Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Chanukah!

Chanukah begins tonight at sunset. Bella asked what Chanukah (or Hanukkah) was so I explained to her that it was the Festival of Lights and it lasted 8 days and that a candle on the menorah was lit each night to symbolize a one-day supply of oil lasting for eight days (I didn't go into much more detail - she's only 3). I told her that they would be making latkes at school tomorrow and she would learn more about it. She was so excited!

You might be asking yourself - I didn't know Peanut Free Mama was Jewish? Well, I'm not. But growing up on the east coast, Chanukah was a big part of the holidays for kids. Heck, Noodle Kugel is a big holiday food in our household (we eat it with beef bourginon which I believe is a jewish no-no though). And I'm all about diversity and Bella learning all about other faiths, so.....where was I?

When we were talking about Chanukah, I was thinking to myself - I wonder if eating nut-free is hard at Chanukah as well? Are there traditional foods that a nut-allergic person needs to avoid? So I did a little research. Here's a list of some foods associated with Chanukah:
  • Latkes (and Cheese Latkes)
  • Noodle Kugel (I thought this was more for Yom Kippur than Chanukah - either way it is amazingly good - I found this recipe and it's almost identical to the one my Auntie Phyllis Zeldman used to make - yum!)
  • Applesauce
  • Doughnuts (or Sufganiyot)
  • Rugelach (a no-no for nut allergy sufferers)
  • Mandelbrot (also a no-no for nut allergy sufferers)
Why so many oily foods? This ties in with the one-day supply of oil! Apparently, dairy plays a large part in Chanukah as well (although I couldn't find any specific recipes save for the cheese latke and the noodle kugel).

As far as I can tell, eating nut free looks fairly easy (just avoid using peanut oil for frying and stay away from the rugelach and mandelbrot). Although I am stumped as to how one finds safe gelt (the little chocolate coins). Every package I pick up in the store has a nut warning. Are there any you can buy in the store (not mail order) that you can guide me to?

I am sure I am not doing Chanukah justice with this short post, but my intentions are good. Did I miss anything? If you have anything to add, leave it in the comments and I will update the post.

To all my visitors who celebrate Chanukah, I wish you a safe and happy holiday.

1 comment:

Allergic Girl said...

hey there PF mama,

vermont nut free chocolates has some nut free gelt, i believe...

there's also the israeli channukah doughnuts, deep fried to celebrate the miracle!