For most of my life, I was convinced I was partly Jewish. Even though no one in my family is Jewish nor married into a Jewish family, I knew inside–just knew–I was mishpachah. I loved the food, the holidays, the food, the traditions, and the food way too much not to be Jewish. At the very least, I was Jewish by consumption.
Once home DNA testing made it possible to discover my ancestry, I ordered a kit. When it arrived, I ran to the bathroom and discreetly spat into that little vial. A few weeks later my inbox dinged with the long-awaited email, and I pored through my results.
At the top of the page, it read: “Southern European 97.3%.” Natch. Beneath that: “Portuguese, Highly Likely Match.” Well, that makes sense. And on a third line: “Spanish, Possible Match.” Not surprising, I guess. After all, I did feel an affinity for Madrid when we visited.
Yet the farther down the page I traced my finger, the more my heart sank. Finally, there–at the very bottom–was my answer. “Ashkenazi Jewish: 0.00%.” How could that be?! Granted, my only evidence of kinship was my love of Jewish food, but that was enough for me.
In the end, you can’t argue with chromosomes.
Since then, our friend Ginger has christened The One and me “Junior Jews.” And we’ve been blessed to be guests at her and others’ holiday tables, as well as host our Jewish friends at ours.
I guess you could say, if you can’t join ’em, eat with ’em.
Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and delicious Hanukkah. May it be a season of true peace, understanding, and love.
Nach Waxman’s Beef Brisket
Sweet Noodle Kugel
This is a delicious kugel, and reminiscent of my childhood with some differences in preparation.Michelle S.
Sweet Potato and Apple Latkes
This was my first attempt at making latkes, and they are fantastic! I am definitely going to add this to my holiday repertoire. As usual, a great recipe from Leite’s!Ava H.
Potato Latkes with Apple-Date Chutney
This was absolutely the best fried chicken. My husband and grandkids loved this.Patty T.
Hanukkah Jelly Doughnuts | Sufganiyot
Wow! These rugelach look amazing and are so delicious!Natalie
The fried foods are symbolic of the miracle of Hanukkah, when the oil burned in the temple of Jerusalem for 8 days.
Pork and shellfish are forbidden, and to keep kosher, meat or poultry must not be mixed with dairy in the same meal.
We hope these recipes bring you comfort, joy, and happiness as you share them and celebrate with your loved ones. If you’re entertaining lots and need more recipes to fill out the 8 days, check out our collections of beef brisket recipes and fried chicken recipes.