Hanukkah

dreidelcandies.jpgI was recently roped I…I mean asked to participate in Canter’s Chanters Chanukah Extravaganza at my Temple. When it was first presented to me, I thought, ‘Great, our Canter is a cool guy and is probably open to doing some improv or something with the kids. That’s got to be why he’s asking me. This’ll be fun.”

But, no. He griped that the kids were positively incapable of doing improv and that was why he prevailed on my services as well as other Temple members who happened to be performers; to write and perform small vignettes that would be done eight times, as eight groups were led through the Temple. The motif was to be “You want to know what Chanukah is all about? I’ll tell you what Chanukah’s all about…”

Each group was to represent one aspect of the celebration. My friend Amy Simon, writer and performer of the wonderful show Cheerios in My Underpants, volunteered to create some sort of wrap-around to feature ‘latkes’.  She had the run of the Temple kitchen and would be making real latkes to give to the kids. Her idea was to create a Bubbie personae.

Dreidels were up for grabs so I decided to take a whack at it. I love games and this is a mindless game much like Yahtzee, only you win pennies or chocolate. 

Read more ...

chewing_gum.jpgThe first thing I ever stole was a piece of Bazooka Bubble Gum. I lifted the small, red, white and blue rectangle out of the glass canister on the counter, wrapped my fist around it and shoved it in my pocket. My heart pounded against my chest with fear and excitement as I glanced around the store making sure no one had seen me. It was a rush. Taking it. Not getting caught. Pulling something off. Putting something over.

Read more ...

My recipe is the one my mother and now I have been making for years. I mean years and years. It came from one of my mom’s best friends Roz Katz. Mom and Roz met as co-op nursery school mothers. The Katzs still grate the potatoes by hand using the old fashioned grater that is like a grid. I’m in a hurry so I use a food processor.
– Evan Kleiman

latkeplate.jpg Evan Kleiman's Latkes

Traditional Potato Latkes

Zabar's Latkes

Latkes with Pomegranate Syrup

Melanie Chartoff’s Mother’s Mother’s Latkes

Almost Traditional Potato Pancakes

Amazing Potato Latkes

Amy’s Potato Pancakes

Grandma Sarah’s Latkes

Thin and Crisp Potato Pancakes

Bill's Latkes
 

Chunky Homemade Applesauce

Olive Oil Bundt CakeI'm wishing a Happy Hanukkah to all of our Jewish friends. Since Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days the Jewish people celebrate with foods that include oil.

Fried foods like potato pancakes (“latkas” in Yiddish) and doughnuts (“sufganiyot” in Hebrew) are traditional Hanukkah treats because they are cooked in oil and remind the Jewish people of the miracle of the holiday. So why not an olive oil cake!! Instead of butter, oil is used to create this beautiful dessert. And best of all, no mixer is required. We also have some other great Hanukkah recipes for you to enjoy.

And the tangerine glaze…wow. I have a whole bowl of Satsumas on the counter, and they are as juicy as can be. Perfect to squeeze and bake into this cake and glaze.

Read more ...

herod lamp"Latkes are a kind of oil, into which small quantities of shredded potato have been infused." -- Jonathan Safran Foer


Latkes, also known as potato pancakes, are a traditional treat to eat at least once during the eight days of Hanukkah. The reason you eat latkes for Hanukkah is because they are fried in oil. Why oil? Hanukkah celebrates the re-dedication of the second temple after a battle and along with the victory came the miracle in which mere drops of oil in an oil lamp lasted eight days. The "miracle" is much like a story about a fat man coming down a chimney with presents...

A real miracle would be to have perfectly crispy and not-so-greasy latkes. For years there has been a debate in my family. My mom and I spoke up in defense of shredding potatoes for latkes, and my papa insisted that grating lead to much crispier ones. It's all in the technique, as most recipes call for the same ingredients--eggs, flour or matzah meal, onions and potatoes. Last year I had some of the crispiest latkes ever and guess what? Papa was right. Grating does make them crispier. That and frying them in the just right amount of oil at just the right temperature of course.

Read more ...
Page 3 of 4