Fifth candle, eleven years in

You can see the neighbor across the way is starting to put up his holiday decorations.

The fifth night is the “darkest” night (as I explained in 2010). It also coincides with the new moon in the northern hemisphere (the local Ojibwe bands call it “small spirit moon”). I won’t see the new moon here as this house has no east windows. To me, that was an advantage.

I finally managed to get a jelly donut today (the closest local approximation of a sufganiya). This is an old-fashioned donut around here these days. People prefer a long filled donut, or a donut covered with nuts and bacon. We won’t see the jelly donut bloom around here until Lent rolls around again.

Local favorites, filled with raspberry jam. Nestled on one of the Iitala Taika Simes saucers I bought to reward myself from surviving the move, back in June. It was good but I miss Berlin and those Pfannkuchen with the plum butter in them.

The donuts are eaten because they are fried in oil. I remember my grandmother making these on Saturdays during the cold months when I was small. It was a smell that belonged to that house. I’ve never fried a donut myself.

I hear from New York friends that this year’s coolest sufganiya is basil-infused yuzu custard, but that the Oreo ones that were big last year are still popular. In Israel, I’ve read, the sufganiya to get is salted caramel, but sesame halvah is on the horizon and pistachio custard are also popular, as is lemon meringue (they bake the meringue right onto the top of the donut). Here are more suggestions, and you can see what the influencers are saying here and here. I wouldn’t pay $10 for one, though. Israel closed its borders due to COVID / omicron, so I imagine business will be slow this year.


In 2012, the fifth night was the night before the Hobbit: AUJ premiere, and I was worried about my mom. In 2013, she had died, I was sad, and I was worried about my tires before making the long drive. The more things change!

~ by Servetus on December 3, 2021.

16 Responses to “Fifth candle, eleven years in”

  1. I saw these pics in my Instagram timeline and thought I could totally eat one of those 🙂


  2. Those donut flavours sound amazing, I am drooling, but my favourite is still rasberry jelly/ jam covered in icing sugar. Luckily they are still popular here – although I am on a mission to try the advocaat-filled donuts sold in a London bakery.
    Happy Hanukkah!


    • Thanks! Raspberry jelly is always good — an old reliable. I don’t know if I’ve had advocaat ones but I think I’ve had eggnog flavor at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I would call that a “Berliner”, though an actual Berliner would call it “Pfannkuchen” 😉


  4. A suganiya with halva? I’d totally try that (I love halva, especially with pistachio)!


    • I think I would, too. It’s enough halva to be good but not overwhelming. I feel like one can very quickly have enough halva. Actually, this is one argument for going to Jerusalem. I read about it every year and salivate!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just wondering: have you ever been to Jerusalem?


        • I have not — it’s complicated because I’m not a BDS supporter and I’m not exactly a boycotter anyway, but I stopped donating to the Jewish National Fund in the mid-1990s and haven’t donated to any Israel charity in a decade now. I haven’t supported most of the governments in my adult lifetime. There’s some social pressure not to go among Jews with my political sympathies, but that’s also complicated. I’ve always said “I’ll go when there’s peace” as a way of forestalling discussions, but since that’s also unlikely to happen in my lifetime, it’s just a way of kicking the can down the road.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I also have my problems with Israel and like you have not been able to support any Israeli government since the murder of Yitzhak Rabin but it really is a fascinating and also beautiful place despite its very many problems. Being there is always different than all you see about it on TV but maybe that’s easy for me to say, because I have lived there and have also experienced just day-to-day regular life there. Maybe one day you can go. I know a great tourguide (my brother is an official one). 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • If I do go, I’ll definitely ask you for your brother’s number!

              My exSO’s niece is getting her degree in journalism and Judaistik, and she’s always posting interesting stuff from Jerusalem. And of course, every time I say the Amidah I’m praying for the reconstruction of the city / Temple. It’s one of those things that I just have never been forced to fully come to terms with.

              Liked by 1 person

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