Today we're two candles in on the minorah! What are you guys doing to celebrate the festival of lights?
Today is day two of Hanukkah or the Festival of Lights! The eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Even if you’re not Jewish, Hanukkah is an opportunity to enjoy some wonderful traditions including, family, friends and you guessed it . . . good food!
Challah bread is one of my favorites. My favorite bakery, The Pastry Corner makes it really, really well and usually sells out this time of year. Also, it’s cold out there and what better way to warm up than a nice bowl of Matzah Ball Soup? If you’re in town doing the tourist thing this holiday season, perhaps you could stop by Katz Deli in NYC for a nice hot cup!
Did you know that you can find restaurants featuring Jewish and Kosher food near you using RestaurantRow.com? All you have to do is click search and select those options under cuisine. Also gift cards to restaurants make great Hanukkah gifts, I’m just saying!
- Happy Chanukah/Hanukkah (librarianbrain.wordpress.com)
- Happy Hanukkah (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Hanukkah Is Here (youngsblog.com)
- Hanukkah gets an early start (troyrecord.com)
Not sure what to donate? Click on the photo for an article from MSN about food bank's top needs!
The holiday season is a time to give back, but what happens when there is nothing to give?
The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona announced on Wednesday they will not be able to distribute food boxes for the holiday season this year due to a lack of funds and food. According to the Arizona Daily Star, last year the food bank provided 20,000 families with holiday food boxes last year that cost a total of $350,000 in addition to the number of families the food bank assists every month.
The Salvation Army in Norwalk, CT is also in desperate need of help. WTNH News 8 reported that this is the first time in over a decade that they also do not have the funds or food to feed the projected 250 families that will walk through their doors. They estimate they may only have enough food to feed 50 families this Thanksgiving. In Colorado the Springs Rescue Mission and the Marion House Soup Kitchen are both in need of 600 turkeys in order to fill gift boxes and feed families on Turkey Day and are actively seeking donations.
Food banks in every corner of the country seem to have been hit hard by the economy. And unfortunately it’s not the government that is going to bail them out. They count on the generous donations of individuals. We all know that these past few years have been economically challenging and it can feel like it’s going to take a lot to fix the problems that we have, and it may. But remember a little bit goes a long way and there are lots of ways to give back. Clothes and non-perishable food items are just as good as money as a donation to these charities. So, what are you doing to help during the holiday season? Check out Salvation Army’s website or the list of food banks across the country on feedamerica.com to see how you can get involved. Every little bit helps! Happy Holidays!
Take the Vegetarian challenge: no meat for one day, one week or the entire month for Vegetarian Awareness and you may be a big winner!
Tomorrow, October 1 is World Vegetarian Day and marks the kick off of Vegetarian Awareness Month. The observance was started by the North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS), an non-profit organization that provides a community for and is a source of information on vegetarian lifestyle. So what is a vegetarian exactly? According to NAVS a person may call themselves vegetarian if they abstain from eating all animal flesh including meat, poultry, fish and other sea animals. Then you have an ovo-vegetarian who omits eggs from their diet, a lacto-vegetarian may eat eggs, but not dairy products, and an ovo-lacto vegetarian excludes both eggs and dairy products. A total vegetarian (or vegan) consumes no animal products at all.
There are lots of reasons and benefits to becoming a vegetarian. As far as health is concerned, diets high in animal protein can result in high blood cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease. Fruits and vegetables (the main staples of a vegetarian diet) when organically grown especially are full of vitamins and nutrients. From an environmental standpoint the production that goes into the meat industry leaves a pretty big carbon footprint; from the meat processing plants to the deforestation that is a result of the expansion of cattle farms and fields of corn/grain that is specifically grown in order to become livestock feed. And of course there are spiritual, cultural, and religious practices that call for a diet free of meat.
NAVS has worked very hard to create awareness about Vegetarianism in the United States and since there is no rule against it, people sometimes eat vegetarian meals even if they don’t choose to adopt a full-time vegetarian lifestyle. That being said, a change in consumer interest and demand has resulted in the expansion of vegetarian options on restaurant menus, and most ethnic restaurants offer meatless options anyway as a part of their food culture.
To celebrate and promote Vegetarian Awareness, NAVS challenges all non-vegetarians to go veggie for as long as you can (a day, a week, or even the whole month of October) and you may be win a cash prize! And I’m sure they would also like to remind you that by going vegetarian you will already be a winner because you’ll be creating a better world by having a positive impact on your health, the environment and society as a whole. So go vegetarian! Think You Can Do It?