Niagara Gazette

Extra

December 9, 2008

EXTRA: Gifts you can bring to a Hanukkah party

By BETH J. HARPAZ

Associated Press Writer



NEW YORK (AP) — Joan Torres isn't Jewish, but over the years, she's been invited to various Jewish celebrations.

"I know what to bring for Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and a shiva call," she said, using the term for a period of mourning following a death in the family. "But I know nothing about Hanukkah."

So when she got her first invitation to a Hanukkah party, Torres, who lives in New York City, put a query on Chowhound.com asking, "What would be appropriate to bring as a host/hostess gift?" Chowhound users — all food enthusiasts — answered well: wine, chocolates and doughnuts were among the good suggestions.

But what kind? Here are some specific ideas for Hanukkah party gifts, food and otherwise, and why they would be welcome.

Hanukkah lasts eight nights, beginning sundown Dec. 21.

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DOUGHNUTS

Fried foods, including doughnuts, are a holiday tradition. According to the Hanukkah story, when oil was used to light a candelabra rededicating an ancient temple, the oil lasted eight days instead of one — a miracle,

Sufganiyot, or jelly doughnuts, are often eaten at Hanukkah parties. Find out if the party home is kosher. If not, jelly doughnuts from any shop are perfect for a Hanukkah party.

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WINE

Wine is fine for a Hanukkah party. Again, if your host is kosher, make sure it's kosher wine.

I don't keep a kosher home, but I was touched when a non-Jewish friend brought Israeli wine to one of my parties. Another friend brought New York State wine, wrapped in a blue-velvet wine sleeve embroidered with a "Happy Hanukkah" greeting. Israeli wine is widely available these days; my local wine store in New York carries a good cabernet-syrah blend from the Tishbi Estate Winery in Israel for $12.

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