Reading, for me, is entertainment and an escape from the real world. But it can also inform and stretch the boundaries of the life I live.
Task: Make a traditional Hanukkah food like doughnuts or potato latkes. Post a picture, or tell us how they turned out!
This festive task was truly a challenge for me, as I am wholly unfamiliar with Jewish traditions and have minimal competency as a cook. So I just searched the Food Network for Hanukkah recipes and skimmed for one that seemed within my limited abilities. I settled on Ina Garten’s Challah French Toast, because I can make French toast, and the recipe didn’t require that I actually make the bread itself.
Challah is not easily available for purchase in my neighborhood, but I found it at Central Market, whose bakery seems to have every conceivable kind of bread. As I don’t know anyone who is Jewish to ask about it, I read about the religious significance of challah online, and found out that it’s not specific to Hanukkah, but is a part of weekly Sabbath meals as well as holiday traditions. Although maybe for families like mine, who really only observe religious traditions on holidays, it’s primarily a holiday food?
So for the cooking part: It was easy! I substituted clementine zest for orange zest, because I had a big bag of them in the fridge, and only made enough for a single serving, but was really pleased with the result. Plus, delicious and filling. Challah is a dense and sturdy bread that really soaked up the egg mixture and formed a great base for the toast. Most french toast recipes are gaggingly sweet, but this was just sweet enough to be pleasing. Highly recommend.
I didn’t plan ahead enough to have any kind of garnish to improve the presentation, but I think mine looks just as good as Ina’s.