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.SAM_5658

Chag Sameach!


  1. Did I ever tell you about how I encouraged my son to light candles his first year away? He had no chanukiah, so I explained that anything that held the candles would do, even a Twinkie. Turns out Twinkies are flammable!


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