"Hey, if I had somewhere to go, I certainly wouldn't be in Cleve-Land." -Howard the Duck

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Hanukkah

Or Chanuka...anyway, it's the Festival of Lights and we celebrate it as Phil is Jewish.  We've had this brass Tree of Life Menorah for years...I bought it shortly after Phil & I started living together in Columbus, OH.  It's covered in multi-color wax drippings from lighting the candles over the years, but that simply gives it character.  This year it sits on front of a small curio cabinet in the living room & at night you can see the reflection of the flames in the glass.  Very nice.  Our Christmas will begin after Hanukkah ends.  Phil's Dad was not Jewish, so he grew up with both holidays, and, of course, Christmas is what I always celebrated.

The first year we lived here in Parma, OH, it was a challenge to find Hanukkah candles.  Parma is so NOT the Jewish part of the Greater Cleveland area, but I had no idea it would take me going to multiple grocery stores to locate the candles.  When I finally found them, I bought a bunch & we still have some.  Phil's brother & SIL gave us some candles, too...so we're set for a couple more years. 

Tonight is the third night of Hanukkah.  I do believe Latkes will be on the dinner menu.  The first night was a beef brisket, which ends up with a sweet & sour BBQ type sauce that it has braised in for hours.  I'm simply not a fan of most meats...beef being my least favorite...but Phil enjoys it so I make it.  I found the recipe in a cookbook written by Doralee Patinkin, Mandy's Mother.  I tweak it, of course...I always do.

Basically, it's easy to prepare.  I take a beef brisket...season it with garlic salt & pepper...slice a couple huge onions, usually red onions...put the onions in the bottom of a LeCreuset Dutch oven...place the brisket on top, fat side up.  Then cover the fatty top with a bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce...some brown sugar...and sprinkle that with cider vinegar...we like the vinegar, so I use quite a bit.  Then I add a couple cans of beer...just a cheap light beer like Milwaukee's Best Light...so that the brisket is half submerged in the beer.  Cover & braise in a preheated 325-350 degree oven for as long as it takes to get the brisket tender.  Check every hour or so to make sure there is still enough liquid in there & add beer as necessary.  Our 4lb. brisket braised for about 6 hours & took maybe 5-6 cans of beer during that time.  Be sure to slice the brisket against the grain so it's not stringy & reduce the "gravy" to a BBQ sauce consistency.  We like this served with mashed potatoes.  I forgot to take a pic of the finished brisket...maybe next time.

So to all of our Jewish friends & family...Happy Hanukkah!


  1. I hope you are having a lovely holiday!

  2. Happy H to Phil! Dinner sounds delicious and too bad I live so far. LOL! Glad to see you posting again. Hope you are on the mend - even with the snow flakes and cold.


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