This Hanukkah, I was excited to be featured in Be'chol Lashon. I have been going back and forth with their creative director for a while until we decided that this Holiday of Light would be the ideal time to devote a page on their site to With A Good Eye and how food features in the novel because this holiday, as well as Passover, are seasons the Levi family passes through.
From their website: Be'chol Lashon strives for a Jewish future where the history, holidays, stories, and experiences of Jewish people from racially, culturally, and ethnically diverse backgrounds from around the globe are celebrated by all Jews as an integral part of what it means to be Jewish. We offer a variety of opportunities for individuals, families, and organizations to learn about and celebrate Jewish diversity.
To that end, Be'chol Lashon featured two of my Hannukah recipe videos (includes three recipes): latkes, vegetable patties and Tunisian fricassee.
Gila's Family Latkes
In my new book, With A Good Eye, my heroine Luna Levi has to go through Hanukkah on her own as her family no longer pays much attention to holidays now that the kids are no longer little. Luna persists in spite of her family's lack of involvement and lights the Hanukkah candles alone and craves traditional fried foods. In contrast, latkes were part of Hanukkah in my family growing up, even when we were well into our high school years. For my Bubbe and Zaide, latkes were a team effort. Their kitchen was so small that two people could not fit into it simultaneously, so I have vivid memories of watching their "tag-team" latke making. My grandfather would grate by hand while my grandmother watched him and shouted out pointers from the couch. Then they switched places and roles. Mostly, he was the grater and she was the fryer. All of us were the eaters. So not only eating latkes but watching their interaction during the process was part of the evening.
Hanukkah recipe for Tunisian Fricassee
This dish was first introduced to me years ago by my students at Machon Tal in Jerusalem where I teach English as a Foreign Language. All dedicated teachers learn more from their students than they teach them. I began a tradition of combining our oral presentations with our Chanukah parties. Students had to explain their favorite family recipes in class and make basic "how-to" videos–all in English. Select foods from the videos were placed on our class Chanukah party menus. My students come from a wide variety of backgrounds including Algeria, France, Morocco, Yemen, Moscow, Poland, Ethiopia and of course, Tunisia, so though they had to be cajoled into presenting their favorite foods in English, the tradition became popular. Naturally, after tasting them in class, I would introduce some of these foods and recipes into my own family menus.
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