Late Latkes

Today’s dinner: Potato Latkes and spinach salad
Cooking soundtrack: Radio Lab-“Stress,” “Who Am I” and “Emergence”
What am I avoiding by cooking: Folding laundry


Tonight’s recipe is adapted out of my Joy of Cooking, which I’m finally making use of after receiving it from my well-meaning grandparents when I left for college the first time, nearly six years ago. (Good lord, now I feel bad…) The good ol’ JoC doesn’t include carrots in their recipe, and also calls for less onion and flour. For those of you reading along at home, you can find their recipe on page 298 of the 75th Anniversary Edition.

I still had some carrots chilling out in the fridge after the Split Pea Soup Incident earlier in the week. Unless they transformed into something tasty quickly, they were going to go all wilty and floppy and unappetizing. So out they come, onto the table where I stare at them for a few minutes, hoping they will pipe up with some clever idea. “Think, think, think,” I say in my best Winnie the Pooh voice. Aha! There is the Mondo Bag of Potatoes and the Equally Mondo Net of Onions in the pantry! And eggs and flour and butter and oh joy! I can make latkes!

(But they will have to be Late Latkes, because Hanukkah is several days over by now.)

(Alright. But we won’t tell them because that’ll just make them feel bad.)

And here goes:

(This recipe gave me about nine latkes, three to a serving.)

Two mediumish red potatoes, washed and grated.
One smallish onion, finely chopped. (You could grate the onion like the JoC says, but grating an onion with a hand-grater is one of the most painful cooking experiences I have ever had that doesn’t involve the letting of blood. But perhaps you have more manly eyes than I.)
Two largish carrots, tops off, washed and grated.
Three eggs
Two tablespoon flour
One and one quarter teaspoons salt
Lots of butter
Sour cream or applesauce! (for toppings)

Take your grated potato, wrap it in a clean dishrag or paper towel and wring the water out over the sink. Combine the potatoes, carrots, onions, flour, salt and eggs in a bowl.

Take a large frying pan, place over a high flame and throw on a generous amount of butter (or vegetable oil for the health conscious. But really, health conscious people should not be making latkes anyway). There should be sizzling. Drop the latke goop into the sizzling butter one spoonful at a time from not too great a height (if you fancy the shade your skin is now), and flatten to make pancakes of two to three inches in diameter. Fry about five minutes on each side and turn the flame down to medium if you notice scorching. Add more butter between each round of latkes.

As the latkes come off the pan, set them on a paper towel to drain. Soon you will have a piles of delicious wonderfulness, and all your neighbors will come to your door for one. And you should give them one, because you are not a terrible person and you have at least six more latkes then you should reasonably eat. (These things exist only as conveyances for butter and sour cream. Really, you should share.)

I served these with a fresh spinach and goat cheese salad, topped with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, whole grain mustard, sea salt and lemon zest.

And then, of course, dessert.


Crusty white bread on just the wrong side of stale, broken up in a bowl topped with torn up raspberries, honey and cream. One of my absolute favoritest desserts ever.

See rest of tonight’s Cooking Adventure here