Tuesday, December 13, 2011

“Twinkle twinkle candle bright, burning on this special night…”

I think by now we all know how this crazy mind of mine works. It's not pretty in there. But sometimes, it is downright fantastic. This started out as a post on a way to eat more doughnuts. Everyone needs a way to eat more doughnuts, don't even try to argue against that, but then, it turned into a history lesson for me, and I am so happy! So first off I subscribe to stumbleupon.com. If you don’t know it, it’s a sight that sends me things it thinks I’ll like based on my profile and pages I search on its site. It’s scary how smart my computer is. Anyway one link it sent me a few weeks ago was about a trend I didn’t even know about. Apparently it is or was becoming common to add a slice of pie to milkshakes over the summer…to make them more delicious. I mean, as if milkshakes even need to be more delicious. I’m not saying I wouldn’t try it, I’m just saying if you have a milkshake and want to give it to me, I’ll have it with or without pie. I’m good like that. Anyway, so the article goes on to say that since it isn’t really milkshake season they needed a cold weather drink and a baked good all mixed up together. Don’t judge, just go with it. So, obviously…hot chocolate was the natural choice for the delectable winter drink, but what to put in it? How do you really make hot chocolate better, because it’s pretty darn good to begin with. This is what I was thinking as I was reading. I thought too soon…as it turns out, DOUGHNUTS!, chocolate doughnuts absolutely make hot chocolate better. If you think about it, well of course they do. How could they not if silly old graham crackers can?

So that’s where I began innocent enough. Then, as I was searching the internet for more interesting things to share with you outside of hot chocolaty doughnuts, you are wanting one now, aren't you? It's okay, you can admit it....I realize that I’ve been super hyped about Christmas but haven’t mentioned Hanukkah, and it just so happens that this year, they overlap. Hanukkah is December 20th until the 28th! I am ashamed to admit it, but growing up Catholic, I am mostly ignorant of other religions (most likely the reason for the lapse) and it wasn’t until a few years back, as a grown adult that I began to yearn for a broader religious education and was lucky enough to have a few Jewish friends to pester. They introduced me to some of their cultural traditions, which I found at once fascinating! What nobody told me was how important food is to their religious celebrations. And as I write this I have just finished reading about doughnuts and Judaism. Can you believe this coincidence?! First hot chocolate and now Hanukkah! What this tells me, is a higher power wants me to eat doughnuts and what I’m going to tell you, in the quick quick version is what I just learned about doughnuts and Judaism.


One of the traditional foods eaten at Hanukkah are doughnuts, jelly filled doughnuts, cheese filled doughnuts dipped in honey, cake doughnuts, yeasted doughnuts all in remembrance of the miracle of the holiday. The miracle of Hanukkah (which in Hebrew means ‘to dedicate’) was of course the small amount of oil the Maccabees (Jewish rebels) had which should have lasted only one day, but lasted eight. The Maccabees fought to regain control of their temple from the Syrian-Greeks who had taken over and tried to force the Jews to worship Greek Gods, eat pig flesh and abandon their G-d, doing all of these things in the cities Temple, defiling it. After successfully regaining the Temple the Jewish troops wished to purify it by burning ritual oil and rededicate it to G-d, the oil needed to burn in the menorah for eight days. They soon found there was only one day of oil left for them. They lit the oil anyway and for eight days that oil burned. That was a miracle. So, how do doughnuts get involved? To help remember the importance of the oil, at Hanukkah foods cooked in oil are eaten to signify celebration and remembrance. So, in honor of the quickly approaching holiday, we celebrate doughnuts, whether in our hot chocolate or out! And, now we are cutting it close with just talking about doughnuts now and Hanukkah just around the corner, but the doughnut craze is only going to get bigger. Why not have your doughnuts get better by using one of the Abel & Schafer doughnut mixes? Give the office a call, ask for a sample or some more information and treat your customers to the joy of truly delicious doughnuts! And, if you decide you are going to add them to your cocoa, here is a quick recipe that I got from StumbleUpon. It is for four cups of hot chooclate, and can be thinned with extra milk or coffee before drinking, oh my gosh, now we are adding coffee. It's like Christmas and Hanukkah in a cup. 

2 C. whole milk
1 glazed or sugar coated chocolate Abel & Schafer cake doughnut
½ C. semisweet chocolate chips
Pinch salt

In a blender, combine the milk and doughnut. Puree until very smooth. This could take a minute or longer.
Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan. Whisking constantly, heat over medium until it thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chocolate chips and salt, whisking until the chocolate has melted and the cocoa is smooth. Serve immediately. 

As for my education, like many good things, I googled it.

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