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Thursday, December 14, 2006

BIG Mazal Tov and some Fun Chanukah Things

I want to take this time to wish all of my friends and readers a Chanukah Sameach and a Shabbat Shalom. Please keep reading and discussing. A great readership really helps the writer behind the computer screen.

And, I am honored to wish a big Mazal Tov to Rabbi Yakov and Udi Horowitz, on the upcoming marriage of their daughter Faigy to Dovid Meir Loeb on week from this Sunday. Rabbi Horowitz's articles and parenting column are excellent and well worth the time. May Faigy and Dovid Meir build a bayit ne'eman b'yisrael. What a lucky couple to have such parents to look to when their time to parent comes.

I've tried to make it a point to post some interesting Sephardi tidbit before each Yom Tov. So, in continuing with this tradition, I thought I would post a cute little Ladino Chanukah Song, "Ocho Kandelikas," which I was teaching one of my children this week, and a recipe for the food mentioned in the song.

The song can be heard in full here. (A word of warning for those who don't listen to kol isha on recordings, this recording includes kol isha. Sorry.)

Hanukah linda sta aki, ocho kandelas para mi, Hanukah Linda sta aki, ocho kandelas para mi. O...
(Beautiful Chanukah is here, eight candles for me. )

Refrain: Una kandelika, dos kandelikas, tres kandelikas, kuatro kandelikas, sintyu kandelikas, sej kandelikas, siete kandelikas, ocho kandelas para mi.
(One candle, two candles, . . . . eight candles for me)

Muchas fiestas vo fazer, con alegrias i plazer. Muchas fiestas vo fazer, con alegrias i plazer. O...
(Many parties will be held, with happiness and pleasure)

Repeat Refrain.

Los pastelikos vo kumer, con almendrikas i la myel. Los pastelikos vo kumer, con almendrikas i la myel. O... (We will eat pastelikos [see below] with almonds and honey).

Repeat Refrain.

Bimuelos recipe

The following is a Sephardi pastry recipe for Chanukah. It is essentially a doughnut, but instead of putting jelly inside, it is dipped into a sweet syrup or warm honey. They can be made in advance, stored in an airtight container. But, if you make it in advance, warm the syrup for dipping in when you serve. (Since we are serving these for Shabbat Chanukah, I will be keeping the syrup warm on the blech for dipping at dessert time and may even warm the pastries up for a brief time).

  • 1 package or 2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 recipe of sugar syrup cooled
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of water. Stir in sugar or honey and let stand 5-10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Combine flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour yeast mixture and remaining water into the well and stir until dough is smooth. Cover and let rise at room temperature until it doubles, approximately 1.5 hours. Stir again.
  3. Heat 2 inches of oil of a medium heat to 375 degrees.
  4. Dip spoon in cold water to drop doubt into hot oil. Deep-fry until golden brow on all sides. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Dip warm doughnuts into cooled syrup. If you prefer, you can dust with confectionery sugar (or see above for Shabbat method).

Sugar Syrup

Combine 2 cups of sugar (or 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of honey) with 1 cup of water and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer without stirring until a syrup forms. Cool in the refrigerator. You can add a 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a tablespoon of orange zest, or even a tablespoon or rose water or other fragrant water.

And a Halachic Concept

Rabbi Mansour answers the question, "Chanukah- When Your Neighbor Does Not Have Enough Money To Buy Oil To Light The Menorah," what the halacha is when your neighbor does not have the money to buy enough oil to light the minimum, while you have only enough money to fulfill lighting all of the candles (a hiddur, as we are only required on light on each night as a minimum). The answer in short is that the neighbor with money for all of the lights, but no more than that, sacrifices his hiddur so his neighbor can fulfill the mitzvah of lighting too.

Rabbi Mansour states: "Although this Halacha may not have direct, practical relevance nowadays, the underlying principle is an important one: a person should be prepared to help others perform Mitzvot at the minimum level, even at the expense of his own performance at the highest standard."

This principal hopefully will serve as a nice lead in to a future topic. (!) Stay tuned. . .and Happy Chanukah.


a mother in israel said...

Chanukah sameach to you too!

By the way sugar syrup can be easily made in the microwave, with less supervision and less mess.

Ariella said...

Your recipe is something I may try this Chanukah. I don't really like making latkes, though I do frequently make potato kugel for Shabbos. I just wanted to ask how many that recipe yields. I like the Rabbi Mansour piece your quoted. There is a Yiddish expression "a tzaddik in a peltz" referring to a tzaddik in a fur coat that keeps only himself warm while others freeze.
Thanks and have a good Shabbos & Chanukah!

SephardiLady said...

Yiels about 24 small burmielos.

Maven said...

have you read "ladino reveries" by hank halio?

i might try the recipe you posted...

table nine said...

Rabbi Mansour's answer is not just a halachic concept, but a great lesson for every day life - Sometimes we must help others even at the expense of our own enjoyment and luxuries. Thanks for sharing that...Chanukah Sameach!

Anonymous said...

Chag Chanukah Sameach SL.
Nice recipe; we also like Pan D'Espanha, which my wife tells me appeared in Cooking Light this month (pareve). Ocho Kandelykas is our favorite Chanukah song and I think it is being taught to school children. My mother heard a little boy singing it in public last year at this time and all but rushed his parents to find out if they were Sephardim.

Ha Sefaradi

SephardiLady said...

Maven-I haven't read this, but will have to put it on my book list.

TableNine-Absolutely a lesson for life.

HaSephardi-I would love the Pan D'Espanha receipe. Nice to know that the Ladino songs live on.

jdub said...


Check out the Hip Hop Hoodios version of Ocho Kandelikas, which I heard on the XM Radio's chanukah station.

Anonymous said...

Ocho Kandelykas was sung at my son's nursery Chanukah assembly. It was so cute!

Anonymous said...

SL: Sorry for the belated response. Although I can hardly belive I am trading recipes, here it is:

Pan D’Espanha


2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour (about 13 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon aniseed, crushed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups chopped peeled pear (about 3)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Preheat oven to 375°.
To prepare cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside.
Place sugar and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until thick and pale (about 3 minutes).
Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, aniseed, salt, and cinnamon, stirring well with a whisk.
Combine rind, 1/2 cup juice, oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with juice mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; blend after each addition just until combined. Stir in pear and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula or knife. Place a plate upside down on top of cake pan; carefully invert cake onto plate.
To prepare syrup, combine honey and 2 tablespoons juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Brush warm syrup over top and sides of cake. Allow to cool and do not forget to make bracha before eating.


Anonymous said...

Does anyone knows a recipe for Almendrikas kon myel, like it is mentioned in the song. Hag Sameah to everyone.