Almost fourteen years ago, I had the good fortune to settle down with a nice Jewish boy. Isn’t that what every Lutheran girl dreams of?
I spent my early years in Western Washington and Minnesota, surrounded, in large part, by Lutherans. But I finished college on the East Coast where, for the first time, I was able to admire, though from afar, some Jewish men. They were smart, usually wore glasses, and weren’t extravagantly tall (I don’t approve of waste). But I was at a women’s college, so males were thin on the ground and besides, I had a far away (Lutheran, tall) boyfriend.
Six years after college, I had the Mazel Tov to meet and marry my husband. I had in mind a melding of cultures; hand in hand we would skip into our glimmering future, lefse and latkes in hand. But my husband isn’t what you would call devout, or observant, or particularly religiously inclined. However, he lights a mean menorah, belts out an off-key Barukh atah Adonai, and dishes out Hanukkah gifts with an open hand. Also, he thinks my roast chicken is sublime (along with KFC’s and Fred Meyer’s desiccated rotisserie pigeons).
It may seem odd that I am not writing about Thanksgiving, the day that has historically been my favorite holiday (No gift-buying! Cranberry salad!). But I am not cooking this year, and besides, for the first time since 1888, it’s Thanksgivukkah!
A few days ago I had a blistering case of the pre-holiday mashuganas (We are flying to St. Louis and I don’t like the odds: one in every million planes will crash! The yearly round of holiday gatherings requires so much extroversion and uncomfortable hosiery! The Christmas tree carpets my house with needles every year! Get the idea?). I decided to employ the cooking cure. So I trolled for an easy Hanukkah-appropriate recipe and Hine Ma Tov! Apple Latkes!
This recipe comes from world’s sexiest Jew, (Oops, sorry Honey! Make that second sexiest) Nigella Lawson. Her mother was Jewish: a little something I make it my business to know. This simple, delicious, and fattening recipe yielded two generous platefuls of joy. Though it’s fried, some of the apples don’t cook, so it has a fresh-under-the-fried taste. And as with anything that spends time in hot oil, these are best eaten hastily.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah, whether you are Jewish, or just pretending to be for the jokes. Not sure? Check yourself out at jewornotjew.com!
May you be grateful.
May your lanterns burn brightly for eight days and nights.
May your enemies overeat and grow bilious.
P.S. Check out these darlings singing one of my favorite songs: Hine Ma Tov.