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Happy Hanukkah – Potato Latkes

I’m not Jewish but we began celebrating some Jewish holidays when my daughter was a child.  It began with two key events.  One was that my daughter learned about Jewish holidays at school as part of her religion lessons in Grade One and was so taken by them, that for a time she wanted to convert to Judaism.  That is, she wanted to convert until she found out that she couldn’t continue to worship Jesus and that was the end of the conversion idea.  At the same time that my daughter was attending Catholic school, I was teaching at Catholic schools and it was part of our religion curriculum to teach and honour our shared past with our Jewish friends.  We held Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur celebrations in our classrooms and taught the children from Grade One right through high school about the beauty of their traditions.  I always felt it very fitting for us to celebrate along with our Jewish friends – after all, Jesus was a Jew and the traditions that arose out of His life and stories are based on his Jewish heritage.  My favourite celebration was always the Passover Seder that I held annually for the Grade Eights that I taught.  They loved it and found it very meaningful.  Indeed, I would say it is also one of my daughter’s favourite traditions in our home as well, as no matter how busy we become, no matter how much the outside world tries to interfere, it is the one she always asks about, even if we have a simplified version of one.  In fact, she has organized the Seder herself several years and she has her own favourite recipes for Haroset and unleavened bread.  And she makes the BEST Challah I have ever tasted!  So for those of you who are Jewish, I say Happy Hanukkah!  For those who aren’t, I urge you to learn more about Hanukkah and other Jewish holidays and traditions.  If you are a Christian, their heritage is your heritage.  Even if you aren’t, the stories and the history are simply fascinating!

Now, for one of my favourite recipes – Potato Latkes!


2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes (plain old white potatoes are traditional but I prefer to use half white potatoes and half sweet potatoes…a Jewish friend of mine liked to use carrots in place of the sweet potatoes and I have recently heard of people adding things like zucchini to theirs – YUM!)

1 T. grated onion

3 eggs, beaten
2 T. flour
about 1 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
oil for frying – I use canola oil but I know that some people prefer peanut oil.
Instructions:  It’s best to get as much moisture out of the potatoes as you can.  Some people do this by placing them in a colander over a bowl and leave them to drain but that usually takes more time than I care to spend.  So I use a tea towel or cheesecloth or something like that and blot the potatoes until as much moisture as possible is absorbed out of them.  Mix the potatoes with all remaining ingredients (except of course the oil).  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat and drop in the potato mixture using a large spoon.  Press them down into patties and cook until browned and crispy on both sides (be careful not to flip too soon or they will fall apart!).  I like to drain them a bit on paper towels before serving.  My daughter likes hers just plain but my mom always put butter on them.  Me?  I like them with a side of sour cream.  Delish!

5 responses »

  1. Now if everyone in the world would learn to be as open minded and appreciative of everyone’s faiths and traditional, the world would be a whole lot cooler place.


  2. Diversity is awesome.
    You’ll love this, its cute and fun:

  3. Great philosophy and a yummy recipe – I’ll try adding zucchini tonight – I have a surplus of them right now.

    I’ve been making variations of this recipe for years with varying degrees of success – I like your tip for draining the potato – that is obviously where I’ve been going wrong.

  4. Sounds yumm. I’ll try this one too.


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