I’ve come to realize that many of us have been bequeathed a cherished family recipe. Be it simple or elaborate to prepare, it’s a dish so fiendishly delicious that it is the unmistakable star of the family meal, whether celebrating triumphs, comforting woes, or keeping family traditions alive. Withholding such heirloom recipes from the world seems almost cruel. Hence, I am championing the family recipe. I will entice the people in my universe to share favourite, nostalgia-infused family recipes, and I will give one of them centre stage in this very space on a monthly basis. In the end, we are all family, and these recipes represent the legacies of our shared passions. This month’s post is written by my good friend Lee Zimmerman. Enjoy!
By Lee Zimmerman
How to make latkes like my Grandma Mollie? Well, you need some skin in the game, for starters.
Mollie didn’t know from food processors. “You wanna make latkes, then all you need is a grater.” That was her first rule. Her second rule? “It’s not real latkes if a bit of your knuckle skin doesn’t end up in the potato mix, from all the grating.” (Miss you, Grandma. They don’t make ’em like you anymore.)
If you’ve been to a goyishe deli (think: Pickle Barrel) and ordered the monstrosity that they call latkes, then you probably think you hate latkes. Because those dry, tasteless…lumps consisting of one part potato/onion and three parts wood chips or whatever syphilitic goop they use as filler are to latkes what Donald Trump is to presidential.
Latkes (real latkes) need to be moist, they need to be thin, and (and I can’t stress this last part enough) they need to be greasy.
So here’s what you need:
A bunch of these,
Makes about a dozen latkes
Grate the potatoes (they should be finely grated, so use the side of the grater with the second smallest holes).