Does just reading this headline give you stress? I'm sorry. I know you've teachers' gifts to come up with, at least one holiday concert to attend (why must they start at freaking 4:30 pm?!) if not more, a home to decorate, and God knows what else. But you're probably also having people over as well. And we promise, you can do it without losing your last shred of sanity. You can actually enjoy it. Promise. Just create a plan that allows almost everything to be done in advance and your friends and family will be so impressed. Not by how fancy the dinner was but by how chill you were. Okay, ready? You can do this! Read more
Latkes are one of my most favorite potato dishes. (Yes, I love them more than french fries.) I've also been making them for longer than I can remember. Ok, I remember. It was college. Yup, you heard that correctly. I actually cooked in college. Don't get me wrong. I ordered lots of greasy, let-the-freshman-15-call my-hips-home food at 3 am too but I also had a nice, Jewish boyfriend who loved to cook. So whenever we wanted to eat like civilized people (rather than scarfing down potato chips and then heading to the bar), we'd make dinner together and the latkes were always my job. I can still remember my boyfriend's sweet Bubbie, as she stood in her cramped and tchotchkes-loving kitchen in Boca Raton, Florida, stringing her pearls of wisdom (Always wring out the water, honey!) about the traditional Jewish dish eaten around the hanukkah festival.
In my college days, the recipe I used was about as standard as you could get–white potato, flour, egg and some seasoning. However, over the years, I've taken it into a few different directions. After a particularly nauseating bender with mashed potatoes in my early twenties, I switched to sweet potato. Then, years later when I had my daughter, I added carrot for an even more potent dose of vitamins. I'm not sure if these latkes are any better than the original white potato gems, but I know I love their delicate sweetness.
However, the way I prepare the latkes has definitely improved over the years. In college, I'd grate the potatoes using a box grater until I'd made my way through a few cocktails (three vodka and sodas to be exact). Today I have the time-saving blessing of a slicing disk in my Cuisinart Food Processor . The smart little gadget has two sides for fine or medium shredding and makes the prep work nearly non existent. This batch was made using the medium side of the disk and the whole lot was done in barely the time it would take to mix one drink let alone mix and throw back three. Nowadays, anything that saves me that much time is what I consider civilized. Oh, how life has changed.… Tell us about your favourite holiday side dish in the Comments section below and you could win this Cuisinart Food Processor!