Whether from the sun, a candle, or a string of bulbs, light has a way of brightening up the darker days – providing that soft glow – especially as we approach the shortest day of the year tomorrow.
I hung a string of lights in our dining room. I think I may leave them there year long, or at least three seasons out of the year. There is just something about them that makes our house more of a home.
Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. We lit our candles, sang some songs and played “I Have a Little Dreidel” on the piano.
I made latkes.
I’ve been making latkes once a year for the past several years. Before I start to make them, I wonder why I don’t make them more often. Then, I make them and remember why (they aren’t hard to make, but it’s a bigger project than I’m usually willing to take on).
I made a vegan version of latkes this year from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas – a very clever recipe that is held together by oatmeal. And it worked so well! I chose to fry them in coconut oil – surely not a traditional oil that the Jews would have used, but they tasted great. And, after reading a lot about oils in the past couple weeks, I felt comfortable frying with coconut oil. They were delicious and I had a couple leftovers at lunch, saving a few for Daddy this evening.
Last weekend was productive on the kitchen front. Marc made from scratch pizza (with leftover sauce!) and I made 5 and 1/2 quarts of vegetable stock from kitchen scraps I had been saving up in my freezer. I used the homemade vegetable stock recipe from Feeding the Whole Family as a loose guide.
After our pizza dinner, the kids and I sang some Christmas carols around the streets of our neighborhood. This is one of the many reasons we love where we live – special community activities, meaningful memories…that we will all remember. Next on our list is delivering a few gifts to the seniors on our street.
It’s been a really busy week for us, with last-minute decorating, shopping, baking. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Happy Hanukkah! May you light your lights with joy and peace.