The Hanukkah story began in 167 BC, when the Syrian-Greek king Antiochus began his campaign to destroy the religious and ethnic identity of the Jewish people living under his control. His plan of action: to pillage the country and defile the holiest place to the Jewish people -- the Great Temple in Jerusalem -- by setting up a statue of Zeus and ordering pig sacrifices on the altar.
But the edicts only served to reinforce the people's religious conviction. In the village of Modi'in, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the priest Mattathias, or Matityahu, and his five sons founded the intrepid Maccabee warriors, who liberated Jerusalem in 165 BC.
The first thing the Maccabees did was to scour and rededicate the Great Temple, but when they sought to rekindle the menorah at the sanctuary's entrance, there was just a small cruse of purified olive oil to be found -- enough to burn for a single day. And then, according to legend, a miracle happened -- instead of one day, the holy oil burned for eight days and nights, just enough time to pick and press fresh olives for oil and bring it to Jerusalem.
Sometimes the L.A. Times is just plain awesome. ♥ Today's one of these days because they have a food guide for Hanukkah. I am so going to gain weight if we actually manage to make some of it. >_<
Clicking on from that article, I found my favourite Classic potato latkes recipe. My grandma was a pro when it came to these and I truely miss her cooking. Mom's and mine always look kinda fizzled...
For those who don't know latkes, check out Latkes: The soul of Hanukkah culinary tradition from last year. You are truely missing something out. *nods*
So, even if we don't cook the other stuff, we will make latkes. :D