Last night at sundown was the official first night of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday lasting eight days. Hanukkah celebrates two miracles: a military victory and a miraculous supply of oil for the Temple. The oil was only supposed to be enough to light a candle for a single night, but instead it burned for a full eight nights.
We light the menorah, a nine-branched candle holder, one for each of the eight nights and an additional candle that is used to light all of the others. One candle is lit on the first night, two on the second and so on until the eighth night. Every night we light the Hanukkah candles and say a prayer according to the meaning of that specific night.
I love the meaning of Hanukkah and what it brings, especially eating latkes, a holiday favorite. Latkes are potato pancakes that are fried and made of grated potato, onion, with some flour, egg and spices. The two most popular dipping sauces are apple sauce and sour cream, both delicious!
We also eat matzo ball soup, another favorite of mine. Matzo ball soup is known to be eaten around Passover but I love it for any holiday, or any time where you need a yummy feel-good soup. Matzo balls are light and fluffy and made out of matzo meal.
Here’s a fun link of different ways to make potato latkes and here’s a traditional matzo ball soup recipe if you are interested in making them. For the soup recipe, most of the time I use the premade matzo ball dry mixture that you just add eggs and oil in – it’s easier and still delicious.
Fun fact: there are three different ways to spell the Festival of Lights holiday: Hanukkah, Chanukah and Hanukah.
Happy holidays to all, no matter which one you celebrate!