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Hooray for Chanukah

December 20, 2011

Most of you have a few more days to get your Christmas shopping done. But Chanukah is here. Well, at least it will be here once the sun goes down. This is one of the idiosyncrasies of belonging to a people that follow a lunar calendar.

If it weren’t so normal to me, it might seem creepy. All of our holidays start at night and end at night.

Because we don’t come from a tradition where some super-human travels around the world in one night delivering presents, neither Young Master Fussy nor Little Miss Fussy have any unrealistic expectations about the presents they might receive from their loved ones. In fact at the top of Young Master Fussy’s list is a slide whistle. He would also like a hula-hoop and a length of rope.

Nonetheless the children are really looking forward to the holiday. And part of it is the candles. Kids just love candles. But in my heart of hearts, I really hope the source of their excitement is in the holiday food.

Last year I wrote a post on potato latkes. This year we may not get a chance to make them at home. And frankly, I’m fine with that. Frying is a smelly and oily affair. I’d much rather someone else takes the bullet on that one.

It feels a little like cheating, but we will be paying for our latkes this year.

The Fussys will be making a pilgrimage to two local temples on two separate days to avail ourselves of their Chanukah parties. That takes care of two of the five nights we’ll be home for the holiday. The sixth night (aka Christmas Day) we’ll be on the road to Pennsylvania, and the last two nights will be spent on the farm.

Still, we need to celebrate the miracle of the oil.

So for the first night there will be jelly donuts. I may go a little nontraditional and get some Boston crème donuts for the kids. With any luck these will be procured from my favorite stuffed donut place in the region, Bella Napoli in Troy. They are better in Troy than they are in Latham. It’s crazy to think that a short drive in a truck could have deleterious consequences on a simple donut, but it’s true.

Still, I’d take a donut from the Latham Bella Napoli over Dunkin’ Donuts anyday.

Right now, donuts and latkes are only two parts of the plan.  However, eating fried foods is downright virtuous for the next eight days, so this would be a magnificent time to avail myself of the deep fried hamburger at Swifty’s.

Fir trees in the house totally smell better than the lingering scent of potatoes, onions and frying oil. And while it would be great to eat a Christmas ham or a rich, crisp skinned roast goose, getting carte blanche to eat fried foods for eight days is pretty freaking spectacular.

And for Christmas dinner we’ll hopefully get Chinese food in State College, PA. On those rare years like this when Chanukah and Christmas overlap, egg rolls are no longer optional, they are a requirement.

But more on this later. It’s time to buy the donuts.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ashallann permalink
    December 20, 2011 10:15 am

    Happy (early) Hanukkah ! 100% agree with you about the taste difference between Latham and Troy Bella Napoli, I find them to be much nicer in Troy, I’m confident that contributes to the deliciousness.

  2. RealFoodMom permalink
    December 20, 2011 8:58 pm

    Um, I’ve never heard of making a point of eating fried foods on ALL eight days of Chanukah….I think you’re gonna feel pretty gross if you do.

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