As part of the evening, several of our church girls did two Hebrew dances. Laurel has taken Hebrew dance off and on in the past; she's going to start again more diligently in February.
I thought it would be fun to serve a taste of traditional Hanukkah cuisine, so I spent Sunday afternoon whipping up latkes and applesauce. I made 100 small latkes, which turned out to be enough for everyone to have one and some to have extras. The kids went crazy over them; I left out the onions.
From what I've read, the potato latke has a big role in the culinary tradition of Hanukkah. The Hanukkah connection has nothing to do with the potato and everything to do with the oil in which it is fried. Jews all over the world eat foods fried in oil on Hanukkah to commemorate the Miracle of the Oil.
I'm going to add latkes to my list of yummy things to make on a more regular basis. These were incredibly easy and really delicious. The recipe is below.
1 bag (24 oz.) shredded potatoes for hash browns, somewhat thawed
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp baking powder
3-4 TBS flour
vegetable oil for frying
Heat 1/2-inch oil in big skillet to medium high heat. Place potatoes in a large bowl. Add eggs to the bowl. Add salt and baking powder, then sprinkle in flour. Combine with a wooden spoon. Drop mixture into oil in 3-inch mounds, press down gently with spatula to form patties. Fry in batches of 4 to 6 patties depending on the size of your skillet, 1-inch apart, until golden, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Drain latkes on paper towels. Serve with warm applesauce (recipe below) and sour cream.
Truly Luscious Applesauce
About 8 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into fourths
1/2-1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 TB. cinnamon
Directions: Put the apples in a pot. Add everything else. Cook slowly with lid on for about 20-30 minutes, mashing the apples occasionally and stirring. Take the lid off the last 10 minutes to thicken, but be sure to stir to keep from scorching, like I do sometimes.