There are a lot of posts about zero-waste Christmas trees appearing online this time of year. Those are super helpful, but what about the other holidays? For example, Hanukkah starts tomorrow night, and I thought it’d be fun to talk about those traditions as well. Especially since my favorite one includes seasonal food!
For those who don’t know, Hanukkah lasts eight nights. Families light their menorah each evening in order to celebrate the miracle of an oil lamp that lasted eight days, rather one. (In modern terms, people like to compare this event to a cell-phone running on 10% battery for a week while being used and not being charged.) Since the candle was fueled by oil, Jewish people like to celebrate with latkes and jelly donuts (both delicious foods which are fried in- you guessed it – oil). I therefore thought I’d share my go-to recipe with you today. It’s also a great vegetarian option if you’re trying to cut back on meat. Plus, the latkes are made with seasonal produce, such as potatoes, onion and apples, and are pretty easy to cook.
3.5 cups of shredded, peeled potatoes
1.25 cups shredded onion
6 tbsp flour
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt and pepper, each
oil for frying
Combine potato and onion in a colander and let drain for 30 mins. Add flour and season together with the potato mixture. Heat a large skillet over medium to high heat and spoon 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan. Flatten and repeat until you finish the mixture. The latkes should be crispy and cooked through. Don’t be scared to turn up the flame. I used to be afraid of high heat, and the latkes are much better if cooked at a hotter temperature, rather than low and slow. We eat these latkes on the first night of Hanukkah every year, after lighting our menorahs. This year, we’ll have homemade applesauce that I made this fall and froze in an old jar.
Presents are also exchanged, and every year I try to buy from small stores and/or used items. We’re not perfect – my husband loves using Hanukkah themed wrapping paper – but I also save our gift boxes from years passed and reuse those together with used tissue paper from old packaging. We also use menorahs that we’re passed down from us, like the Mickey one above.
Whether Jewish or not, I hope you will enjoy the latkes. I love Christmas cookies, so please accept this recipe as my food offering to you. Happy Hanukkah! – Rachel