The First Night
of Chanukah was a mix of old and new. I used the antique oil menorah that I inherited from my parents.
We Skyped in our youngest from college for the candle lighting because he can’t have an open flame in his dorm room.
I would be happy to skip latkes, but I was outvoted. My daughter’s boyfriend is allergic to potatoes so I made sweet potato, parsnip carrot and apple latkes. I pretty much hate stove top frying. I always get spattered in hot fat. Frying is not something I do very often and I think I am not especially good at.
I thought it might make my life easier to oven fry the latkes, that is put a bunch of fat in a baking pan and let the latkes do their thing inside the oven and not spitting hot fat on my arms. My older son suggested I fry the latkes in the chicken fat left over from Friday’s dinner.
Like the miracle of Chanukah, there was exactly enough chicken fat to oven fry all of our latkes.
I first made sweet potato latkes when I was a college junior. I realized that if they had had sweet potatoes in the shtetle, the standard Chanuka food would be sweet potato latkes. I served the latkes with two varieties of cranberry, a cranberry orange relish and a cardamom, cinnamon and clove scented cooked sauce.Why cranberries? Because given the choice between apple sauce, bland and beige, and cranberry sauce magenta and tart, cranberry always wins.