Ahhhh Chanukah, potato latkes frying in oil, spinning dreidels, and EIGHT days of celebrating (yeah, we’re looking at you Christmas, you only get one day ?!)
Chanukah is the story of how oil burned miraculously for eight days. To celebrate this, we fry potato latkes and donuts in oil. There are other things like gelt (chocolate coins), and maybe some challah – but in my opinion, latkes are the main star.
Growing up, we would make latkes, but I don’t have too much memory of helping in the kitchen. Hot oil and three kids sounds like a nightmare; I don’t blame you, Mom. My fondest memory of Chanukah is my Mom playing Paul Zim on tape (yes, remember those ancient things?). It was extremely cheesy Chanukah music, but none the less, catchy and fun to singalong.
As an adult, I’ve started some of my own Chanukah traditions, which mostly include sharing latkes with friends. When I first moved to Albuquerque, my then-roommate, Kaylee, and I decided to throw a “Chanukah party.” We made noodle kugel, challah, and of course, latkes. I remember we asked our Moms how to make latkes and were feeling pretty confident…
About one hour until the party was supposed to start, we had deeply underestimated how long grating potatoes by hand and then frying them would take (PSA: use a food processor if you have one!). We also realized we had bought WAY too many potatoes and would be making latkes the entire night at this rate. We came to terms that only a third of the grated potatoes would actually become latkes. Everyone enjoyed the latkes, and we continued to make latkes for the next week.
Adult & Beyond Latkes
Over the years, I’ve accepted the fact that making latkes will always take longer than you think. So, if you’re going to make latkes, grab a friend or some good music and enjoy the journey! You can also join me this Sunday, December 13th at 4 pm MST, and make latkes together! They’ll be more fun stories, history, and more latke-memories to be made!