One of my friends was complaining about her religion yesterday, so I told her to become Jewish, the food is great! And thinking about it, with the holidays coming up, I do enjoy the food. And the celebration. And the being with family.
I grew up the youngest, with the brother closest in age to me 6.5 years older. So holidays were important, because my brothers would be home, and my Mom cooked, and is was happy. By junior high all my brothers were out of the house most of the time, so it was like being an only child.
I remember if Chanukah didn’t fall close to Christmas we’d celebrate it late, so my brothers could be home. My Mom would cook a big dinner, and we’d have yummy potato latkes with sour cream. The sour cream is important, because they can be served with sour cream or with applesauce, and I’m sorry, but applesauce is wrong, and I won’t offer it in my house. We’d light the menorah, enjoy dinner, and open gifts. I liked it because we were all together, and eating good food.
Husband has learned to make amazing homemade latkes, wanting nothing to do with the box mix stuff I grew up on. And I make a great cake shaped like a dreidle. Or cookies in the shape of a dreidles with blue frosting. We eat the heck out of the latkes. We introduced my in-laws to latkes a few years ago, and they loved them too. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t, because what’s not to like about fried potatoes with sour cream?
I also love Passover food, but done the right way. We once had a Passover with a whole lot of prunes in the food. I have no idea what was going on there, but me, Husband and the girls did not like it. Passover food does require not using leavened bread, but there are so many delicious recipes out there that doesn’t matter. We didn’t go to a Seder last year, and I missed the fun of being with others, doing the whole Seder story, and eating all of the food.
I don’t recommend choosing or converting to a religion for the food. But, for me, food is a big part of being Jewish. We eat at all the holidays, and if someone is sick, gets married, has a baby, or passes away food is involved. When I was away at college, and came home for a weekend visit, my Mom always had a noodle kugel waiting for me. It was wonderful. And I’m getting hungry. I wish we had some kugel, or matzo ball soup, or even some kimish bread, which was my Bubbe’s special treat she made me, in the house. But we don’t. So, a PB&J for me. Definitely not on the Jewish food list, but still tasty!