Hanukkah 2009 Menus, Recipes Gearing Up for Sundown

Donna Diegel's picture

Millions of people of Jewish descent are wishing Happy Hanukkah today as Latkes and jelly donuts are being prepared for the feast. The Festival of Lights Hanukkah begins tonight at sundown and continues for eight days.

Happy Hanukkah or Happy Chanukah
At Sundown this evening, Jews around the world will celebrate the feast of Hanukkah commemorating Judas Maccabeus’ defeat of the Syrians and the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The festival is observed by lighting one candle each night during Hanukkah on a special candelabrum, the nine-branched Menorah or Hanukiah, until all eight are lit.

Jewish Food for Hanukkah 2009
Fried food is an integral part of the Jewish holiday. The custom of using oil (preferably olive oil) in cooking and baking, is as old as the miracle it represents. The Jewish High Priest discovered a small flask of pure olive oil, so small in fact, that it was only supposed to last one day. The olive oil lasted eight days, and so the custom of eating foods fried or baked in oil during Hanukkah continued through the ages.

Latkes are an especially popular Jewish meal during Hanukkah. The word Latkes is Yiddish, and is traditionally associated Hanukkah. An entire meal could be planned around these simple potato pancakes that are fried in oil and served throughout the holiday. This Latkes recipe, courtesy of EL AL Airlines, is an easy meal to make. Made with shredded potatoes, diced onions and red peppers, a little Kosher salt and pepper, and of course oil, this recipe is an excellent choice for the Jewish holiday.

Sufganiot, or jelly filled donuts, are a treat in and of themselves. Kids of all ages come running when these delicious fried donuts are being made. This is also a long established custom, particularly among Sephardic, Polish and Israeli families. The raspberry jam-filled donuts are fried in oil, and served plain or with powdered sugar on them, or for an even tastier treat, roll them in cinnamon sugar. The recipe for Sufganiot, can also be found at the link above, courtesy of EL AL Airlines.

Sample 2009 Hanukkah Menu
Pot Roast or Roasted Chicken
Golden Beet Soup
Red Pepper and Onion Latkes
Sufganiot or Apple Fritters
Kosher Wine

For a related story, see El Al Airline Serves Hanukkah Recipes To Attract Jewish Travelers.

Sources: epicurious.com; wikipedia; www.elal.co

Written by Donna Diegel

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