Tonight is the first night of Chanukah, the 8-day Jewish Festival of lights. Chanukah commemorates the victory of a small band of Jews called Maccabees over the pagan Syrian-Greeks who ruled over Israel. After regaining control of their temple, the Jews went inside to find it dirty and destroyed so the began to to clean it and rededicate it to G-d (in Hebrew, Chanukah means to dedicate). In the Temple, there was an eternal flame that had to stay lit all the time. But when the Jews came into the Temple to light the flame, there was only enough oil to keep it burning for one day. After they lit it, however, a second miracle occurred — the lamp remained lit for eight days until the new oil arrived. This is how Hanukkah became known as the "Festival of Lights." To commemorate this miracle, during Hanukkah Jews light the menorah. We light one candle each night of Hanukkah and give thanks for the miracle of the oil. And we also eat lots of stuff fried in oil.
One of my favorite things to eat are little fried donuts called Sufganyiot. They're yummy to eat but can be tricky to make. I found an easy recipe that's great to do with kids.
- One roll of store-bought biscuit dough
- Canola oil for frying
- A small bowl of sugar, white or powdered
- About 1/2 cup of any red jam
- Let dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes so that it's easy to roll out.
- On a floured surface, roll out dough until it's 1/2-inch thick. Cut out 2 1/2- or 3-inch circles.
- Fill a pot with 2 inches of oil and heat it to 360-375 degrees so it's nice and hot.
- Fry the dough until each side is a deep brown. test one to make sure they're not doughy in the middle.
- Transfer donuts to a paper towel, pat off any excess grease, and then coat with sugar.
- Fill with jam using a squeeze bottle. If the jam is being difficult, warm it for 30 seconds in the microwave.
That's it. Eat up and Happy Chanukah!