Chanukah begins at sunset on Sunday, December 6


Chanukah is the eight-day Jewish festival of lights and takes place in winter. The holiday celebrates the victory of Judah and the Maccabees against the Syrian army when they fought to defend their right to practice Judaism. When the Jewish people took back the temple in Jerusalem, they lit the eternal light using the tiny bit of oil left. While the messenger sent to get more oil was gone, a miracle happened. The tiny bit of oil lasted for eight days and nights until the messenger returned. Each evening during Chanukah, an additional candle is lit in the menorah to remember each night the oil lasted. People eat potato pancakes, called latkes, which are fried in oil and served with sour cream and applesauce.


The Three Goldwasser Girls’ Crispy Potato Latkes

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes. Makes 12-14 latkes.
This recipe should be made with adult assistance and supervision.

4 large potatoes
1 small onion
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup olive oil for frying

1. Peel and grate the potatoes.
2. Wrap the potato gratings in cheesecloth, and press to remove most of the liquid.
3. Chop the onion.
4. Mix grated potato with chopped onion, egg, salt, pepper, flour, and baking powder in a bowl until a batter forms.
5. Heat oil in frying pan on medium heat.
6. Spoon batter into hot oil, spreading to form 3-inch pancakes.
7. Fry until edges are browned.
8. Lift the latkes out with a spatula, and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.


From Rabbi Benjamin's Buttons, by Alice B. McGinty and illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt.

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  • Stephanie Pessolano
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