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Late for Latkes

December 17, 2014

Happy Chanukah!

For some people this is a confusing time of the year. Today is officially the first day of Chanukah. But yesterday was the first night. Which means that even though today is the first day of the festival, tonight is the second night.

Got it? Good. These are just some of the hijinks we get by subscribing to a lunar calendar.

Yesterday included the traditional holiday tradition where I run around frantically trying to buy presents for the kids. This is one of those great moments to be Jewish. Even though there are plenty of people who find themselves in the same predicament, we’re such a small population that it’s nothing even close to the crush of last minute shoppers the day before Christmas.

The other lucky thing is that we don’t have to gather for a big festive meal any night of the holiday. Which isn’t to say there aren’t holiday foods. My temple has a great latke fest and I’m looking forward to eating the food of my people with the people of my people.

All I wanted last night was a taste of the holiday. And I’m a little ashamed about how I got it.

Just a little bit though. Just enough to compel me to confess my sins to those of you who will properly berate me for my failings.

Really, there are two traditional holiday foods: donuts and potato pancakes. The official name for the donuts are sufganiyot. Very few people have heard about these. But after all the donuts I’ve been eating, I can’t say I’m hungering for more on my down time.

Latkes on the other hand, are much better known. And they aren’t that hard to make. I even have the stuff at home to do it. Potatoes, onions, eggs and oil are all winter staples here.

I could give you excuses until I’m blue in the face. Mrs. Fussy is out of town, I’m working on a sizeable side project, I had to make room in my schedule for the electrician, there was all that shopping to do, etc. etc. etc.

Whatever you do, just don’t tell Kate of NY that I bought pre-made frozen latkes.

In my defense, the ones from Trader Joe’s are pretty good and made out of simple stuff. Seriously, they are all kitchen cabinet ingredients. It’s kind of amazing: Potatoes, onions, water, dehydrated potatoes, canola oil, matzoh meal, egg whites, egg, salt, and white pepper.

Perhaps the best part was that they looked homemade. No two pancakes were exactly the same shape, and a few didn’t even come close to resembling a circle. And instead of putting the frozen latkes in the oven, I fried them up in oil, because that’s what this holiday is all about. Or at least that’s how we celebrate it these days.

Were they great? No. But it was great to have a familiar taste of the holiday be so convenient. Hopefully I’ll find a way to redeem myself before this holiday is over. I also have my eye on a few other fried delights in the region.

For someone with a fat tooth, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 17, 2014 12:40 pm

    Mr. Overinvolved Mom is making homemade latkes this weekend at our annal Latkes and Eggnog holiday party. Wish you and Mrs. Fussy lived closer by! I found evening last-minute gift and candle shopping very stressful last night since it coincided with rush hour. Eek. There was no Hanukkah cheer at Whole Foods.

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