Monday, December 14, 2020

Open House on the 5th Night

Happy Hanukkah, night 5.

As you've probably noticed, these posts have turned into both Hanukkah and Christmas.

This has been the story of my life, which I've been inspired to honor and revisit.

I think the eight nights of Hanukkah will be enough delving for me though.

I haven't thought about these two holidays this much in years!!

But, in doing so now, I can reflect on family, what I believe in and what I value.



 Look at these latkes ©2012!

Aren't they gorgeous?! 

These were made by my brother in-law. He made the best ones ever!! He'd stand there, at the stove forever, making latke after latke! We'd gush and exclaim appreciation, and then eat every one! I for one could never quite get enough! After he passed, my niece and her husband took over the family celebration latke duties. Thanks to all 3!

I've made latkes with a few of my own additions onions or cilantro, just because I like them like that! One of my favorite stories is how my friend created the Christmas morning tradition of making latkes, mattering not that they are not Jewish! Isn't that the best?!

The world would be a much happier place if we shared traditions with such ease and comfort.

Our song tonight is again, for the children, but I liked reading the stories in her post too.
There were so many versions to choose from, thanks to Google!
This one, like the latke post above included, the stories of family and place.
This one comes with stories from my pre-K teaching days.
We used to make latkes with the children helping to grate the potatoes and then standing guard at the pan of oil (all blocked off with tables too). The classroom smelled so good, like home!
Around this time of year, I always read stories of the Gingerbread Boy.
There were people shaped felt pieces at the flannel board, stencils at the writing table, sponge shapes at the art table. We told this basic story in every way you could...we introduced every related story, be it different food types, ethnicity...everything ran away! lol
Well, of course the latkes ran away too
You can hear the book too here
This year we made frozen latkes from Trader Joe's. Nowhere near the real thing, but we had some in the freezer from last year when I explained to J. how we did it at work with young toddlers (those were cooked in the oven in the center kitchen, so really not the real thing! lol)...and he wanted to buy some!
Whatever works!
Yep, they were nowhere near as good, but work for tonight, especially since we live in the place of the 6 inch kitchen counters! Maybe we'll try fresh next year.
We like ours with applesauce ☺ 

 Here's me and my son (3 months) on his first Christmas.
I love our short, fat little tree and the fact that he was wearing little UGG type shoes, that I saw as fuzzy moccasins, way before UGGs were even a thing. lol
I strung popcorn and cranberries and made a "tree skirt".

Here he is this year, all grown, with a young man of his own. ☺


I hope you've enjoyed visiting!

May you enjoy some latkes, read, sing and of course,

may you hold loved ones close, however that may look.


Photographs by NAE ©2020


Mo Crow said...

(((Nancy))) those latkes look so delicious & what a delight seeing you with your son when he was little and now with a little one of his own!

Marti said...

Combining traditions as well as sharing others, sharing food and stories is such a splendid way to honor who we all are and what matters to each of us. All serve to connect us in caring and meaningful ways.

To see your beautiful self, fat little popcorn chain tree and your boy is such a sweet feeling...flash forward to seeing your boy with his boy and I feel the warmest hug, joy in action!

Love latkes and I make them and serve them with applesauce and sour cream but I've also made "latkes" with grated zucchini as well loaded with green onions and diced bits of green chiles. Learned how to make latkes from my Jewish friend Rhonda; her daughter Melissa was our girls best friend. Rhonda was my cohort in crime, she and I were Room Mothers in Kindergarten. (As an aside, do schools even have Room Mothers anymore? I was a room mother until our girls were in the 6th grade. These days my son-in-law is equally involved in school activities as our daughter and I think that is a very good thing.)

Back to latkes: the year that our girls were in kindergarten, we decided to have a multicultural potluck so that was the first time that I learned to make them. Any parents who could come were invited and our meal was as diverse as the class. Besides latkes we had tamales, adobo, black eyed peas, cornbread, ravioli, Norwegian wreath cookies, German Lebkuchen, Cannolis and I brought Naranjas Carmelizadas, caramelized oranges and Torrone, the nougat candy that is so prevalent in Spain and Italy during Christmas. For a special activity for the children, Rhonda and I made a huge bird pinata filled with tiny trinkets and candy. The bird looked more like a peacock than a peace dove since we used riots of colored paper, yellow, aqua, magenta, lime green, orange, etc. and we both didn't want the kids to rip into it because we felt our creations was a masterpiece!

What I am enjoying so much abouot these open house invitations is that they bring back memories that have been tucked away and in doing so, the holiday seems a little brighter...

Liz A said...

I love latkes (love love love) ... and while Don prefers applesauce, I'm into sour cream on the side

and oh, the picture of you and your baby boy ... and the one with his own baby boy ... how time flies

Shiborigirl said...

i'm loving your open house! Grand memories. I remember making latkes with the very young kids too. preschool outdoors at the park (we were very creative!)I had forgotten all about that until your post here. love the photo of young you son and treetoo!

Nancy said...

Mo~ The latkes weren't really very good, I think I'll stick with fresh or nothing! lol Aren't those two boys the cutest? heehee

Marti~ Wow! You are a treasure trove of stories! How lovely that you girls had such an active group of parents! I think schools would be hard pressed to get so many to volunteer these days. When my daughter was in Kindergarten, a fellow student's mom came to dance. The are Native American. There the children sat in their paper bag/construction paper regalia and eating symbolic foods. I've often wondered what she thought about what the children were being taught. Here he is all grown:
Back then he was a quiet little boy with a famous daddy (Will Sampson). Now he is all over the internet as an artist and Hoop Dancer.
Ha, now you've sent me down memory lane! This sharing of stories is working out pretty good, eh?! Thanks Marti!

Liz~ Yes, I love, love, love them too!! Doesn't time fly?! I'm betting I will be home for almost one does that happen?! Time continues to March On, while we try to live in the moment!

Glennis~ Thank you! Oh that does sound creative! Now, Outdoor Classrooms are all the rage :) There's something about baby pictures that just tugs at the heart, yes?! I'm glad I could inspire your memories here.

Marti said...

Fascinating to learn about Hoop Dancing and it is so fitting here because after doing a little research, (I've attended a few Native American dances, one in Washington and a few here in New Mexico but did not know about hoop dancing), I've learned that the hoops are used to story tell as well as play an important healing aspect.

"Hoop dancing is a form of storytelling through dance. An Indigenous hoop dancer uses hoops to create shapes as they move to music. The hoops represent animals, symbols and designs and are sometimes put together to make spheres.

"The hoop dance evolved into an important part of traditional healing ceremonies, as "tribal healers and holy men have long regarded the hoop as sacred." The hoop became the universal Native American symbol of "the never-ending circle of life," and some holy men and women even claimed to have seen visions and ailments ..."

It is always so great to learn something new so thanks Nancy.

Deb G said...

Love what you are sharing. Makes the world bigger and brighter. :) The latkes look so yummy...

Hazel said...

Love the last two sweet photos, & love latkes. Janie & I were glad that there was always a family in our classes that would come make their family's recipe for us all. I like them with applesauce and sour cream.

Nancy said...

Deb~ Thanks...and yes a lot brighter with all of these candles! They looked way better than they tasted, but they satisfied an itch :)

Hazel~ Yes, isn't great when families participate! I love hearing your Janie stories.

Nancy said...

Marti~ Sorry for such a late response and posting of your comment. I think I read it and went on a long hoop dancing adventure! But, now it is here for the record :) Thank you for the conversation.