Sunday, December 9, 2012

for love of the latkes

There's no such thing as a "Chanukah bush." And yet, one is sitting in my window sill, known by it's other name as a "Christmas tree." Being the liberal Jewish girl that I am, every time I catch a glimpse of that Christmas tree in my window, I get a frisson of bemusement.  My A values verdancy and crispness come the cold snap, and so, there's a decorated European cyprus (threatening on its cute packaging to grow to 15 feet if lovingly cared for) lolling in the window. And right next to that tree are blue and gold stars, shimmering in the light of several candles, illuminating the darkness of the cold, short days.

That's how many of our holidays are, a jumble of traditions and ideas, a loose interpretation of the religious underpinnings to arrive at a moral, ethical, peaceful co-existence, with an examination of the cultural implications thrown in for good measure.  And that's how I arrived at Fried Food Night.

Fried Food Night is exactly what it sounds like - an evening of fried, crispy, bad-for-you-but-oh-so-good delicacies.  This year, the menu includes my world famous latkes (which are heavily modeled/stolen from my dad's out-of-this-world latke special), fried dumplings and egg rolls, fried donuts, fried cookies, and then wine to offset the oil and crispiness.

It started as a way to honor Chanukah, and then, in the way of the best celebrations, transformed itself into a multicultural hodgepodge of holidays and friends and tradition. We gather together to eat fried food in a semblance of remembrance of eight days of oil, but also to renew friendships, and unify our disparate tribe around the table.

a new tradition: sweet potato-apple latkes

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