Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Miracle of Hannukah Bento

Hannukah is a holiday about the miracle of lights. The Maccabees were able to fight off overwhelming forces to take back the holy temple from the Greeks who wanted the Jews to worship their pantheon of Gods. It is about keeping the holy flame lit in the temple during a war. Oil that was only supposed to last one day, lasted eight days, enough time to get more oil. In other words, G-d helped keep that flame a-glowing. It is a metaphor for keeping the light of Judaism alive in the face of powers that wish to squelch the religion.

My multicultural family celebrates Hannukah today with this festive Bento. Yes, I realize we are in full Los Angeles culture clash with this one. Almond butter and boysenberry jelly on wheat bread make fine dreidles. Thinly sliced baby carrots represent Hanukkah Gelt, the chocolate coins given to children to play dreidle with and for luck. The kids' daycare doesn't allow real chocolate, or the twins might have had a special treat in the lunch. They do have one surprise, apples are under the menorah. The menorah itself is made of edamame for the candles and sharp cheddar for the flame.
When I saw the edamame box in the fridge, I thought,
"Great, candles, but we have been eating these things so much, there's no way I'll have enough for two menorahs. I need eight candles, plus the shamus (the candle that lights the others) times two, that's eighteen edamame pods!"

As I was laying the candle pods out I found one damaged pod, oh no... but there were exactly eighteen good ones, nine for each box! It's a Hannukah Bento Miracle. This flame keeps a-glowing.

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