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Hanukkah Treats Two Ways

Mixing heritages makes this writer's holiday all the richer.
Growing up with a Yemenite-Israeli father and an Ashkenazi-Canadian mother, Gila Green knew more about the diversity of Jewish life than many of her Canadian classmates. As an adult she moved to Israel and became a novelist, book editor, and an English as a Foreign Language teacher. Though meant to teach others language skills, she has found that her students teach her more than she teaches them. Her students are from all over the world, Russian, Ethiopia, Tunisia, France, Morocco, Poland, and more. She has developed a Hanukkah tradition, in which students share a family recipe and present it in English. While it is challenging for the students, it has expanded her culinary home life immeasurably. This year in honor of Hanukkah, Gila is sharing one recipe from her Tunisian student and one from her Ashkenazi-Canadian grandparents. Two fabulous different takes on the same holiday.

 

Gila’s Family Latkes

In  my new book, With A Good Eye, my heroine Luna Levi has to go through Hanukkah on her own as her family no longer pays  much attention to holidays now that the kids are no longer little. Luna persists in spite of her family’s lack of involvement and lights the Hanukkah candles alone and craves traditional fried foods. In contrast, latkes were part of Hanukkah in my family growing up, even when we were well into our high school years. For my Bubbe and Zaide, latkes were a team effort. Their kitchen was so small that two people could not fit into it simultaneously, so I have vivid memories of watching their “tag-team” latke making. My grandfather would grate by hand while my grandmother watched him and shouted out pointers from the couch. Then they switched places and roles. Mostly, he was the grater and she was the fryer. All of us were the eaters. So not only eating latkes but watching their interaction during the process was part of the evening.


Recipe

  • Latkes
  • Grate and strain 4 potatoes, add 1 chopped onion, c of chopped parsley, 3 eggs, 1 c flour, tsp salt & tsp pepper, 1 tsp crushed garlic & mix well.
  • Fry 2 minutes on each side & bake on 180 for 5 minutes
  • Veggie patties
  • Grate 3 carrots, 1 sweet potato, 1 zucchini, 1 potato, 1 onion.
  • Strain potato
  • In a bowl add strained potato, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp crushed garlic & mix well
  • Add 3 eggs, 1 c breadcrumbs & mix
  • Fry for 2 minutes on each side & bake 5 minutes or until crispy
  • Serve with tehina, harissa , Greek yogurt and chopped green onions

Hanukkah recipe for Tunisian Fricassee

This dish was first introduced to me years ago by my students at Machon Tal in Jerusalem where I teach English as a Foreign Language. All dedicated teachers learn more from their students than they teach them. I began a tradition of combining our oral presentations with our Chanukah parties. Students had to explain their favorite family recipes in class and make basic “how-to” videos–all in English. Select foods from the videos were placed on our class Chanukah party menus. My students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including Algeria, France, Morocco, Yemen, Moscow, Poland, Ethiopia and of course, Tunisia, so though they had to be cajoled into presenting their favorite foods in English, the tradition became popular. Naturally, after tasting them in class, I would introduce some of these foods and recipes into my own family menus.

Recipe

    • In a bowl mix 500 g flour, tbsp yeast, tbsp sugar, 280 g water, 2 tbsp oil, tbsp arak
    • Knead for 6 minutes, then add tsp salt & knead for another 3 minutes
    • Let rise one hour or until doubles in size
    • Divide dough in 12 balls pinched at both ends & rest each ball on a square of wax paper.
    • Fry each ball in oil with the wax paper.
    • Serve with boiled potato, tuna, cucumber & tomato salad, chopped parsley, hard boiled egg, harissa ( chili pepper paste ) and black olives

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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