In this week’s Martin & Sylvia story, "Festival of Lights" , brother and sister enjoy their town’s December traditions, including a “Festival of Lights,” where the shopkeepers decorate their store fronts in lights. When Martin learns that Hanukkah is also called the Festival of Lights, he begins to discover the similarities between all the festivals and holidays that take place during this time of year.
Hanukkah commemorates the miracle of holy oil that should have only lasted for a day, lasting for eight days—enough time for more oil to be properly made. As such, many of the foods traditionally served at Hanukkah are fried in oil. The most famous of these is potato latkes.
While they aren’t health food, to be sure, latkes are delicious. Our family is not Jewish, but we always use Hanukkah as an excuse to borrow from another culture and whip up a batch for breakfast or dinner. Applesauce and sour cream are more traditional toppings, but we love to eat ours with a fried egg and some diced herbs sprinkled on top.
(makes about 6 large latkes)
2 large russet potatoes
½ large onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Coconut oil and olive oil for frying
Using a food processor with a grater attachment or a cheese grater, shred the potatoes. Similarly, shred half a large onion. Pour this entire mixture onto a clean, white bar towel and wring out most of the moisture.
Put the potatoes and onion in a medium bowl. Beat the egg and pour it over the potato/onion mixture. Incorporate well; then add the flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Again, mix well.
Fill a large skillet ⅛ inch full of oil—we use half coconut oil and half olive oil—and heat until it almost reaches the smoke point.
Working in batches to avoid crowding your pan, drop in a heaping tablespoon of the potato mixture and carefully pat it down to flatten it. Fry until the first side is golden brown, then do the same to the second side. Remove from the oil and place on a baking sheet in a warm oven until all of the latkes are cooked.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream, some apple sauce, a fried egg and a dusting of herbs, or any combination of the above.
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About the Author
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred-year-old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two preschoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion — showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun — in her Sparkle Kitchen posts.