Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Fun

Chanukah, the festival of lights, begins Tuesday night and lasts for eight days. This year it overlaps with Christmas. It doesn't always happen that way because Jewish holidays follow a lunar-solar calendar. Because there is roughly an eleven-day difference between twelve lunar months and one solar year, the length of the Hebrew calendar year varies. Sometimes Chanukah is in early December and we're just finishing up our holiday when Christmas celebrations begin.

Latkes, potato pancakes, are traditional Chanukah treats. I've seen recipes for latkes made with a mixture of zucchini, carrots, and parsnips. For those looking for something new or healthier to celebrate the Chanukah, maybe nouvelle latkes will float your boat. But since I only make potato pancakes once a year, I say go for it, use the potatoes and cut down on the fat intake somewhere else. Because nothing quite says Happy Chanukah to me like the smell of potatoes and onions sizzling in oil, and then topped with some cool applesauce. YUM! Below is my recipe for latkes. As they would say in Hebrew, B'taya Von! Or Bon Appetit!!

Any holiday is an opportunity to enjoy family and friends, reflect on the year, and count our blessings – including the ladies of this delightful blog and you, our readers. Whatever and however you choose to celebrate, we wish you a time of joy and peace.


Traditional Potato Latkes

5 large potatoes, peeled (I use Yukon Gold)
1 large onion
3 eggs
1/3 cup flour
Pinch of baking powder
1 teaspoon salt (you may need to add more)
¼ teaspoon pepper


Grate potatoes and onion (I use a food processor).
Strain the grated potatoes and onion to get rid of excess water.
Add eggs, flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Heat ½ cup of oil in frying pan, and when hot, add 1 large tablespoon of batter. Fry each side about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from pan and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.

Add more oil as necessary.

Enjoy with applesauce (or even sour cream, which is decadent but delicious).

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  1. Jewish friend of mine wants to know how these taste without Matzo flour. She wonders if they taste just like hash browns. I told her I thought the flour, eggs and baking powder probably make the difference.

  2. Thanks Marilyn. I don't happen to like the taste of matzoh meal, so I use flour instead. Since it's not Passover when flour would be prohibited, it's fine to make the substitution.

    In some ways I imagine hash browns and latkes are similar -- although latkes are individual circles of potato/onion mix so they look different. But I love hash browns too :-)

    Happy Chanukah to your friend, and Merry Christmas to you and your family.


  3. Yum, Happy Chanukah and joy and peace to all.

  4. Thanks Lil. Happy Holidays to you, as well.


  5. Happy Chanukah, Marian! I wish I could come to your house for latkes. The recipe sounds yummy!

  6. Happy Chuanukah! Have a wonderful holiday season:)

  7. Thanks Susan and Joelle.

    Just made another batch of latkes :-)

    To everyone, Happy Holidays!!


  8. Happy Hanukkah. I'm lazier than you; I buy the premade latke mix at the supermarket. Have a healthy and safe New Year!

  9. Thanks "write essay for me" and Nancy.

    When I made latkes last night, I decided that I would never make them if I didn't have a food processor. Although scraped skin might add an interesting flavor, the idea of grating potatoes and onion by hand has zero appeal :-)

    Happy Chanukah and best wishes to all for a Healthy, Happy New Year.