Shalom, Chanukkah! Care for some pudding?

Hi all,

I guess we’ve been subliminally building up our appetites for Chanukkah for a couple days now — even without our knowledge. It all started off while we were thinking about a planning a trip to England.

I was wondering what ‘shire (though I was pretty sure it wasn’t The Shire) Cambridge would be found in, since that’s where our pal Ian lives now). We decided it must be Cambridgeshire. That made me think of Yorkshire.

Broccoli, Cheese,
Potatoes, and Eggs

So from there, it was an easy jump to Yorkshire Pudding, the Pudding That’s Not™. And that made us think about all the different kinds of pudding. There are a lot of them. Looking through the list, we decided we wanted to have one of the savory puddings. Most of them sounded repulsive, but we had a hunch we could do OK with a potato kugel. And we were right. It was OK. Kind of bland, as the ingredients might suggest. But not bad. Seasoned salt helps a lot.

The next stop on our Puddingquest was the Bread Pudding of Joy. There are no pictures of this one folks, because, well, it just didn’t last long enough. It was wonderful. We used Challa (thus, the Jewish cuisine thing continues). Seriously, make this.

And finally, to mark the first night of Channukah, we went straight-up traditional on this one: Potato Latkes. These were amazing. Hot, crispy, squishy, tatery, yummy, and made from scratch with our own blender with nothing more than potatoes, onions, flour, seasonings, shortening, and eggs. I’ve had these in different parts of Germany (usually at outdoor vendors at markets or fairs, etc.) and we recently tried to get some from the Weihnachtsmarkt here in Regensburg. Those were a big disappointment, but also the inspiration for making our own. And I’m sure glad we did. We’ve got lots of the batter left over, so I’m hearing a potato pancake breakfast in my future as well. 'Boker tov' means 'Good Morning' in Hebrew.'

Potato Latkes

Gentiles: these are something you should really experience, if you never have. You may know them as “potato pancakes,” if you’re not familiar with them from an Eastern European/Jewish cuisine background. Potato pancakes are kind of seasonal fare here in Germany, often sold by street vendors fresh out of the fryer with apple sauce to sweeten them up and cool them down somewhat. We had some at the Weihnachtsmarkt out on the square, but they paled in comparison to the ones I had in Cologne. So Sarah found a recipe, and we made them, and they are just awesome. We were inspired by this recipe.

6 large potatoes, peeled
1 large onion
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon baking powder
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 pinch sugar
flour (enough to hold ingredients together, you’ll be able to tell when you’ve added enough)
shortening (we used butter-flavored shortening)

Cut peeled potatoes into chunks or spears and shred in food processor. Cut onions into chunks and shred in food processor.Mix potatoes and onions together in a colander over a large bowl. Allow to drain.

Pour mixture into a large bowl and add beaten eggs, salt, pepper, baking powder, sugar, and a tablespoon of flour at-a-time until mixture holds together. Mix well.

Latkes In a fry pan, melt shortening. You’ll need about 1/8″. Spoon heaping tablespoons of the mixture into the oil. Flatten each spoonful with the back of the spoon to make thin latkes. Fry until the edges turn a dark brown. Flip over to fry the other side.

Drain on a paper towel. Serve with apple sauce and/or sour cream.