Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Latkes Cooking
Darth Stover makes short work of frying latkes.

A tradition of long standing in our family is the annual Momma d’Elisson Memorial Chanukah Dinner.

On the first night of Chanukah, we eat potato latkes, supplemented by takeout Chinese food. Mom (of blessèd memory) was a big fan of the takeout Chinese back in the day, a fine choice of Chanukah Cuisine because it’s fried (stir-fried!) – but we add a few heaps of SWMBO’s freshly-prepared potato latkes because, after all, it ain’t Chanukah without latkes.

We have been observing this strange little tradition for over twenty years now, and it’s fair to say that it has taken on a life of its own. Friends who live hundreds of miles away and whom we have not seen in years continue to host their own Momma d’Elisson Memorial Chanukah Dinners. Behold the power of Eccentric Ritual!

Last night, we had a pleasant gathering of friends - Gary and JoAnn, Marc and Shelly, Laura Belle and Don - to help us work through a pile of Moo Shu Chicken, Mongolian Beef, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Chicken with Cashew Nuts, and steaming hot potato latkes right from the pan. I suppose we could have ordered egg foo yung, which is nothing so much as the bastard offspring of the Forbidden Union between an omelette and a latke...but we refrained.

Here’s my Dinner Plate:

Dinner Plate
Eat your heart out.

And here is the Motley Crew that celebrated with us:

Dinner Gang
Marc, Gary, JoAnn, Shelly, SWMBO, Laura Belle, Don. And the Chef. Let’s not forget the Chef.

And the warm, welcoming fire that blazed away on the hearth:

Hearth Fire

It was a very enjoyable evening, with dinner followed by candle-lighting and the exchange of gifts.

With today being Mom’s eightieth birthday, it was particularly auspicious timing for our little Memorial Celebration. Alas, she didn’t make it past sixty...but I’m sure she would appreciate being remembered in our strange, special way.

No comments: