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Kosher Comfort Food for Hanukkah

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Could you imagine a major faith celebration without food?  At sundown before this first day of Hanukkah, observers of the Jewish faith sit down for a meal that might include popular latkes or potato cakes, brisket, and sufganiyot (SOOF-gan-eh-YOTE) or jelly donuts.  The eight-day festival of lights and religious freedom will culminate with feasts at synagogues and homes around the world.

The staff and volunteers at Heska Amuna Synagogue graciously let me peek inside their kosher kitchen where they prepared special foods to save for Hanukkah gatherings.  The latke sizzling in oil reminded me less of my mother’s mashed potato cakes than Southern-style hash browns.  Latkes are prepared with a mild blend of spices, often with a little savory onion.

Children at the synagogue had used lightly colored egg washes to paint sugar cookies that were baked and saved for dessert.  This article at the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism offers some fresh variations on traditional Hanukkah recipes.

Savory experiences with food help us relive sacred traditions while bonding with families and neighbors. No matter what your faith, latkes can be tasty comfort food.  A growing movement of citizens believes the quality and accessibility of the food itself matters to our well-being and is even one of our human rights.

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