Highchair Travelers: Hanukkah Latkes

hanukkah featured 2Hanukkah is the celebration of a miracle that took place in the temple at Jerusalem in the second century BC. The city had been overrun and the temple desecrated, and when the Israelites finally returned triumphant to their temple, they wanted to begin their worship as soon as possible. The lamp in the temple was to be kept burning day and night, but search as they might, the people could find only one vessel of oil. They lit the lamp anyway, and were amazed when the oil, which should have burned for only one day, burned instead for eight days and nights.

Now, Jews light candles to commemorate the miracle of the temple oil. At Hanukkah, it’s also traditional to eat foods fried in oil such as jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot) and potato pancakes (latkes). Children play with dreidels in a betting game using chocolate coins, and there is a strong emphasis on spending time with loved one and family members.

source: Wikipedia commons

source: Wikipedia commons

There are lots of wonderful books and websites giving details about how Hanukkah is celebrated. But one of the easiest ways to introduce your children to some of the traditions of Haunkkah is by making Latkes. These delicious potato pancakes are easy to make and a big hit with kids and adults alike. Serve them with applesauce or sour cream.

Easy Hanukkah Latkes

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3 lbs hashbrown potatoes, thawed and pressed dry
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 onion, grated
black pepper, to taste
vegetable oil (for frying)
Latkes 005
Combine all ingredients but the oil, press into pancake shapes.  Fry in oil over medium heat till golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  (You can use a spatula to flatten and compress the pancakes while frying)  Drain over wire rack.
Makes about 20 pancakes.
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Happy Hanukkah!


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