My husband is Jewish; I am Christian. So, when it comes to the holidays, our kids get the best of both worlds as we celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas (or as some say, Christmukkah) and we decorate our house with blue and silver, as well as red and green. I am very familiar with everything associated with Christmas, both religious and secular, but for the last decade, I have been introduced to a lot of new Jewish traditions such as the lighting of the menorah, the spinning of the dreidel, gelt (CHOCOLATE!) and latkes.
When we were newly married and had just one child, we were able to visit my husband’s side of the family and his family made great Hanukkah food and treats for us. Now that we have 3 kids and still live on the opposite side of the country, we don’t get to visit as often and I have tried to take upon the duty of at least attempting to make the Hanukkah goodies until the kids get a chance to taste authentic ones again.
I have made cookies in the past, purchased the traditional gelt and made latkes from a boxed mix, but this year, I decided I would be more daring and make latkes from scratch. And, yes, I took pictures so that I have proof! I have great respect for the Jewish women (and I’m sure some men) that make tons of latkes every year because those bad boys are a pain in the butt.
I washed the potatoes and peeled them. At that point, I was already tired. I know, poor me; I was so strong to persevere through this tough project.
Then it came time to shred the potatoes. It took me FOREVER. It could be because I cut my finger twice in the midst of shredding (I promise the latkes were hemoglobin free) or it could be because my oldest kept asking me questions or it could be because my husband kept asking how much longer I was going to be – NO PRESSURE FOR THE GENTILE, RIGHT?!
What seemed like hours later (though it was probably about 30 minutes), I finally finished shredding my 5 measly potatoes and got to work mixing in the other ingredients.
Then I poured the oil (mine did not last for 8 nights, nor did it last for 8 latkes) and went to town frying up those suckers.
In the end, every latke was quickly eaten and I received great compliments from my husband and older son (my daughter would not even look at them and the baby can’t speak, though he only threw one piece on the ground so I assume he loved them too). Now, my husband may have been being sweet and lying to me to avoid a potential meltdown, but my son always tells me the truth when it comes to food so I know they must have at least tasted good to him.
Y’all, I feel proud that this little, Southern, non-Jew made real latkes, but I look forward to not having to do it again until this time next year! Poor Santa is getting the pre-made batter cookies.