The Fresser

Why I'm the Chanukah Grinch

My starch-stained, greasy kitchen puts me right off latke frying and I'm done with doughnuts


Chanukah shmanukah.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the festival of light. What’s not to love about warm light of candles flickering in the darkest days of winter. I mean, it’s dark before I’ve even broken for my afternoon cuppa.

And then there’s the traditional foods. Non-Jewish friends are delighted at the thought of a religious occasion that demands eight days of frying. Doughnuts, latkes and anything with a crunchy coating — winning!

Or not.

Day three and I’m already over the favourites. First night frying brought back the real reasons I don’t make latkes any other time. In my opinion, a shop bought latke is not worth the calories or money. Often flabby and floppy. For real crunch, a latke needs to be home made.

However, the hassle involved in cooking them definitely makes them a once-a-year treat. By the time we’d eaten our (admittedly delicious) crunchy latkes with homemade apple sauce, starch from the potatoes mingled with frying oil had coated my kitchen, leaving me forced to spend over an hour on, what felt like, a crime scene clear-up.

The floor needed mopping, hob had to be degreased and all the kitchen tops well wiped. Not to mention the washing up. Add to that the smell that lingered in my house the next day and the clothes that needed washing, and I was done.

Still full of the joys of the season, on day two I dedicated myself to doughnuts. Celebrating with my JC colleagues in the office and not having eaten one in months, the tender, jam-filled treats were so wonderfully tasty, mine was gone in minutes. I followed the first with a mini doughnut chaser — this time oozing with custard. At home lighting candles with my children, I possibly demolished a third. I may also now be done with doughnuts.

So, call me the Chanukah Grinch, but I’m not up for cleaning my kitchen AGAIN, and unless it’s the most delicious doughnut — I do have a couple of bakers I’ll make an exception for — in the words of the TV Dragons, I’m out. I’ll be lighting candles and singing the songs, but it’s nil by mouth for me.

Chag Sameach

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