Treats for Hanukkah

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by shimmer, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. shimmer

    shimmer

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    This year, I am planning on giving cookies and candy to my neighbors for Christmas. However, we have a rabbi and his family living across the street, and I know Hanukkah starts tomorrow. I want to bring them treats during their holiday.

    So I just need to know if there are any ingredient limitations that I would need to take into consideration? I just wouldn't want to insult anyone. I'm not planning on using lard, so I didn't think using milk products would be a problem. Please let me know!

    ~~Shimmer~~
     
  2. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Hi Shimmer! What a kind thing to do.

    There are no dietary restrictions for Chanukah (or however you choose to spell it- it's Hebrew so there are as many ways to spell it as there are spellers :) ). There are some traditional foods for the holiday:

    Foods cooked in oil: These could include latkes (made of potato or any veggie such as zucchini) and jelly doughnuts, called sufganiot in Hebrew. The oil is reminiscent of the oil used in the lamps in the Temple, which had been desecrated by invaders. The story goes that only one day's worth of oil could be located as they were cleaning up the temple, and 8 days would be needed to make more. By a miracle (according to the rabbis), the small amount lasted 8 days until more could be prepared. This is one explanation for celebrating Chanuakh for 8 days and eating foods cooked in oil.

    Foods prepared with cheese: During the two year guerilla war to oust the invaders, the Jews took action however they could. One woman, Judith, decided to try to take out one of the generals, Holofernes. She invited him to dinner, and fed him foods made with cheese (some say to make him sleepy, but I haven't heard of that effect from cheese elsewhere!) and gave him lots of wine to drink. When he passed out from excess, she beheaded him. A painting of this, "Judith Beheads Holofernes" by Caravaggio, hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. In the same city, in the Palazzo Vecchio, is Donatello's bronze, innocently titled "Judith and Holofernes".

    Tonight we light the first of the 8 lights of Chanukah. Although this holiday doesn't have the sacred nature of Christmas, and has absolutely no connection, it is remarkable for its standing as a holiday dedicated to religious freedom. The whole point was that when someone else tries to take that from you, that effort should be resisted.

    Chanukah Sameach! (Happy Chanukah) :bounce:
     
  3. isa

    isa

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    If your friends and family are anything like mine, they'll go crazy when they open their presents. What will you be making this year? Maybe we could share recipes.... What kind of cookie do you prefer chocolate? nuts? spices?
     
  4. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Isa, in our family we only have gifts for the small children. Currently, we have a single youngster! We gave our young nephew a bunch of books he can read about space, George Washington, etc. Being in first grade, it's quite a novelty for him! He read for two solid hours yesterday, and we had to drag him away from a third grade level book about castles to come to Thanksgiving dinner.

    Since my husband and I have no children of our own, we only light the candles and eat a latke or two. One year I made sugar cut-out cookies, complete with blue and yellow icing of my childhood; my husband ate too many at once and so we don't do much Chanukah baking any more! :D

    When I was a child, my mom made the cookies I mentioned now and then. We each got a small amount of money each night (25 or 50 cents), and maybe one "big" gift such as a board game or something like that. The little ones got small die-cast metal cars (Hot Wheels) or little toys, but we understood Chanukah is not really a big deal when it comes to presents. With the core of the holiday being the importance of religious freedom and preserving one's heritage, there's no connection with gifts as there is with Christmas. (As I understand it, the gifts are connected to the gifts of the Magi, right?? :confused: )
     
  5. shimmer

    shimmer

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    Isa-

    I like to make recipes that come from my family.

    My Grandpa-in-law's "secret" peanut butter fudge
    My Grandma's Sour Cream Mincemeat cookies
    My Mother-in-law's soft ginger cookies
    Gail Gand's peanut butter balls (ok, so she isn't family, but they're great!)

    I am trying these new recipes (I'll be making test batches, come on over!)
    Aztec Nut Fudge
    Rum Balls (I like rum more than Bourbon)
    Chocolate cinnamon rolls (for breakfast gifts)
    Hershey Mint Drops (they have mint hershey kisses now, and I found a recipe that lightly coats them in dough...sounds delicious)
    Peanut butter cookie covered candy bars (I saw this on PBS... does anyone have the recipe?)

    I keep begging my Mom to send me Oregon hazelnuts. I can't find hazelnuts/filberts/etc over here in Indiana, and I like their flavor in Christmas cookies (probably because that is what I grew up tasting). Plus my husband isn't allergic to those.

    How about you?

    ~~Shimmer~~