Monday, December 10, 2007

Hanukkah: Seventh Candle

Hi! Come in! I am so glad you could make it! Did you have a nice day? Here...let me take your coat. I like your hat!
Are you getting everything ready and done for Christmas? Hard to imagine only fifteen more days...
I got started on the Latkes already. They take a while to cook.
I use a recipe I got in my Cultural Aspects of Food class at Oregon State University back in 1977. At the time I noted that it was "only OK". Since we had to sample something like two dozen dishes each class, I suppose I was feeling a bit jaded at the time.

Latkes (pronounced Lot-Kahs or Lat-Keys if you are Jewish, and Po-Tah-Toe Pan-Cake if you are a gentile) are not actually a biblical historic Hanukkah food. Potatoes didn't grow in Israel, but once the Jewish people were dispersed, they used the foods that were available to them.

The idea, however, is to cook with oil during the celebrations, to remind us that the oil lasted right up until their was a new batch ready.

I like the touch of rosemary; the herb that is the symbol for remembrance you know.

I used my salad shooter to grate the potatoes and onions. Naturally the onions made me cry. If I had grated the potatoes by hand on a grater, I probably would have shredded my knuckles too.

Jewish women joke about this: They note that Christian women celebrate by baking sweet smelling cookies, while they, being Jews, are forced to remember the pain experienced by their people over the centuries as they grate their skin, burn their eyes with onion fumes, and get blistered from the hot oil splattering. (This is a joke, it is OK to laugh...they do!)

Lots of oil, lots of good smells...and it takes patience to wait for the latka to turn a perfect crisp golden brown.

Hey, let's listen to some music while we watch the latkas cooking!

Click here to help me watch the latkas cook for one minute as we listen to music and dance a tiny bit. Be sure your sound is turned up!

Want to sing along? The song is Isaiah 60: 1-2
Here's the words:

Kumi ori, ki va orech, (in English: Arise, shine for your Light has come)

Uch-vod Adonai alayich zarach (in English: The Glory of Lord has risen upon you.)

(repeat 4x)

Ki Hine ha-choshech yechase eretz (in English: Darkness covers the earth)

V'arafel le'umim (in English: See the darkness over the Nations)

Valayich yizach Adonai (In English: Over you the Lord will arise)

Uchvodo alayich y'raeh (In English: Over you will be seen His Glory)

(Song: Kumi Ori, words and music by Batya Segal. From CD entitled "Sh'Ma Yisrael")

I've got the table all set, now I just want to put the candles into the Chanakkiah.
Check out the candle boxes. Each of them spell Hanukkah differently. I guess if they put each of the seventeen ways the word could be spelled on each box, there wouldn't be any room left for pictures.

Hmmm, I think yellow, white and blue candles for tonight. The colors don't have any specific meaning.

By the way, did you see the comic in today's paper?

I am getting more and more curious about what the Chinese really know about our faith: Look where the candles were made:

And I think I'll be buying the Manischwitz candles from now on....

Well, it looks like everything is done. Will you please join us at the table?

We're having beef brisket in gravy, latkas, tomato slices, mixed greens salad and mandarin oranges (because I thought the orange slices looked like little flames...) The salad dressing is olive oil and vinegar, of course!

The bread is Challah, the three part braided bread made with egg and olive oil. I usually only make it on Friday nights, but I thought it would be nice to have tonight as well.

In our family, we like to eat latkas with apple sauce and sour cream.

I try to make the latkas very thin, so two latkas is about right for most people. They do have a lot of calories, so we just have them one of the Hanukkah nights.

Lovella, since you are now a grammie, you need to put on some weight to make a nice soft lap. Here, have another one. Sara, please pass Lovella the sour cream. There you go. That's better.

Now that we have finished eating, let's thank God for our food, like it says to in the Bible (Deuteronomy 8:10...a nice rule; that way the food doesn't get cold while we pray!)

Blessed art thou, Lord our God, King of the Universe, who provides food from the earth to nourish us. We thank you for providing for all our needs, both physically and spiritually. We rejoice that tonight we feed on both physical and spiritual nourishment. Help us to remember to feed the hungry that you bring to us, and help us to give them both nourishment for their body and for their spirit as well, as we share the Good News of our Salvation. Amen.

It is dark out now...let's go ahead and light the Hanukkah candles. Please join me in saying the blessing over our celebration:

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our fathers in those days at this season.

Blessed art thou, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our fathers in those days at this season.

As we light the first candle, the Servant candle, we remember what Jesus said in Mark 10:44-45
Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the servant of all. for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

The Seventh Candle: The prophet Isaiah speaks of the future glory of a restored Israel in Isaiah 60: 1-5

"Arise, shine Jerusalem, for your light has come, the glory of the Lord has risen over you. For although darkness covered the earth and thick darkness over the nations, on you Israel will the the Lord rise, over you will be seen His Glory.

Nations will go towards your Light, and kings towards your shining splendor. Raise your eyes and look around; they are assembling and coming to you; your sons are coming from far off, your daughters being carried on their nurses' hips.

Then you will see and be radiant. Your heart will throb and swell with delight; for the riches of the seas will be brought to you, the wealth of nations will come to you. Caravans of camels will cover your land, young camels from Midyan and Eifah, all of them coming from Sheba bringing gold and frankincense."

Wow. The first wise men visiting the Messiah in the manger were acting as small picture of the final scene, when the Lord returns to earth, to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. His light did shine over Israel at his birth, but oh how it will shine when HE returns.

While the candles burn we can play dreidel. Above are my favorite three dreidels. They are made from blown glass. The will never break because they have been tempered in high heat for a period of time. Hmmmm....another thought there.....about being made strong....

We'll let Bernie spin first, just to show you how it is done.

We'll play with the big wooden dreidel, because it is easier for everyone to see.

Spin...spin...spin....two chocolate coins are in the pot. If he gets gimel, he gets the whole pot!

Hay...Bernie gets half the pot. Gimel would be you get all the pot, Nun would be get nothing, and Shin would mean you have to put one of your own coins into the pot.

The letters stand for the phrase: A Miracle Happened There. Unless you are actually playing in Israel, in which case the letter stand for "A Miracle Happened Here."

Let's see how Tiggie does on his spin here.
And now Hart has his turn...I think Hart got gimel, then hay and then nun. But I am not sure...I don't think the cats are interested in chocolate coins anyway.

Next, Bernie and Tiggie have a song for us.
(I've seen them rehearse this number. Bernie sings, Tiggie dances. Watch for the part where Bernie "lifts" Tiggs as part of the dance.)

The candles are burning down. Are you ready for some dessert?

For dessert we'll be having more food that is cooked in oil; the traditional Hanukkah filled donuts!
(Are you starting to see why this traditional meal is enjoyed just once during the eight nights?)

So, what do you think of Hanukkah dinner?

Did you enjoy yourself? I hope so.

It has been so wonderful having you share our Hanukkah lights with us tonight.

Thank you so much for coming.

Have a safe trip home, and may God bless you in your travels.

(Humming "This little light of mine" together as we hug good bye.)


Dawn said...

Lovely dinner....Thank you so much for inviting us!
Blessings on you this night.

Jane Carlstrom said...

Me in my hat, had a great time too. Potatoe pancakes with butter and sour cream but applesauce on the side is a favorite food. So very much enjoyed the fare.

Thank you for a lovely time.

L&D said...

Thank you for the splendid dinner. My tummy feels great now. I especially liked the added touch of the videos. You're so cute, Jill. Hope the rest of your festive journey is wonderful.
And I agree....pass the sour cream on to Lovella!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful dinner! Thanks for inviting me! Your Latkes looked way better than mine did. Mine were all burnt around the edges. I like the idea of brisket with it too. I admit we had latkes as the main course, which probably breaks some sort of commandment...

Blessings in Yeshua!


Vicki said...

I love the little "touch of Texas" with the brisket as part of the meal! Everything was so yummy. We grew up on potato pancakes (very similar recipe), and Mom always served them with applesauce (my father was Catholic and my mother Protestant - we kids were all raised Protestant - so I guess this was just good ol' farmer's family food).

You and Bernie are wonderful hosts. Thank you for sharing more of the tradition of Hanukkah with us.

I loved the videos!

Spooky said...

Tiggie, you were the star of the evening! I don't even like latkes. I do like you! You sing and dance and spin the dreidel so well!

Julie said...

Oh... thank you for the dinner invitation ! Everything was soo delicious and I enjoyed the dreidel game...I can't say I won but that's OK. I had a most wonderful evening!!

I am just so stuffed and feeling sooo at home and comfortable... may I presume to ask if I may stay the night? After all it is a long drive home for me.....

Happy Hanukkah, Jill !!!

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I'll be formally introducing Amy later, but she also celebrated Hanukkah, as a wife of a Jewish man who has found Yeshua. She has blogged what Hanukkah means to her family (and many other excellent posts as well...)
If you have a moment, you might want to drop by and wish them Happy Hanukkah as well.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

I'll be formally introducing Amy later, but she also celebrated Hanukkah, as a wife of a Jewish man who has found Yeshua. She has blogged what Hanukkah means to her family (and many other excellent posts as well...)
If you have a moment, you might want to drop by and wish them Happy Hanukkah as well.

A Lady said...

meowzie wanted to know if you had any catnip flavored chocolate coins or mousie shaped dreidles. Just curious.
I enjoyed dinner too! Just as filling and none of the calories! I wish I was there, but vicariously works well too.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

That was just delicious! Thank you so much for the invitation. Love that sour cream on my latkes!

I must go find that CD! Love the Middle Eastern flavor of the music.

Lovella ♥ said...

I am so embarrassed, I'm so dreadfully late. Did you say turn left? I turned right and headed down the freeway to you know who's house.
Umm, they look awfully good, did you save me some? Remember how I saved you a cabbage roll?
I've been doing a lot of celebratory eating. I was thinking it would have been kind of fun to weigh myself every month during the pregnancies. Those girls didn't gain much more than me.