I was a woman on a mission: To make a (semi) traditional Hanukkah dinner.
Why? I have studied Judaism and am slowly becoming more convinced the Jews just might be right about a lot of things. I have also forged a friendship with gentleman of the Jewish faith and this has assisted greatly in my quest for my knowledge about Judaism. I wanted to do something fun and unique for me, for the first night of Hanukkah this year, which translated to me cooking Latkes and Matzo Ball Soup.
Let me state that finding some of the necessary ingredients and other traditional Hanukkah “accessories” on the first day of the holiday is almost an all day excursion in Chattanooga. I am quite irritated over the ignorance of sales staff in just about every store and lack of stock in general. For instance, there is only a small two foot wide section in Walmart in the “Mexican and Asian food” aisle, that isn’t well stocked at all (and I checked three stores). The end cap at Target is even more laughable, and its non- existent except for a few blank gift cards at the local K-Mart. I was determined to find a Menorah as I didn’t place an order for one online in enough time, and the only one I could find (besides the toy one at Target) was a dinky electric one at the second Walmart I checked.
I finally shleped all of the necessary ingredients to the kitchen and tied my apron on ready to get to work. Earlier I had studied a few different recipes and had come to the conclusion as I normally do in the kitchen that I was just going to have to play around and go about the “trial and error method“.
After slaving in a hot kitchen for a couple of hours I was rewarded with the words “it smells like my Mother’s kitchen in here.” Needless to say I was beaming, and even more so when my attempts were deemed “spectacular”. Latkes are indeed “magical” as I’ve heard, we had a fantastic dinner and devoured more Latkes than we probably should have. The Matzo Ball soup also turned out “delicious” and better than I had hoped. I understood why Jewish Mothers hover so much in the kitchen, as cooking Jewish cuisine isn’t as easy as one might think. I wished I had a Jewish mother in my Rolodex to call and ask questions and such, but I relied on my own culinary experience and a few different internet sources to create a Hanukkah dinner. From no on no matter what my chosen path I will make Latkes and Matzo Ball Soup at some point in time during the holidays with a bow of respect to my Jewish Heritage.