lit coat .jpg
My lit up coat!

I walked to Auntie Katie’s house as it was getting dark, and I wore my regular heavy coat with an addition: Remember the  tiny lights Auntie Katie sewed onto her cape?  I sewed a multi-colored version onto my coat, so I could walk after dark and BE SEEN by the drivers. I felt so bright and cheerful, like a Christmas tree out for a stroll. I got thumbs up and smiles from folks, and a lady actually rolled down her car window to ask “Where’d you get those lights?”

Once I was at Aunt Katie’s, we grated the potatoes for latkes, made applesauce, and went to fetch the cousins from school. They have such a nice after- school program at Hosford-Abernethy, they never want to leave! But we managed to bring them and Cousin Kestrels’ graham cracker gingerbread house home.

latkes.jpg
Frying latkes                        Photo credit: Katie Proctor

The cousins helped shape the sufganiot into donought shapes, balls and sticks, and we let them rise while Auntie Katie fried the latkes. Then, while the latkes stayed hot in the oven, we fried the sufganiot! They got so brown and pretty, and when they were done I sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and let them cool down.

We ate latkes with sour cream and applesauce, then ate the sufganiot….so tasty! Even Grandpa Nelson had one, and you know how fussy he is.

 

sufganiot.jpg
Tasty sufganiot!                  Photo credit: Katie Proctor

jasper zelda hat.jpg
Cousin Jasper and new hat

Then, of course, we opened presents. Jasper liked his Zelda hat so much we wore it while he played video games on the couch. Kestrel, Grandpa Nelson, Auntie Bridgett and Auntie Katie all had fun working on a picture using Kestrel’s new art supplies…fairy stamps, markers, and googly eyes.

kes art collaboration.jpg
Art collaboration

When we were stuffed and the cousins were sleepy, we headed home. What a lovely evening!

googly carrots.jpg
Fairies and their pet carrots, still in progress

Love,

Grandma Judy