I don’t know what bothered me more, the fever or the FOMO. When I was eight or nine years old, I wasn’t able to join the family Chanukah party, thanks to a persistent fever. I stayed home with my mother, who valiantly tried to make up for my FOMO. Some hobbies don’t change, and the activity that night was none other than shaping, baking, and decorating Chanukah sugar cookies.
I remember searching through the kitchen cabinets for something to decorate the cookies with until I found a tiny container of blue food coloring, which I held up with triumph like it was a pach shemen. That was all I needed to get creative with the cookies, and left in my eight-year-old hands, the cookies were very, very blue. (As were my hands, for days, until we figured out how to get it out. Fortunately, they don’t make food coloring like they used to!)
I did miss that Chanukah party, which I may or may not have remembered today, but I was able to cultivate a different Chanukah memory that has stuck with me.
In this week’s issue, we feature an interview with Rebbetzin Chaya Small, daughter of Rebbetzin Tzivia Walkin, in our Tastes like Shabbos column. When I first heard Rebbetzin Small speak, she spoke about the devotion her mother had for making Shabbos even while in Shanghai, China, during the war, and how that impression stays with her until today. “Put effort into making Shabbos special,” she said. “You’ll be giving your children a priceless message about what matters to you most.”
Shabbos Chanukah often comes along with lots of planning and prep work, which may or may not be centered around the classic tastes of Shabbos. While your guests and family might not remember your menu, there’s a good chance that they’ll gain other memories from the festive time you spend together.
Food Editor, Family Table
Editor in Chief, Kosher.com
If you find yourself with the task of frying latkes for a crew, use a griddle. It goes over two burners and gives you double the surface area. The only downside is that you can’t use as much oil, but when you need to churn out big numbers, it’s a solid option.
To freshen up day-old doughnuts, wrap each one well with aluminum foil, then place in the oven on a low temp until just warm.
Remember my pancake-batter doughnuts from last week? My daughter Tziporah had the idea of squeezing a bit of jam into the centers using a medicine dropper. (If you fill the doughnut maker enough, there’s a little crevice to hold the jam.) We went crazy over them!
(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 770)
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