Sasha, Ellen, Denny and Ken Bloom
I have fond memories of family Chanukah parties. We always celebrated with my Dad's side of the family. My Aunt Betty and Uncle Hi hosted the party. After lighting the menorah and saying the prayer, Uncle Hi would call out our names and pass out our presents for each round of gifts while we sat on the carpet in front of the menorah. Then he'd yell, "1,2,3 GO! Open your gifts!" With a wild frenzy, we'd all rip the paper and ribbons off our little gifts. Once we had settled down, he'd pass out the next round of gifts and the frenzy would start all over again. We'd usually receive around 5 or 6 small presents, usually stationery, small toys, trinkets. Grandpa and Grandma Bloom would give each of us a silver dollar....Chanukah gelt. Sometimes, we'd play the dreidle game, more often we'd just run around and terrorize each other!
My Aunt Betty and Uncle Hi always prepared a great dinner. Usually, we'd start with chopped herring, chopped liver and rye bread and other appetizers. The main course was roast chicken, brisket, vegies, various salads and jello molds. The potato pancakes / latkes, served with applesauce and sour cream were the highlight of the meal. We called Aunt Betty's latkes, "Kentucky Fried Latkes." She's the only cook I know that would deep fry her potato pancakes. They were fantastic! Betty's son, my cousin Sasha, tells me that he still uses his Mom's receipe. Yummmm...I can taste the crunchy goodness right now!
Top Row: Barbara, Ellen, Denny, Sasha, Ken, Amie
Bottom Row: Barry, Stacey, Carol, Greg and Cory
I was fortunate to have grown up with all of my cousins in the Los Angeles area. We're scattered all over the country now. My cousin, Barbara lives in New York, Barry, Carol and Stacey live in Northern California and my brother lives in North Carolina. My cousins, Denny and Greg have passed on. As I light the candle for the first night of Chanukah at sundown I will think of all of them and our Chanukah celebrations during our youth. Thanks to Ethel, Lawrence, Betty, Hi, Roz, George, Mort, Frances, Jackie and Gersh for giving us all such wonderful memories.
Labels: At Home, family, Food, Los Angeles, Vintage Photos