Latkes are a cherished tradition on our farm. Chris and I got to know each other while I was making latkes for 25 people. Five hours of grating and mixing and frying allowed us to open up and learn about each other's passions. Somewhere in all the grease, we bonded over a shared love of life and wonder at the world.
We closed on our farm three years ago today and in the time it took us to finalize the closing and return to our brand new farm, all the appliances disappeared. It was the second night of Channukah and without appliances making latkes seemed impossible. This was our first real holiday as a married couple and I felt that we needed latkes to make it complete. While we struggled to unravel the mystery of the missing appliances, I wrestled with how to get latkes on the table. At one point, I even considered buying frozen latkes and a toaster oven.
We celebrate Channukah because of the miracle that happened. A small group of Jews held off an army at almost impossible odds, came back to find their temple desecrated, and discovered just enough oil in the sanctuary to keep the eternal flame lit for just one day -- but the oil lasted eight days. And so, on Channukah, we eat latkes and donuts fried in oil to remind us of the miracle of the oil.
And just as we reflected on the meaning of Channukah, we found a way to save our favorite tradition. While we didn't have a cooking stove, we found enough wood to light our wood stove, heat oil in the big cast iron, and make latkes. Those first latkes in our new house were especially sweet.
The recipe we follow for latkes is pretty simple:
- 1 pound of potatoes
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Olive Oil
Grate the potatoes and place in a large bowl of cold water. Let the potatoes set for 3 minutes and then drain in a colander. Pat the potatoes dry.
Combine the potato, onion, egg, salt, and nutmeg.
Heat a think layer of oil in skillet until hot (but not smoking). Spoon potato mixture into skillet (2 tablespoons for small latkes, 3 tablespoons for large latkes) and spread until you have a flat round. Cook until underside is crispy, flip, and remove once the second side is browned. Transfer latke to paper towel to drain. Season with salt.
The best part about latkes is the toppings. Traditionally they are topped with sour cream or apple sauce, but in our family we also like to top them with cheddar cheese or jam. We have even made miniature grilled cheese sandwiches from leftover latkes. What are your favorite latke toppings?
Interested in other great #DairyChristmas recipes? Check out some of these posts:
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#DairyChristmas Cherry Mint Sugar Cookies by Kimmi's Dairyland
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Dairy Christmas Traditions by Knolltop Farm Wife
#DairyChristmas: Love and Latkes by New Moon Dairy
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Dairy Delight by Spotted Cow Reviews
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