Blog posts about the Rabbi Aviva Cohen Mysteries and their author Rabbi Ilene Schneider



It is traditional on Chanukah to eat any food that has been fried in oil. For some reason, though, we tend to restrict ourselves to two items: latkes and donuts. So here are my suggestions to diversify our menu for each day of the holiday. It’s geared toward this year, but can be adapted for any.

  1. Wednesday night: Fried hamburger (Forget the broiler or the grill; my grandmother from Ukraine used to make this for me whenever I visited, so I consider fried hamburgers to be traditional Eastern European Bubbe Food.)
  2. Thursday dinner and Friday lunch: Fried turkey (Good any year, but perfect for that once-in-a-lifetime convergence of Chanukah and Thanksgiving.)
  3. Friday night: Fried chicken (Very appropriate for Erev Shabbat.)
  4. Saturday brunch: French toast (Tastes best when made with butter rather than oil, in my opinion, but it’s still a wonderful way to use up the challah from Friday night. And continue the butter theme on Saturday night with a big bowl of popcorn.)
  5. Sunday: Fish and chips (The greasier, the better.)
  6. Monday: Chicken fried steak (No idea how it tastes; I’ve only seen it on menus.)
  7. Tuesday: Fried flounder (So much tastier than broiled or baked.)
  8. Wednesday: Fried anything and everything (onion rings, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, pickles, Oreos …. The list is endless.)

Experiment and mix it up this Chanukah. It’s a holiday, so the calories and cholesterol don’t count. And I guarantee that if you eat all these staples of American non-haute cuisine this week, you will need to have your stomach stapled.


  1. I made my first batch of latkes this Chanukah/Thanksgiving and loved them! Of your new Chanukah food traditions, I’m especially eager to try the fried turkeyand the French toast. I often fry broccoli and zucchini in olive oil and top them with Italian bread crumbs. Panko would make another great topping. And as for buttered popcorn, I’m a huge fan! Thanks so much for these great suggestions, Rabbi Ilene! 🙂

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