Clear As Mud
 

Chanukah 2023

The last time I wrote a Chanukah post was three years ago during Covid, where I shared how we celebrated during lockdown. 

Here we are three years later, amid a challenging time, albeit a very different type of challenge. I was thinking about the fact that Holidays come every year, no matter what’s going on; we don’t really get to opt out, but rather we must find ways to celebrate. It also serves as an amazing reminder that, as a nation, we have been through the worst of the worst and we are here, celebrating, (with food of course), persevering and sticking it to anyone who thinks they’re going to successfully annihilate us. 

Unlike the Covid era when we couldn’t leave our home, this time we need to be as public, and out there, as we can. like my husband said at our Chanukah party, it’s not enough to condemn evil or even actively fight it, we need to find a way, each person in their own life, to add goodness, light and Jewish Pride into atmosphere.    

I thought it would be fun to share some photos and details, including what I served and a recipe or two of our Bozeman community Chanukah Bash.  

Living in Bozeman means that there are no kosher caterers anywhere in sight, so all the food is homemade 😂 but I would love to share some great resources for cookies, décor, and anything I ordered from out-of-state, to take whatever I could off my plate.  

There is a lot that goes into planning and executing a party or event. I am not a professional party planner by any means, but I often get to wear that hat. I usually have a vision that I just feel in my bones, reflecting how I’m feeling, the mood I want to create and the inspiration I get from what I see. Often, it’s a tablecloth, paper goods or a floral arrangement that will start the process. 

This year I got my tablecloths at www.worldofhart.com My go to place for the most stunning and durable tablecloths. 

My paper goods are from www.yomtovsettings.com . They have an amazing selection and fabulous prices. I always find what I am looking for. 

The candlesticks are from www.elegancetableware.com I got them last year and I use them all the time. They are also a great resource for all things entertaining!

I have an amazing local florist who’s magical at bringing my visions to life. I have been known to call her two days before an event…. This year I got a text saying “I know Chanukah’s coming up tell me what flowers you need by the end of the week”. That’s a true friend, anticipating my needs, helping me get organized earlier! Thank you, Remi, you’re the best! www.labellumflowers.com

Baking is my least favorite thing to do, especially detail oriented pretty stuff.  So, I outsource that whenever I can.  Nechama from @thepopcakerypgh is so talented, her stuff is unbelievable. I ordered cookies and cake pops and it was a wonderful addition to the party. 

Now for the menu…

Even after seventeen years of Holiday celebrations, I still want to be creative and fun. I always say that the menu will come to me, I just have to trust the process and let inspiration strike. I cut it close this year, I didn’t have a final menu until the day before, but it came together beautifully. It’s important to me that all the flavors and dishes create a cohesive vibe and taste yummy together. 

Here it is…. (I’ll share the source of each recipe and as a bonus I am listing three full recipes below)

Hearty Black Bean Stew (real life kosher cooking)

Deconstructed Meatballs (simply gourmet)

Cranberry apple baked oatmeal/feels like a bread pudding (from online, recipe below))

Pumpkin corn Muffins (Totally Kosher Recipe below, reprinted with permission from “Totally Kosher” Copyright © 2023 by Chanie Apfelbaum. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.” purchase cookbook here https://shorturl.at/rEKO7

Green beans (totally kosher)

New age Waldorf salad (totally kosher)

Latkes 

Mixed green Salad 

Basil Olive Tapenade (Fleishigs Magazine, Recipe below, you can subscribe here.  https://fleishigs.com)

For Dessert Donuts and cookies 

We also had an open bar which always makes for a rockin party

For the kids I ordered cookie decorating kits from @thepopcakerypgh and awesome individual sensory kits made by my friend @in_between_thetantrums.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you, and for being my biggest cheerleaders! I love what I do, and it’s even more fun when I get to share it with you. 

This formula and resources I shared are always enjoyable, for all celebrations, not just for Chanukah, so I hope you find it helpful for the next time you host a dinner or throw a party.

Happy Chanukah Day #7!

Chavie

 
 

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Noah has cooked in a variety of kitchens and has studied many different cuisines, but his favorite meals to prepare are the ones that make his guests smile. Be it Thai, Italian, Caribbean or Latin, there is always a fun surprise waiting for you at meal time. Noah welcomes special requests and guests in his kitchen! Just stop by and say hi.

Yocheved Sidof is a social entrepreneur, psycho-mystical depth work facilitator, writer, educator, speaker, and activist. After a decade as a filmmaker and photographer, she founded Lamplighters Yeshivah, a grassroots, internationally acclaimed, progressive Chassidic Montessori school. Yocheved builds communities with healing at the center. Most recently, she founded Ohm’ek, an intentional collective focusing on meditation, embodied mysticism, and micro-retreats.

A lifelong learner, she’s completed extensive training in adaptive leadership, therapeutic coaching, and systemic change. She is currently in a two-year intensive training with Thomas Hubl, studying psycho-somatic-mystical models of healing personal, collective, and ancestral trauma. She also writes, consults, works 1:1 with clients, facilitates group transformational work, and regularly teaches Jewish spiritual studies.

Yocheved sits on boards supporting innovations in mental health awareness and self-transformation. She has studied Jewish mysticism and meditation extensively, including with Rav Katz since 2018, completing Elevation Teacher Training and sitting on his advisory board for over a year.

Yocheved, her husband, and five children live in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Come say “Hi!” if you’re in the neighborhood.