A Hanukkah Dinner at No. 71

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Frying up some beet latkes.

Despite the fact that Cari and I are growing more and more comfortable with large dinners, 95% of the family dinners we have with my side of the family are at restaurants, my parents’ house or my aunt and uncles’ house.  Hanukkah has become the one time of year that we get my parents, sisters (and brother-in-law), aunt, uncle and cousins over at our house.

This year, for the first time in our three years of hosting Hanukkah, we actually managed to get the whole group (12 of us in all) together.  Usually between other Hanukkah/Christmas parties and trips, there have been one or two people who have been unable to attend.  We had an ambitious menu planned, some of which worked out – some, not so much.

Our Menu:

  • Challah
  • Leek & Zucchini Soup (Thanks, Aunt Lynne!)
  • Salad (Thanks, Melissa!)
  • Macaroni & Cheese with Peppers and Dill (Thanks, Laura!)
  • Gingered Carrot Latkes (link)
  • Cumin-Scented Beet Latkes (link)
  • Butternut Squash Latkes with Sage and Pine Nut Yogurt Sauce (link)
  • Spicy Cauliflower Latkes with Za’atar Aioli (link) (Thanks, Mom!)
  • Steamed Broccoli with Lemon Zest
  • Assorted Pastries (Thanks, Mom!)
  • Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake (Thanks, Heidi!)
  • Fruit Salad (Thanks, Rachael!)

Cari and I were also hoping to make cholent, a stew with beans and barley, but we had a major slow cooker mishap.  We also hoped to make sufganiyot, the traditional Hanukkah jelly doughnut, but the batter never rose.

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Butternut Squash, with sage and garlic, about to bake for the latkes.

Everything else tasted great.  The definite highlight of our contributions were the various latkes we found through Epicurious.  We forgo the traditional potato latkes because we know we’ll get them a lot of the next week.

The carrot and butternut squash latkes were a big hit last year, so we decided to make those again, along with the beet latkes and cauliflower latkes (which were actually made by my mother).  We made most of them ahead of time, which worked fine except for the butternut squash, which got quite soggy when we reheated them.  In addition to the pine nut yogurt and za’atar aioli, we also made apple, green onion and jalapeno salsa.

A great dinner over all – thanks to everyone who contributed!

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