Hannukah, Kwanzaa and New Year’s: a holiday selection

Need some help for those special holidays this month?  How about these?

Jewish cooking for all seasons by Laura Frankel has some beautiful kosher recipes for holidays and any great mealtime.  Divided by season, Frankel offers a full menu for several courses, including yummy soups such as Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque, desserts, and unusual entrees including grilled venison loin and lots more.

 Flaming Menorah

Jewish holidays: a brief introduction for Christians by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky and Rabbi Daniel Judson is a great start to learning about the holidays in the Jewish calendar.  Written from an American perspective, it gives a general overview, historical background and then includes customs and observances such as the particular prayers or recitations or explanations of traditions like the Hannukah Dreidel toy.  Parallels to Christianity are included as well.


Kosher by design by Susie Fishbein is a lovely book full of traditional and new recipes.  Included in the book are menus, suggested wines and lavish table presentations along with explanations of the holidays and their current manifestations. Luscious bread recipes will be encountered, too, including strawberry bread, morning glory muffins, and challah!


Kwanzaa: everything you always wanted to know but didn’t know where to ask by Cedric McClester is a small booklet with plenty of great information from gifts to dress to recipes. 

Kwanzaa bannerAnother resource is African-American holidays, festivals, and celebrations by Kathlyn Gay, although this has just a chapter on Kwanzaa.  The other entries, however, are so interesting that they might keep a person reading a long time.


The New Year’s Eve compendium: toasts, tips, trivia, and tidbits for bringing in the New Year by Todd Lyon is lauded for its excellent help, especially the index.  Lots of oddball facts are brought together to make the next party the best party.  Recipes, hangover cures and theme entertainment are just a small portion of what’s available.


Of course, there are many, many more books on each of these subjects in the children’s section—storybooks, picture books and introductory materials.