I was not raised in the Jewish religion but growing up we celebrated Hanukkah every year. My Mom brought up my sister and I with an appreciation for other cultures. We had friends who were Jewish and we spent one night of Hanukkah every year with them. We ate latkes, played dreidel, and lit the menorah. Being nostalgic of those memories, I decided to make 4 Hanukkah themed lunches.
Hanukkah napkins are my background for this series of meals.
This dreidel themed lunch was easy with a dreidel cookie cutter but the shape is not difficult to cut without a special cutter. I included popcorn and M&M’s because they brought back memories of playing the dreidel game.
My lunch includes the characters ה Hei (half) and ש Shin (put in). The dreidels in the photo show ג Gimel (all) and נ Nun (nothing). There are different variations of this game. Basically all players start with an equal amount of items such as M&M’s and popcorn. At the beginning of each round each player puts an item into the center. For each players turn they spin the dreidel and then do what the character tells them to do. Hei (half) the player gets half of the items from the center pile. Shin (put in) the player puts in a item. Gimel (all) the player gets all of the items from the center pile. Nun (nothing) the player does nothing. When one person has won everything the game is over.
Snack: Air popped popcorn, pistachio nuts, blue and white M&M’s
Vegetable: Snow peas (used as background)
Dreidels: Peanut butter and raspberry jam on wheat bread, Hebrew characters (food marker)
Occasionally I make potato latkes. I wanted to make some for this series and thought it would make a good leftovers for lunch meal. I am not sure why I decided to try something different, well I do know, I am usually driven to try new recipes. My family jokes that I do not make the same recipe twice. For this meal I made a zucchini potato pancake that is first cooked on one side in a frying pan and then transferred to an oven. I would have preferred traditional latkes
Latkes: The version here is not traditional – it was a zucchini and potato baked pancake.
Vegetable: Cooked green beans
Fruit: Applesauce with a Star of David. To make the pink applesauce I added a little bit of berry juice from some berries I had in my freezer. I put the pink applesauce in my freezer and when it was firm enough I cut it with the Star of David cutter. I was inspired by this post from Zoe’s Lunchbox.
This menorah themed lunch features a menorah and the Star of David. I drew on the details with food markers. The middle candle (shamash) is lit first. It does not count as one of the Hanukkah candles but it is used to light all of the other candles. On the first night of Hanukkah you start by putting the first candle in the right most position. Each night you add a candle until the menorah is full of candles. My menorah in this lunch depicts the last night of Hanukkah.
Menorah & Star of David: Cheddar cheese quesadilla with food marker details
Vegetable: Snow peas
Meals with cheese are a traditional Hanukkah meal. I decided to make savory cheese blintzes. This is another good leftovers for lunch meal. It was delicious for dinner and leftovers if you are not temperature sensitive to food.
Savory Blintzes: Apple, brie, and onion jam blintzes