My knitting continues in a scarfcentric drone, meaning I’ve made another one, but even I am sick of blogging about scarves. Aw, I’m lying. In truth, today the light is not good enough to capture the FRESH WONDER of my latest scarf tribute. I will hold back nothing. You shall see my new scarf and rejoice, ‘She scarfs yet!’
Meanwhile, we have been celebrating Hanukkah these past three nights, mostly with our friend Orna and family. We had the first night at Orna’s sister Aliza’s, in a HanukkahSurround environment so rich and dense that it would make my mom (mayor of Lill’s Fabulous ChristmastownTM) salute. Last night, when we arrived at Orna’s and I said, ‘Hi, it’s us again, here for another party,’ she said, ‘It’s the same party. It moves around but it keeps going for 8 days.’ Which is true. Orna takes breaks from having people over so she can make more food for people to come over again, or she goes someplace else to make food there.
What Is Hanukkah: Let’s Google Shall We
From Judaism 101. (The URL– ‘Jew FAQ’–cracks me up.)
From Wikipedia, which we know is never wrong about anything.
From Adam Sandler. If you don’t want to sing it yourself (despite the helpful notation of guitar chords), go ahead and watch it:
My work is done here. Yet I persist. Now come the photos of our Hanukkah Nights 1 and 3. (I’m cutting you a break because I didn’t take any photos on Night 2.)
First Night: World Tour of Menorahs
Aliza has a lot of menorahs. These are just a few.
I was so relieved to see the Menorah lineup at Aliza’s. Over the years, I have collected quite a few menorahs. I like to light them all up in a blaze of glory. Some of them are person-specific menorahs (Carrie’s, Joseph’s, mine, Hubby’s), and others joined the parade en route (the Wedding Present Menorah, the Portable, the Modular, the This One Is So Cool, the Ugly One That Needs Really Big Candles and Looks Like It Belongs in a Bank Lobby, the One That Looks Like It’s From The 1400s But Actually I Got It At Costco). As a longtime student of Judaism: How It’s Done, I had noticed that some families seemed to be getting by with just one or two menorahs. I started to fret that I was Christmassing up Hanukkah, engaging in what is called (affectionately I hope), goyishe nonsense. But Aliza is the real deal, and I will henceforth refer to her all who mock the Lutheran Girl Who Is Doing Her Best.
Here we have The Frying. Stage One: The Latkes. Latkes are mysterious. It is hard to get them to stick together. (See above, Lutheran Girl Doing Her Best.) It it is easy to be tempted by Tater Tots, which stick together so wonderfully on their own, seeing as how they’re frozen. Aliza and Orna will have none of this nonsense.
(From The Sayings of Orna, Book 1.)
The Frying: Stage Two: Jelly Donuts. It is traditional to allow children to participate in the highly dangerous Frying of the Donuts. Hey–why do you think they are called small fry? If we want to preserve the Way of Frying unto future generations, we must teach the young.
Did you think I was kidding about Aliza being the Hanukkah Queen? Would you be convinced if I told you that she has special tools to inject jelly into jelly donuts?
This was the highlight of the evening for the young. Forget the songs. Forget the presents. They were CRAZY to get a turn with the Jelly Injector.
But don’t forget to light the candles.
Last night was a subdued affair. No Jelly Injecting. A reduction in the menorah count, but higher candle power (you light an additional candle each night). Raucous singing and dedicated eating and drinking. Very dedicated, considering it was a School Night.
So that was my weekend. That, and the scarf-knitting.
The Return of the Light
Didja see Harlot is at it again, cheerleading the knit-blog world on to ever greater heights of philanthropy? My humble prediction: we are going to knock the chaussettes off Medecins Sans Frontieres. Bill and Melinda: meet Stephanie. Go get ’em, knitters! Light the lights (on the tote board)!
Edited to add: P.S. I do apologize for the tempting photos of fried foods. For those craving a latke, or a potato pancake, you probably cannot beat this recipe from the excellent Joan Nathan.