Thursday, December 26, 2019

Lights, Camera, Latkes!

As I write this, I am still in recovery mode from the third night of Hanukkah, which we celebrated with turkey, latkes, cookies, candy, candles and two grandchildren, one almost 7-year old and his 9 month old sister. The blue and silver wrapping paper carnage was EPIC.
The hardest part of the evening was getting my husband into the family room with his super-duper digital camera to take pictures. The 7 year old was very patient, waiting for permission to tear into his packages full of the latest Bey Blades, dinosaurs, and more. Too soon, the fun came to an end. Gifts and leftovers were packed up. The little ones were dressed in their pajamas and jackets, ready to fall asleep in their car seats on the way home.
Latkes, in case you don’t know, are potato pancakes, fried in oil. The holiday celebrates the Maccabees (the Hebrew word for “hammer”) victory over the Greeks who wanted the Jews to reject their one G-d and worship pagan gods. When the Jews reclaimed the Temple, they found only enough uncontaminated oil to light the menorah for one night. Instead, the oil lasted for eight nights, a miracle. On each of the eight nights of Hanukkah, we light candles to commemorate this miracle. We also cook in oil to remember the special oil in the lamp. Some families make donuts. We make latkes.
Everyone’s family has a different recipe. Now I’m seeing recipes for latkes with jalapeno peppers! My mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, would not approve. Herewith, I share with you two of my mother-in-law’s recipes for Hanukkah, brisket and latkes.
Brisket Slow Cooker Style
(Serves 4-6 hungry people)

3-4 pounds brisket
Large container Paprika
One large onion
One 1 pound bag carrots
6 Beef bouillon cubes
6 Cups water (depends on size of cooker)

Place peeled carrots on bottom of slow cooker.
Place chopped onions in slow cooker on top of carrots.
Coat brisket in Paprika and place on top of onions.
Put in 6 beef bouillon cube and pour 6 cups of water around everything. Cover and simmer on medium/high for 8-10 hours–depending on your slow cooker.
Serve on a large platter with side of horseradish.

(Serves small army, but remember you want leftovers!)

5 pound bag of white potatoes
2 large sweet onions
1 large container of egg substitute
Black pepper
Olive oil for cooking (lots—don’t skimp or the latkes will stick!)
Sour cream
Using food processor or hand grater, grate onions and set aside in large bowl. (You will cry.) Drain onions and pat with paper towels. They make a lot of water!
Peel potatoes and place in large bowl or pot of salted water to prevent them from turning colors.
Cut potatoes into chunks and grate in food processor or by hand. (Oy! That’s a lot of work. Sure you can’t borrow a food processor from someone?)
Mix onions, potatoes, and egg substitute until all potatoes and onions are covered well with egg. You probably won’t need the entire container. Throw in black pepper to your taste.
Heat olive oil in frying pan. You want it hot, not smoking, but hot.
Place large spoons full of latke mix in pan and turn when golden brown (you will see it on turn color on the edges).
Serve latkes hot with a generous dollop of sour cream and/or applesauce.

I hope you enjoy the recipes. More importantly, I hope you enjoy your time with your families, whatever you celebrate.
Happy healthy holidays to all!

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