December 11, 2009 |
Your home, no matter how small or shared its space, is your refuge, your shelter from storms, emotional or physical, that may be raging elsewhere. And the most comforting home is one that reflects your values. This month, whether you set up an evergreen topped with a shining star or a menorah with tapered candles, you are doing far more than decorating. Tonight marks the start of Hanukkah, the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. At sundown, when at least three stars can be counted in the night sky, the first Hanukkah candle is lit along with a shamash, or helper candle used to light and stand guard over the rest.
November 26, 2009
Tuesday, Dec. 1 Cakebread wine dinner , featuring a five-course menu that includes a fresh oyster trio, butter-poached lobster, pheasant coq au vin, lamb Wellington, and fig and raisin bread pudding, all paired with wines from Cakebread Cellars. $115 plus tax and gratuity. 6:30 p.m. at Caffe Aldo Lamberti, 2011 Marlton Pike (Route 70) West, www.caffelamberti.com . For reservations, call 856-663-1747. Plan Now Dec. 3-4: Book signing by the Food Network's Duff Goldman , who will sign copies of his new book, Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes at four Kitchen Kapers locations over two days.
September 17, 2009 |
TAMI LEVIN MULLER believes that to be a Jewish woman is to know how to entertain and prepare food for her family and friends. "Cooking is therapy. It's a means of giving, of getting people together and enjoying their company," said Muller, who lives in Coral Springs, Fla. And when holidays roll around, she proves herself most capable whether it's Passover, Hanukkah, the High Holy Days or Shavuot. This Rosh Hashana, which is observed beginning at sundown tomorrow, the Israeli-born hostess will entertain 18 people.
December 25, 2008 |
I've come to believe that God has a twisted sense of humor. A few months ago, the food editor and I were discussing my Hanukkah food column. I (loudly) proclaimed that I wanted to write about so-called "healthy" Hanukkah fare - and what bullhonky that is. "Baked latkes or latkes with Pam spray? Pshaw!" I scoffed. "We're celebrating the miracle of the oil, not the miracle of Pam. " Hanukkah, which began Sunday night and continues through Dec. 28, commemorates the restoration of the temple after the Maccabees defeated the Greek army.
December 21, 2008 |
As a little boy in Czechoslovakia, Emil Paul got pennies - gelt - for Hanukkah. Growing up in Romania, Lili Goldener got gifts of sleds and scarves and coats each day of the holiday. And for her "crime" of being Jewish, the Nazis sent Goldener to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. They sent Paul to the Mauthausen labor camp in Austria. Their parents and 10 of their 18 siblings perished in Nazi camps. But Emil and Lili survived, and with them their faith traditions endure.
December 19, 2008 |
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, it's not just made of clay. Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel. . . . Wait, there's no rhyme that describes the 127 dreidels - made of all types of materials, in all manner of styles - that decorate collector Morton "Mickey" Langsfeld's Abington Township home. It's a fitting assemblage of traditional toys played with during Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, for a house that's filled with light. And where there is light, there often is joy. "Dreidels just always brought happy thoughts to me. They send me across my childhood to my present," says Langsfeld, 67, a retired Center City dentist.
December 18, 2008 |
There's a simple rhyme that Jewish children chant on Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, which starts Sunday night and continues through Dec. 28: Yes, latke is Yiddish for potato pancake. But why are latkes a treat on Hanukkah - why not gefilte fish or matzo ball soup? Because Hanukkah commemorates the time when a one-day supply of oil in the Temple lamp lasted for a full eight days. Thereafter, Jews everywhere celebrated by making treats fried in oil, such as doughnuts and latkes.
December 9, 2008 |
At holiday time, as in the rest of the year, religion is a partisan matter and beauty in the eye of the beholder. But almost no matter what your emotional need, Peter Nero's got you covered. For his two-hour-plus holiday show with the Philly Pops that opened Friday night, the conductor-pianist curates a holiday experience that, in an era that prefers sharply defining religious and political differences, still animates the value of a common experience. Nero will help you dream of a white Christmas, starting the tune at the keyboard with a Twilight Zone mysteriousness that melts away into his warm, expansive pianism.
December 31, 2007
Bill Bonvie's Dec. 24 commentary, "Christmas: The whole schmear," about being Jewish and celebrating Christmas, brought strong reactions from readers. Here is what four people had to say: Bill Bonvie wrote that choosing to view Christmas as a holy day should be purely a matter of individual choice, and thus, celebrating Christmas is an option for Jews. I suggest that most Christian clergy would disagree. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, who is viewed by Christians as the Son of God and the Messiah.
December 21, 2006 |
At holiday time every year, the media twinkle with sweet little Christmas stories. This is a sweet little Hanukkah story. It's about a book that wouldn't die. Despite its American Jewish author's inconvenient residence in Taiwan. Despite being out of print for more than 20 years. It lives because a certain publisher never knew his grandparents. And because as gimmicks go, this book boasts a beauty - call it creative payback for narrative elements that Christianity once lifted from Judaism.