Monday, November 29, 2010

Planning A Last Minute Chanukah Party

Happy (almost) Chanukah! This year I've committed myself to lighting the candles every single night - something I haven't done in years. Even though lighting the candles only takes a few moments, the hustle and bustle of day to day life make it easy to skip a night here and there. So this year I've been proactive -- I've rescheduled meetings, informed my professors that I won't be able to make my evening classes, and asked Neill to shift around his schedule as well. It feels good to make time for celebrating the holiday together. 

Unfortunately, with Chanukah coming so close to Thanksgiving this year I've barely had any time to prepare! But, I'm determined to have my parents over one night so we can all celebrate together. Thankfully, we already have a menorah and candles so the only thing I need to take care of is the menu.

My aunt and me frying latkes together
 I've decided to make two kinds of latkes - potato and zucchini (my personal favorite). To make the latkes feel extra special (and taste extra delicious!) we'll have a "toppings bar" of sour cream, applesauce, cavier, and creme fraiche. I'd also like to make noodle kugle and a simple roasted veggie. And now here is where things get sinfully easy, we'll be taking some help from the grocery store and serving a gussied up pre-made rotisserie chicken.  Since latkes, the real star of the show, require a fair amount of "hands on" time I figured I'd give myself a break with the chicken. Fortunately, the traditional Chanukah dessert is also easy - jelly donuts! 

Neill forming the latke

latkes frying up
In case there are any other MOT (members of the tribe) out there who are planning a last-minute Chanukah meal, here is a comprehensive shopping guide for the menu above. The ingredients are based off of recipes you can find here, but there are a ton of recipes online and they all call for basically the same things.  Also, if you are missing the basics you'll need to pick up a menorah, candles, and a dreidel.

Happy Chanukah!

You need . . . .
Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 lemon
10 large eggs
3 small onions
3 large baking potatoes (each should be about 1 pound)
1 pound of zucchini
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 pound wide egg noodles
2 cups sugar
2 pounds full-fat cottage cheese (large curd)
2 sticks of butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
Salt to taste
Sour cream
1/2 pint of creme friache
Cavier (whatever is in your budget - I'll probably go with salmon roe)
2 rotisserie chickens
A few sprigs of fresh herbs for garnish
6 jelly donuts
Fresh vegetables 
Chanukah gelt (chocolate coins)

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