Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Food of My People

This post originally appeared on The Famished Freelancer on 12/17/13. 

Impressive food photography skills, eh?
Why did I ever think that someone who
eats dinner on a snack tray in front of the
TV was cut out for food bloggerhood?
That's right - ham and latkes. Two great tastes that taste great together. 

There was a picture going around Facebook earlier this year - a supermarket marked hams as Great for Hanukkah. Which is supposed to be hilarious because Jewish people don't eat pork.

Unless it tastes really good. Or is bacon. (To quote The Nanny.)

My Dad is Jewish and my Mom is Catholic, so every year they have a Christmas/Hanukkah party featuring this great combo. 

And it's not just those who marry outside the tribe who eat pork. Dad invited some friends from temple and they were all, "Oh, there's ham? Pass the ham."

Now, I have very strong opinions about latkes. Some people like them with apple sauce. Some people like them with sour cream. Me? I think these people are crazy. The best, and therefore only way to eat a latke as far as I'm concerned is wrapped in a paper towel, just as you've taken it from the draining pile while there are still some latkes cooking in the pan. That's how fresh I like my latkes. 

There have been some years when I've actually made the latkes during the party so everyone can taste what they're like fresh. But they're a lot of work along with the ton of food my mom makes for the party, so she usually makes them a day or two in advance and puts them in the fridge where they become sad, tragic things. 

Which everyone loves because they don't know any better.

The poor gentiles.

There are a few of us insurrectionists who put the reheated latkes in the toaster oven so they're crispier than what everyone else is eating.

The recipe my mom uses (and therefore what I use) is from a 1970s women's magazine. Go get your own. There are plenty.

Which brings me to what really puzzles me about Hanukkah. Why is this not the most popular holiday in the United States? It's a holiday centered on fried foods. Fried potatoes and doughnuts. What's not to love?

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