Hanukkah is a traditional Jewish holiday celebrating the rededication of the Second Holy Temple after the Maccabees revolted against Syrian-Greek oppressors. The amount of holy oil left in the temple was only enough for one night, but burned for eight (the length of time required for new oil to be made and consecrated). So, we light candles and eat food fried in oil for eight delicious days.
Latkes are probably the most well-known Hanukkah dish and recipes abound. Everyone thinks their recipe is the best, but this one TOTALLY IS! Traditional latkes use shredded or grated potatoes, but these are the latkes of my childhood and will always be my favorite. Traditional or no, they are appropriately fried in oil and they are very very tasty. They are also much easier than their hand-grated cousins.
4 cups cubed raw potatoes
1/4 cup flour or matzoh meal
1 small onion, quartered
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Using a serving spoon, drop spoonfuls of mixture into a large skillet with 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch hot oil. Fry until deep golden brown, turning once.
Serve with sour cream and applesauce. Ponder miracles and triumph over oppression.
In addition to the usual (how to boil water, how to cross the street, and that it’s not polite to stare), here’s a few brilliant Things my Mama Taught Me.
1. How to Clean a Hairbrush. First, use a fine tooth comb to get all the hair out from between the bristles. This should be done fairly often, but leaving a few will help the brush glide through your hair. Fact. Every month or so, give the pad of the brush a good scrub using a toothbrush and a dab of shampoo.
2. How to Remove Corrosion from a Car Battery. Say wha? This one can save you loads of money… if your battery has gone dead for suspicious reasons, the terminals (knobs where you’d hook on jumper cables) may be corroded. You can fix this for about 25¢. Pour some baking soda (not powder) in a bowl and add a little water for a thick paste. Dip a toothbrush in the paste and get to scrubbing. Rinse with plain water. Also, please make sure your car is off.
3. Always use cold water to get blood out of fabric. Good Mafia trick.
4. Never make radical hair choices in times of depression. Every ladymag under the sun will tell you that a “new look” is just what you need to get your swagger back. This is a lie. In 2 weeks, you will wonder why the hell someone let you lop 6 inches off your hair while wearing sweatpants and eating nothing but Chunky Monkey for a week. Do yourself a favor and watch a Liz Taylor movie instead.
5. No one has to buy the cow if they’re getting the milk for free. You can take that however you like, but it’s always good to keep a little mystery!
oh, and no wire hangers.