Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happy Hanukkah!

It's Latke Time!

The Jewish Festival of Lights, Hanukkah is here and along with the candles and the dreidles come Latkes. Latkes are a potato pancake fried in oil to celebrate the miracle of the oil that kept the lights burning for 8 days in the Holy Temple.

My Mother in Law told me that her family used to have a traditional German meal of Potato Latkes for the Christian Holiday of Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The way she described those potato latkes was just like the way good Hanukkah latkes are made.

The cultures of humanity are intertwined in so many ways. People are always looking for the differences in each other, but we are so much the same. Let us celebrate this holiday season by remembering that we are all family. Let us celebrate with a potato.

Classic Potato Latkes


1 – 1½ pounds potatoes, cleaned and peeled.
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 medium onion, finely grated
Salt and black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying


Grate potatoes into long strips, over a large bowl of cold water. Transfer grated potatoes from water into another bowl. Pour off water from first bowl, reserving potato schmutz (residue). Add residue to potatoes.
Add eggs and onion. Add salt and pepper to taste (but don’t actually taste it because it has raw eggs). Mix well by hand.
Fill a large heavy-bottomed frying pan with about 1/2 inch of oil and heat until very hot, about 385 degrees.
Drop about 5 or 6 heaping spoonfuls of potato mixture into the frying pan. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn latkes over, and cook on the other side until golden brown, about another 3 minutes.

Serve with Applesauce and Sour Cream.

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