Friday, December 30, 2016

Chanukah, Through the Years

We blow out the Shamas (helper) candle every night and only burn it fully on the last night. It's a family tradition.

January 1, 2017 is the last night of Chanukah this season. This is the first time in years that Chanukah and Christmas have collided. I like it better when the holidays are separated by a week or two. In our house, we celebrate both holidays. Having the two at the same time makes menu planning rather confusing.
Chanukah, 1956. Hollywood. L-R: Sasha, Ellen, Denny, Kenny

We always celebrated Chanukah with the Bloom side of my family. In the early years, we would gather at Grandma Ethel's and Grandpa Lawrence's home in Hollywood. Grandma would cook brisket, kasha with varnishkes, latkes with apple sauce and sour cream and some sort of vegetable. I remember Grandma writing the names of each grandchild on the mirror over the sideboard. After lighting the candles on the menorah and reciting the prayer, Grandpa would give us each a shiny silver dollar.
Chanukah, 1958. Ethel Bloom with her grandchildren, Riverside, CA

In later years, we would always gather at the home of Aunt Betty and Uncle Hi. All of the Aunties and Great Aunties would contribute to our traditional dinner. Aunt Betty's "Kentucky-Fried" latkes were legendary!
Deep-fried and delicious potato latkes
Chanukah, 1962. The Bloom Cousins. Beverlywood, CA
This year, I plan to cook our traditional Chanukah dinner AFTER the last night, coinciding with the KnitGrrlz annual holiday party on January 7th. We'll be enjoying brisket, potato latkes with applesauce and sour cream, some sort of healthy green vegetable to counter-act all the salt and high-cholesterol foods, maybe candied carrots, salad and a decadent dessert.
Yum! Brisket of Beef
I wish you all the best at Chanukah and health and happiness in 2017.  May your latkes be light and your brisket be tender! L'Chaim!

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At 4:24 AM PST, Blogger ken bloom said...

A nice walk down Memory Lane! Our New years will be quiet and I doubt I'll make it to see the ball drop. It is nice not to have to work on New Years Eve after all those years of playing gigs on that night. The drive home was always dicey. Enjoy your celebrations and especially those latkes!

At 7:33 AM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks, Ken! We were lucky to have a charmed childhood! Happy New Year to you and Ginny!


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