Banter Bites

It’s All About Menorahs. And Latkes?

Some spell it “Chanukah” and others “Hannukah” … either way, you don’t have to be Jewish to celebrate hope and miracles (after all, isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?)

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: The lighting of the menorah is the “centerpiece” of the celebration of Chanukah, as it signifies the miracle and meaning of the holiday; for Red, it also represents memories and traditions, which may explain why she displays multiple menorahs, and while Black only has one menorah, there’s more than one reason why it’s displayed in her kitchen.


The burning of the menorah candles represents the one-day supply of oil that miraculously lasted eight days (hence why the holiday lasts eight nights). But Red lights two menorahs for sentimental reasons – one’s the menorah her daughters got from our mother, and the other’s one of her favorites (she got it in England decades ago).

But once the holiday starts, Red can truly enjoy what she considers the best part,

I love the food of Chanukah! It always includes a brisket dinner that I only make a couple of times a year, featuring my favorite side dish, potato latkes (pancakes) which, with applesauce, I could make a meal onto itself. And much like Thanksgiving, the leftovers are even better, which is perfect as we also celebrate the second night.

But Black doesn’t cook, so why would her menorah be in the kitchen? Isn’t it supposed to be displayed somewhere to remind you of the significance of the holiday (it may not be considered a major holiday, but the miracle represents the power of light to overcome darkness)?

The practical reason I have my menorah in the kitchen is the island has a stone countertop, and the menorah is the only thing on it – making it the safest place for burning candles (I do not like the electric ones). But, it also brings back memories of our father grating a counter full of potatoes until his knuckles were almost bare. (If I want latkes, I do it the easy way – I go to Kenny & Ziggy’s.)

No matter what holiday you may celebrate, Red can’t help but quote a line from one of her favorite Christmas songs, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas. Let your heart be light. From now on, your troubles will be out of sight.”

And Black can’t help but point out that the song wasn’t introduced in a Christmas movie but in the movie "Meet Me In St. Louis."

Wishing you a merry everything and a happy always!

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