It’s Hannukkah, the Jewish celebration of light and oil. It’s the time of year when fried food is very acceptable especially with potatoes, donuts and, in our case, chicken as well. I may have written about our home traditions on this first night of the holiday, but I’ll refresh with the latest crusade-maybe not a good use of the word in this holiday with our culture…but anyway, the hunt…have to have the correct wardrobe!
Let’s start with the the background. Mr. HP doesn’t like latkes (aka: potato pancakes), maybe just mine, ’cause when we’re at the synagogue Hannukkah celebration, he has no problem. Hmmm. When our kids were younger, I figured a few things out and started our holiday with fried chicken, fries and donuts. Traditionally, or modern are the sufganiyot (jelly donuts or jelly filled bismarks if you’re from western Wisconsin). Now I’m not a fan of them, but I’d buy a few and a lot of others I was a fan of. And YEP! I would always ask…”do you fry them?” Simple enough question but a whole lot of skeptical and quizzical looks. The answer was often an “of course” or a big hesitation and a “no, we don’t make them, we get them frozen, bake them off and decorate them.” That’s fine any other time of year but not this time or holiday. Yes, I am picky. Eventually, I started making my own apple cider donuts from cider made from our own apples-from our trees and oh yes! definitely fried. Not a great fan of doing that with windows closed even though the fan works well, but they’re really good.
I digress. Nearby there was a great place that fried all sorts of things and their chicken is wonderful. It’s broasted which started, so I read, in Wisconsin supper clubs. The chicken tastes fried but is actually steam fried, in a huge pressure cooker. So that was our tradition. No latkes-fries instead. All were happy. I love a happy family.
We moved to the city, and you’d think things would be easier to carry on the tradition. HA HA HA. Today I went to the supermarket where I was informed of the frozen then baked donuts that are good, but no thanks, not today. I went to our local Dunkin’ Donuts. The answer was that they don’t know where they get their donuts, some bakery but they don’t make them in-house anymore! Where the heck is a Tim Horton’s when you want them? Yeah yeah once again the northern neighbors-aka Canada. Very sad. Finally I went to a tiny, hot spot that does sell out quickly and has weird flavors and a bit on the pricey side but I was getting sad. So off to them I went and YES!! thumbs up they fry. “It’s the only way I make donuts” so said the owner. I got simple donut “rings.” Didn’t care the cost, got great service and gave a tip. I am a tired but happy camper.
Who knew as we count down to the New Year, there are more things added to what made this year crummy? Next year I may think again about frying in the winter! And because Himself was doing something that took exertion and a whole lot of groaning, he thought he should test one of the donut rings-lemon/poppy seed and pronounced them “very good!” Happy Hannukkah!!