Aloha Friday: Cleaning, Cleaning and Some More Cleaning

This Monday night begins the Jewish holiday of Passover.  During this time, there are many dietary restrictions.  To adhere to these, I need to clean our kitchen (to prevent any “cross-contamination” between Passover foods and non-Passover foods).  This means I have a lot of cleaning ahead of me this weekend.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: Do you do any spring cleaning?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #83

Aloha Friday: Holiday Foods

It’s sometimes been said that the Jewish holidays revolve around food (or the lack thereof).  We eat apples and honey on Rosh Hashana, fast on Yom Kippur and don’t eat bread on Passover.  Chanukah is no different.  Since, on Chanukah we celebrate one day’s worth of oil lasting eight days, the traditional foods involve items fried in oil.  Sure, they might not be the healthiest foods for you, but potato latkes and jelly donuts are quite delicious.  We even have a sort of Christmas day food tradition.  Since they are the only places open, we go to a Chinese restaurant.

My Aloha Friday question for today is: What are your family’s food traditions for this holiday season?

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the McLinky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #66

The Dirty Little Secret About Chanukah

Last night was the first night of Chanukah.  After lighting the candles, we gave the boys their first present: matching Phineas and Ferb shirts.  They were completely and totally… underwhelmed.  JSL kept insisting that we were supposed to give them TOYS!  Apparently, clothes don’t count.

The thing is, though, you really aren’t supposed to give and get presents on Chanukah.  That tradition only formed to appease Jewish kids who were sad seeing their Christian friends getting gift after gift under the Christmas trees.  The real traditional activities involve eating fried foods (potato latkes and jelly donuts), gambling (spinning the dreidel and making bets using coins, M&Ms or peanuts) and giving gelt (money).

Jewish kids shouldn’t despair, though, because there is a gift-giving holiday on the Jewish calendar.  And it’s much better than Christmas.  (No offense to my Christmas celebrating readers.)  Purim.  First of all, you’re supposed to give and get presents.  Secondly, you get dressed in costume (like Halloween).  Lastly, you get drunk.1  Yes, you read that right.  It’s considered a good thing if you get so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between “blessed is Mordechai” and “cursed is Haman.”2

1 The reason you’re supposed to get drunk is that wine is equated with joy in the Jewish religion.  Purim was to be a day when the Jewish people were slaughtered but they were saved.  Since we’re so happy that we weren’t all killed, we celebrate.  To paraphrase Rabbi Tuckman from Robin Hood: Men in Tights, we celebrate until we get vashnigyered.

2 For those who don’t know the Purim story, Haman is the guy who wanted to kill all the Jews and Mordechai was instrumental in Haman’s downfall.

Happy Chanukah To Everyone But Yahoo!

This time of year, I get used to people saying “Merry Christmas” and just assuming that everyone celebrates that particular holiday.  I also get used to the Chanukah aisle being an afterthought in many stores while Christmas takes over practically the rest of the store from before Halloween until New Year’s Day.  Still, I was not prepared when I signed into Yahoo Mail and saw this:


P1010822According to Yahoo, there are no events from Wednesday, December 1st through Friday December 24th.  Nothing of note happening there.  Of course, the 25th is Christmas and the 26th is when Kwanzaa starts.  Do you see something missing?  Something which just began tonight?  Yes, Yahoo has completely omitted Chanukah!

I’m not expecting a full listing of all the days.  I wouldn’t even raise a fuss if they listed Chanukah as starting tomorrow.  But to leave it out completely?  To act as though Chanukah doesn’t exist?  Not cool, Yahoo!  Not cool.  No gelt for you!

To everyone else: If you celebrate Chanukah, then have a happy and a healthy Chanukah.  If you don’t, feel free to eat the traditional Chanukah foods anyway: Potato Latkes and Jelly Donuts.  And remember, gambling is a big Chanukah tradition.  (Spinning the dreidel for coins, M&M’s or peanuts.)  Gambling and eating fried foods?  Now *that’s* a holiday!

Cooking With TechyDad: Matzoh Brie

During Passover, we eat a lot of matzoh. How much? Well, we had 15 pounds of it before Passover started and ended with just under 9 pounds. That’s 6 pounds of matzoh over 8 days for 4 people. That’s an ounce of matzoh, on average, every single meal. It might not seem like a lot, but it adds up. The challenge becomes how to avoid matzoh (difficult when it’s the only grain you’re allowed) or how to turn an ordinary slice of matzoh into something other than a flat, near-flavorless cracker. One of the classic dishes you can make with matzoh is matzoh brie, or matzoh pancakes. » Read more

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