Family Time Calendar: Festival of Fried Potatoes

Potato pancakes, or latkes as they're sometimes known, are often enjoyed this time of year by folks who celebrate Hanukkah. But you don't have to be Jewish to enjoy a potato cake. After all, who doesn't enjoy a fried potato? In this task, everyone can help. Older kids can grate the onion and potato and younger kids can help mix all the messy ingredients together. We recommend you, the grown-up, be the fry -chef alone, because of the risks of working with hot oil!

What you'll need:
3-4 medium baking potatoes, peeled
1/2 yellow onion
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons flour or matzoh meal
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup canola or peanut oil
Sour cream and applesauce as accompaniments

What you'll do:
Grate the potatoes over a large bowl, using a box grater. You should end up with about two cups of potato. A little more is better than a little less. Then grate the onion into the potato mixture (this should be done by the bravest of the bunch -- it can make you cry). Of course, if you want to spare your children's knuckles from the evil sides of the box grater, you can also grate this in a food processor.

Add the eggs, flour and salt to the potatoes and onion and blend well.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat until it's hot, but not smoking. If it begins to smoke, just turn the heat off underneath the pan until it cools down a bit. Smoking oil will cook the outsides of the pancakes too quickly, and leave the insides raw. Blech.

Ease spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan and pat into circles. Fry the potatoes until golden on one side (three to five minutes), then flip (carefully!) and repeat.


Drain the pancakes on paper- towel-lined plates and eat with sour cream and/or applesauce.

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