Hanukkah, Louisiana Eats-Style

On this week's show, we celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, a time when families gather to light the menorah, exchange gifts and feast on traditional foods.

First, we share stories with Rabbi Ed Cohn of Temple Sinai, the spiritual leader of the largest synagogue in Louisiana. Rabbi Cohn tell us about his tenure at Temple Sinai and his favorite Hanukkah food memories.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began the evening of December 6 and ends the evening of December 14.    QUINN DOMBROWSKI / FLICKR

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began the evening of December 6 and ends the evening of December 14.

QUINN DOMBROWSKI / FLICKR

Then, we head over to the Lower 9th Ward, to the grand opening of the Sankofa Fresh Stop Market. Sankofa is a community development project that is working to provide healthy food and promote neighborhood well-being in an area of New Orleans that has suffered from a lack of food resources for years.

We also speak with Elizabeth Kurtz, author of Celebrate: Food, Family, Shabbos, to learn more about some other kosher holiday recipes, with a different challah bread for every occasion!

Poppy Tooker and Rabbi Ed Cohn of Temple Sinai   CREDIT JOE SHRINER

Poppy Tooker and Rabbi Ed Cohn of Temple Sinai

CREDIT JOE SHRINER

Next, we wander through the holiday-lit French Quarter to visit Leah's Pralines, a quaint family-owned candy shop steeped in a delicious history. Elna Stokes and her daughter Suzie, the second and third generation operators of the business, tell us about the Johnson family's history with pralines.

Finally, we hit the history books with Rien Fertel, food historian and scholar, to hear about his research on Louisiana's quintessential candy.

It's the season of sweets on this week's Louisiana's Eats!

Elizabeth Kurtz's Spinning Dreidel Rum Punch

Be careful with this one — drink too much and your head will be spinning!

Rum is a wonderfully versatile spirit that can be mixed with just about everything, and the Walder’s Creamy Liqueur adds a decadent rich layer to this festive punch.

What you'll need:

  • Large punch bowl

  • 1 Bottle Ron Viejo De Caldas 3 Year Aged Rum

  • 4 Cans Ginger Ale

  • 4 Cups Pineapple Juice

  • 1 Bottle Walder's Vodka & Vanilla Creamy Liqueur

  • Plenty of Ice

In a large punch bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the ice and ginger ale. Refrigerate the punch for about an hour before you're ready to serve. Then, add the ice, ginger ale and stir.