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November 22, 2013     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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November 22, 2013

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PAGE 16A By Dasee Berkowitz NEWYORK (JTA)--Some folks are taking the rare con- fluence this year of Thanks- giving and Chanukah to heart, renaming it Thanks- givukkah, redesigning their menus for the occasion (latkes topped with cran- berry relish anyone?) and refashioning ritual objects (a turkey-shaped hanukkiyah called the Menurkey is gain- ing traction on Kickstarter). Others are taking it one step deeper, celebrating how the combined holidays enable us to fully appreci- ate being both Jewish and American. It's a perfect symbiosis: As we freely cel- ebrate Chanukah this year, we recognize that we directly benefit from the freedoms that were at the core of what brought the Puritans and Pilgrims to settle a new land. But Jewish tradition doesn't love conflating holidays. In fact, there's a concept--"ein mearvin simcha b'simcha"--that we shouldn't mix one happy occasion with another. No weddings during Sukkot or Passover, or any Jewish holiday for that matter. At first glance it seems like a downer. Shouldn't dou- bling up on our celebration just enhance our enjoyment and be a net gain? For those of us with birth- days on Rosh Hashanah or HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, NOVEMBER 22, 2013 i At Thanksgivukkah, celebrate uniqueness of the separate holidays New Year's Day, we know my son asking me to stand from the realm of the ordi- that conflating celebrations "still as a statue" as hetries nary into the realm of the doesn't really work--one to getmyattentionorby my sacred. They enable us to celebration usually gets lost daughter saying "Ima, just slow down and pay attention into the other. Keeping cel- listen to me." to the experiences that are ebrations separate enables us Pick a night of Chanukah unfolding before us. to be fully present for each. and give your child a period While each family may So instead of conflating ofyour undivided attention, have its own rituals on Chanukah and Thanksgiv- Friends and significant Thanksgiving--the foot- ing, let's look at it another others can also give each ball game or carving of the way: How can the unique other the gift of an evening turkey--many of us feel aspects of each holiday help unplugged. Go outwithyour self-conscious about rituals us more fully celebrate the friends or spouses unmedi- that enter the sphere of the other? ated bY a screen of any kind. sacred, like inviting guests to Thanksgiving teaches For your children, help share what they are grateful us to give thanks for the them cultivate a sense of for or chanting a blessing to harvest and for all we have gratitude and the plenty in thankGodforthefoodweare without the need to acquire their own lives. On one night about to eat. It amazes me and the coming together of What is particular about more. How can that concept of Chanukah, ask your kids how much time, effort and the Plymouth colonists and your family that you would inform our celebration of to recycle some of their own money is put into preparing theWampanoagIndiansfora likeyour kids to learn about Chanukah, a holiday that toys and gift them to others, a lavish Thanksgiving meal, fallharvest feast, Chanukah this Thanksgiving? Stories has become overrun with On another night, they can and the invited guests just celebrates what sets us apart of resilience or bravery? gift giving that verges on give some money or time to dig in and then complain and makes us different. Others? This Thanksgiving, the excessive? charity, about overeating• Chanukah honors the encourage those gathered Instead of being thankful We don't need more Invite everyone to pause Maccabean revolt to safe- around the table to share the for the plenty that so many things, we need to appreci- before eating and say one guard practices unique to particularlegacytheywould ofusexperience--wemostly ate the people who fill our thing for which they are Jewish people (like Shabbat, like to leave to their children take the mos basic things lives with meaning and the grateful--from the food, the holiday celebration and cir- and grandchildren. for granted, like waking powerwehavetohelpothers, chef or the One who makes cumcision). The strong im- Ein mearvin simcha up in a dry, warm bed each What lessons can Chanu- it all possible. Connect your pulse to develop our unique b'simcha suggests that we morning--we want more, kah provide in our celebra- feelings of gratitude to the and particular identities is shouldn't mix our celebra- and on Chanukah we watch tion of Thanksgiving? company that surrounds an important first stage to tions.Butwhenthecalendar children tear through gifts For starters, it can teach you or for what it means for pass through before coming leaves us no other choice, wondering what else awaits us not to shy away from youtobeanAmericantoday, together with others and let's do so with integrity. them each night of the Fes- ritual.SignificantJewishoc- Make this sharing circle or celebrate multiculturalism. Let each holiday's central tival of Lights. casions are ritualized, from some other activity you cre- We need to know who we values--being thankful Parents can help children lighting the hanukkiyah to ate as a group a ritualized are first beforewe canshare for what we already have, appreciate that morn and recounting the Exodus story part of what you do each that with others. And while celebrating ritual that con- dad's presence in their lives on Passover, to a Shabbat Thanksgiving. I loveThanksgivingbecause nects us to that which is can be present enough by meal replete with blessings Chanukah can also teach it is a holiday celebrated by sacred and rejoicing in otir giving the gift of time to over candles, grape juice Thanksgiving a thing or so many Americans, with differencesminform how their kids at Chanukah. So and wine. The rituals help two about being differ- common foods and customs, We experience both festivals often we are distracted by to connect us to Jewish time ent. Whereas Thanksgiving let's celebrate what makes this fall. everything we must do in and to the drama of Jewish sendsusapowerfulmessage our families different and DaseeBerkowitzisacon- life--I have been shamed by history• They transport us about intergroup relations unique, tributing writer to JTA. UYER aam0nds Daniel 407-831-8544  Development Corporation for Israel Israel Bonds 12600 South Belcher Rood, Suite 101A ISRAELiBONDS,,,,:, Largo, Florida 33773 Reva Pearlstein Monica DiGiovanni Asistant Direcfor Registered Representative 727-539-6445 = 800-622-8017 tamp a@isroelbonds.˘om www.israelbonds,com r  J We are gour source for: • Invitations - Brochures Letterheods • Envek:pes - Business Cords Programs • Rgers Post Cards • Forms Dffa[ Photographg - LabeLs, Direct Mail 407.767.7110 • www. 205 North Street • Longwood, FL 32750 Suzanne McGuire Personal Assistant Errands • Bookkeeping • Transport • Personal Shopping 407-340-0833 Sufganiyot: oil, calories and the Garden of Eden By Mark Mietkiewicz When you think of Chanu- kah, the first food that comes to mind is probably the latke. While the potato pancake certainly has its virtues, its oily cousin, the sufganiya has it own unique pleasures. Today, we troll the web for the jelly-filled, powdered sugar-topped, calorie-laden doughy delight. Israeli folklorist Dov Noy says that sufganiyot go back. Way back. According to an apocryphal Bukharran fable, the first sufganiya "was given to Adam and Eve after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. This sweet doughnut had three characteristics: it was round like the wheel of fortune, it had to be looked at not for its external qualities but for what was inside, and it could not be enjoyed the same way twice." And its name? Sof (end) +gan (garden) + y-a (of God's). Hmmm. Sufganiyot in ex- change for expulsion from the Garden, working by the sweat of your brow and the pain of childbirth? Sounds like a fair trade to me. On the other hand, cook- book author Joan Nathan says the Hebrew word sufganiya comes from the Greek sufgan meaning "puffed and fried." Rabbi Josh Waxman has en- tered the etymological fray. He says sufganiya is related to the Hebrew word for sponge, sfog. Sounds plausible when you think of that ball of dough soaking up all that oil and calories in a deep fryer. Jewish Action magazine says the earliest reference "is found i n the writings of Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef, the father of the Rambam who lived during the twelfth century. Apparently even in his day there were those who scorned the traditional Chanukah treat. "One must not make light of the custom of eating sofganim [fried fritters] on Chanukah. It is a custom of the Kadmonim [the ancient ones[,' he wrote." Or perhaps we have the labour movement to thank for the goodie. According to food writer Gil Marks "in the late 1920s, the Histadrut, the Israeli labor federation, decided to champion the less widespread jelly doughnut as a Chanukah treat rather than levivot (latkes), because latkes were relatively easy and home- made, while sufganiyot were rather difficult for most home cooks, thereby providingwork (preparing, transporting, and selling the doughnuts) for its members." Too difficult for most home cooks? Here are a couple of case studies. In "Baptism by Fryer," Sara Ivry describes her maiden attempt at preparing a batch. Despite the fact that she didn't chill the dough as instructed (her fridge was on the fritz), she used the wrong oil CI bought safflower, think- ing the word sounds an awful lot like sunflower"), and had no oil thermometer, Sara Wikipedia Sufganiyot are a treat at Chanukah. persevered and delivered "two dozen slightly scrawny, knotted pastries, lacking specific cen- ters and radiating absolutely no mouth-watering aroma. They looked nothing like the pristine, fluffy, round delights I picture when I think of sufganiyot." Mirana Levenstein had good reason to refrain from making sufganiyot. "My hair is like a sponge. If there is an aroma anywhere, you can be sure my porous locks will emit that stench long after I have left the space where the smell was produced." Miranda de- cided to throw caution to the wind and embrace her "inner Jewess". The upshot: "Do not be scared to make these. I was, and not just because of smelly hair. Yeast is intimidating, as is a large pot of burning hot oil. But these sweet jammy treats were surprisingly doable and truly delicious." The Jewish-Food Recipes Archives has 2I variations including chocolate, no-yeast and raised potato sufganiyot. Want to kick it up a notch? Then try: • Orange scented • Quince and vanilla • Pumpkin (gluten-flee) • Bread machine • And lest we forget our Ca- nadian neighbors, how about maple-glazed apple cider? Mindful that we are dealing with boiling oil, Epicurious recommends a family-friendly version recipe that divides up the tasks. Kids "sift the flour and mix it with the remain- ing sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg yolks..." while the adults "drop the doughnuts into the hot oil..." After you've ingested one, you'll wind up with 327 calories and 14.8 g of fat (!) if you follow the directions at Butwait.All is not lost. Baile Rochel assuages her guilt by uses whole-wheat flour and brown sugar to create "almost healthy sufganiyot." There are also alternatives that are oven fried and as well as a "no-fry" contender. I do wonder about this caveat about oil-less suf- ganiyot: "They come out not quite looking like donuts-- more like itty bitty rolls, but they taste quite donut-like!" If the calories don't get you, something else may. Here is the tale of one lucky survivor. "Be forewarned--Sufganiyot can be dangerous! I have a small scar on my lip from boiling hot custard shoot- ing out of a fresh sufganiya bought from a street vendor in Jerusalem. For years now that little ridge on my inner lip has been a year-round reminder of the sweetness (and heat) of Chanukah."