People like to compare and contrast.
We all do it. With co-workers, siblings, ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and of course, with other bloggers.
This year, Hanukkah and Christmas are overlapping so I thought I’d write up a showdown to see which holiday is more fun:
(Note: please submit your questions about Hanukkah here so I can answer them in a post later this week)
I’m gonna give it to my people on this one. Aside from the lack of bacon, there’s nothing a Hanukkah meal lacks. The typical fare: crunchy on the outside, soft and steamy on the inside latkes with heaping dollops of sour cream/applesauce or other creative toppings of choice; jelly-filled donuts cheese and blueberry blintzes (heck–throw some powdered sugar on ‘em ’cause it’s a holiday!); some tender, savory brisket; and wine. Every Jewish holiday has wine. Its in the our Bible (yes, really). Christmas? rubbery ham, a pie made of mincemeat (what the hell is mincemeat, anyhow?), plum pudding (again I ask, what the hell is in that?), fruitcake (aka, doorstop), and the same stuff you just ate on November 24.
Ok, Christmas does have it’s fair share of ear bleeding songs (especially when they blast them at he mall), but some are really beautiful (White Christmas), even charming and uplifting. Go listen to “Jingle Bell Rock.” Jingle bell time is a swell time! How could you possibly be sad? Ok, now go listen to that goofy, obnoxious turd “I Have a Little Dreidel.” What a sick fucking joke. “Then dreidel I shall play”? And Adam Sandler’s song is so tired by now. Lets call it what it is: a list of famous Jewish people.
Gentiles envy Jews for our “eight days of presents,” as if we score eight times as much booty, but in reality we simply ration them over the course of a week.
Actually, “gifts” on Hanukkah is something that they started doing because of Christmas. Religious Jews don’t do gifts at all. But for those that do gifts,they tend to go like this: Day One and Day Two are big scores, but you’re getting useless junk by Day Five. Christmas is way better about this. You wake up first thing in the morning—no waiting until sunset an orgy of presents! Look at all these wonderful goddamned things! All for me! All at once! All right now!
Winner: Toss Up
Sure, lighting all those candles on Hanukkah is really beautiful, but Christmas is certainly more “colorful” and “spirited”.
Plus, twinkly lights and scratchy argyle sweaters are kinda cool. However, pine needles are a bitch to clean up. In fact, all my non-Jew friends spend most of January cleaning up the mess Christmas left behind. Oh, and with all he candles around on Hanukkah, everyone needs to make sure they have the fire department on speed dial.
So yea, all in all, both holidays have good and bad decor attributes. Deadlocked.
See? In the end we learn no Holiday is perfect.
Just like our bodies.
Which aspect of the holiday you celebrate do you like/dislike? What do you like/dislike about the holiday you don’t celebrate?
So since Hanukkah won the food round, I’m bringing you a version of latkes. This isn’t the traditional latke recipe Jewish bubbies tend to make, but its still way more delicious that fruitcake. Its a scaled down recipe too, so double or triple it if you want to make it for a party.
(makes about 10 smallish latkes)
- 1 apple, peeled cored and grated (I used honey crisp)
- 1 medium sweet potato, grated (note: I used a REAL sweet potato, the kind thats not orange)
- 1/2 medium red onion, grated
- 1 egg beaten
- 1/4 cup flour of choice (I actually used a multigrain pancake mix)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- das of numeg
- vegetable oil or oil spray for the pan (But I strongly suggest you fry them, for the love of god!)
- Greek yougurt, honey, and walnuts as “garnish”
In a bowl, stir together potatoes, onion, apple, egg, salt, and spices. Gradually add the pancake mix/flour and stir to combine.
Heat oil in a deep skillet over moderate high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 or 5, spoon a large spoonful of the mixture into the oil and lightly flatten. Reduce heat slightly and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer latkes with spatula to a plate layered with paper towels. Once they sit for a moment or two and drain, I transfer them to a cookie sheet. If I’m not serving them immediately, I warm them for a few minutes in the oven before I serve them.
Top with garnish and go sing some Christmas songs.