In case you hadn’t guessed, we’re not Jewish. We can still appreciate a variation on Hanukkah food, though, since it’s in season and able to be locally grown (much of which we got from Conway Locally Grown). Tonight we had latkes (potato pancakes) served with yogurt (in lieu of sour cream), braised onions and red cabbage, chicken-apple sausage, and spiced baked apple wedges. No, I’m sorry, I don’t have pretty pictures tonight. I just made it and we ate it, with no photography.
Latkes are one of the world’s easiest yummy foods. Start by washing about one or two medium red potatoes per person. Grate the potatoes in long strips. Let the grated potatoes drain in a colander. Toss them in a bowl with about a tablespoon of flour (I used whole wheat), salt and pepper to taste (I used cajun seasoning and garlic too), and about one egg (or less) for every two servings. Now heat about a 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy skillet. I, not surprisingly, used a good cast iron skillet. You can tell when the oil is hot enough if the handle tip of a wooden spoon or the tip of a wooden chop stick yields tiny bubbles if you press it into the bottom of the pan. Drop the potato mixture into the hot oil using a full soup spoon, quickly spreading out the mixture. Now leave it alone. As the edges start to brown, flip the latke using a large spatula. A few minutes later, scoop out the latke and drain it well. At this point, I like to leave the latkes on a cast iron plate in a warm oven, while I make the rest. Serve all of the latkes warm with sour cream or yogurt and apple sauce or apples. Mmmmmmm.
Even though I had forgotten that it’s Hanukkah until we finished our meal, our supper tonight is good reminder that most traditional holiday food is seasonally appropriate. For instance, I am rarely interested in heating up the house in the summer long enough to roast a bird as big as a turkey, but I’ll happily take that heat in the house come late fall. What seasonal foods do you eat at holidays, as part of family tradition?