Why am I making latkes, one of the most famous of all the Jewish foods and a specialty of Hanukkah? I’m so glad you asked! Let me tell you.
Like all parents, I want the best for my kids. When it comes to their daycare (we call it school), I feel like I hit the jackpot! Their philosophies align with mine, and I actually think they guide mine, as well. Through them, I’ve learned so much about my babies and how their minds work.
The school we attend also happens to be of a different religion than what we practice at home. More specifically, it is a preschool that is a part of a Jewish synagogue. I have learned so much in our short time there about the Jewish religion, holidays and practices. Each Friday we join the boys for Shabbot where we sing songs together. At home, we sing HaMotzi before our meals.
The school’s philosophy is very similar to a Montessori school where the kids take the lead in learning. They will set out provocations but if the kids dig in to something else, they change plans and learn about what the kids are interested in at that time. The teachers guide their curiosity and ask questions about why or what they are doing. My boys learn through making mistakes and discussing them with their peers or teachers.
The school is also very inclusive of all races, religions, genders — everyone is welcome and loved! They read books, discuss and teach the kids that kindness is always the answer. That’s a lesson we also teach at home, but it’s so great knowing the boys are getting these lessons in every aspect of their lives.
Right now, the boys are learning about Hanukkah at school, and I love hearing what they’ve learned and incorporating it into our own family traditions. I thought it would be fun to make some traditional Jewish latkes for us to have at home. I think it’s fun for them to share this piece of their learnings with us!
PS: You know what would go perfectly with these warm, crispy latkes? My super simple pear apple sauce!
Traditional Latkes Recipe
- 1 pound (2 large) Russet potatoes, peeled and grated
- 1 large onion, peeled and grated
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Safflower or other oil, for frying
- Place eggs in a small bowl and the dry ingredients in another, set aside.
- Grate the potatoes and onion using a box grater or a food processor equipped with the grater attachment. Place the mixture in a clean dishtowel (or salad spinner) and squeeze to wring out most of the liquid.
- Quickly, transfer the potato mixture to a large bowl. Add the eggs and dry ingredients and mix with a fork until absorbed.
- Using a medium sized heavy-bottomed pan, heat 1/4 inch of oil over medium to medium-high heat. Drop batter into the oil using a tablespoon scoop. Cook in batches. Use the back of the spoon to flatten the drops into discs. When brown and crispy (3-5 minutes) flip and cook until the other side is browned (another 3-5 minutes).
- Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
- Serve with sour cream or apple sauce.