A California-Cool Hanukkah, Celebrated Outdoors

A California-cool Hanukkah, celebrated outdoors.

11/27/2021 4:00:00 PM

A California-cool Hanukkah, celebrated outdoors.

Julia Sherman, the author of 'Arty Parties', invites us into her Pasadena home for a chill Hanukkah gathering with her pod.

that includes a vegetable garden in the front yard, a fruit orchard in the back, a babbling brook, and an A-frame studio perched above the orchard. The house’s expansive deck connects to the back garden via a bridge. It’s basically a California daydream.

A post shared by Julia Sherman (@saladforpresident)Friends & DinersFor their Hanukkah celebration, Sherman and Katz, along with their children Red (2 ½) and Dov Bear (4 months), hosted their friends for an al fresco meal on the deck. They invited their regular Friday night Shabbat pod:

artist Isaac Resnikoffand his wife Lizz Wasserman, their children Eli and Esphyr, and pals Mia Locks and Jason Vasillades and their daughter Vivian. “It felt very much like the west coast version of Hanukkah,” says Sherman of the outdoor event. “It was chaos because our kids just ran around and there was a big dance party in the middle. This was not your traditional Hanukkah.” headtopics.com

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Photo by Julia ShermanPhoto by Julia ShermanTable DressingSherman took particular pleasure in dressing the table for the party, which usually doesn’t see much decor during Shabbat dinners because they’re winding down the week, So, to make this meal extra festive, Sherman headed to the backyard and clipped branches from her Meyer lemon and satsuma trees, which she paired with Mexican marigolds floating in bowls and bouquets of amaranth and rust-colored sunflowers. Sherman set the table with her own Heath Ceramics plates, hammered copper cups from Mexico, and heirloom linens. “I have these napkins that my grandmother gave me that I'd never used. They were still starched and pressed from her.”

Family TraditionsSherman says her grandmother was on her mind because she usually spent the holiday at her Nana’s native New York, where Sherman also grew up. “My grandmother's house was very formal—fine china, silver, lace doilies, and things like that—it was very traditional,” she says. Sherman’s grandmother passed away two and a half years ago around the time Sherman’s daughter was born, so Sherman is just starting to form new traditions with her own young family.

Photo by Julia ShermanPhoto by Julia ShermanMenus and MenorahsSherman’s menu, too, was part-family traditional, part-contemporary California. “One of the cool things about Hanukkah is that you're supposed to eat greasy food to celebrate how the oil magically lasted eight days,” says Sherman. To that end, Resnikoff made his family’s latke recipe that mixes mashed potatoes with whipped egg whites for super-crisp latkes that Sherman describes as “pristine and incredible.” They topped them with creme fraiche and salmon roe. Resnikoff also fried up cardoons from his garden, and when he ran out of bread crumbs, substituted in crumbled

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(greasy in the best way possible!).Photo by Julia ShermanSherman rounded out the meal with carrot and fennel pollen soup and a green salad with poppy seed dressing and homemade sumac cracker croutons. She also roasted a farmer’s market chicken in homage to her grandmother’s traditional meal, but added layers of flavor with a celery salt brine, lots of olive oil, smoked headtopics.com

andsweet paprika, cumin, and stuffed it with a lemon before roasting in a hot cast iron pan with a whole garlic.Resnikoff also contributed a braided loaf of challah, which he brings to their usual Friday night Shabbat. They stuck candles into the loaf as an impromptu menorah—a spin on the Loaf-a-Labra stale bread candle holder in

Read more: Food52 »

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