I cheated yesterday. It was in the interests of checking this old digestive system I use so perhaps it won’t count as a black mark against me. We were in the mini supermarket downstairs in the retirement home buying necessities such as chocolate, ice-cream, cheese and eggs when I spotted a tray of sufganiyot, those round Hanukkah doughnuts that are deep-fried in oil, filled with jelly or custard, and then sprinkled with icing sugar.
Hanukkah is only a week ahead and this staple delicacy is present wherever food is sold. Will the doughnuts still give me indigestion, or have I finally grown out of it, I wondered, remembering the pain of previous years. I bought a couple and upstairs in our apartment I made coffee for the crucial test. “Delicious,” I exclaimed as I bit into the pastry. An hour later I was in the bathroom scrabbling frantically through the medicine drawer in search of indigestion pills. The pain was worse than last year’s.
So next week when we are celebrating the festival of lights, I will attend the candle lighting, I will listen to the story of the Maccabees for the 75th time and ponder on the miracle of the oil that burned for 8 days; I will sing the songs and lip-sync those whose words I don’t know. But I will NOT eat the doughnuts, no matter how inviting and how mouth-watering they are. I will stand at the back and keep out of the way of small children who are rushing to the table to grab their favorite sufganiyah.
I will confine my intake of oil on this special occasion to eating the olive at the bottom of the martini glass. One per day for the full 8 days.