Hanukkah celebrates endurance

| 30 Sep 2011 | 08:41

    Temple Beth Shalom in the Village of Florida welcomes the community to experience Hanukkah’s glow Florida — Hanukkah will be celebrated all weekend long at Temple Beth Shalom, as the congregation extends an open invitation to the community to join them on Friday, Dec. 3, at 6 p.m. for a latke dinner and shabbat service with 101 menorahs. Everyone will bring their personal menorah to light the candles together and dine under their glow. Shabbat services will be part of the evening program. On Saturday, Dec. 4, at 9 a.m., the congregation will hold its Tot Shabbat program geared especially to the youngsters. And, then, on Sunday, Dec. 5 starting at 10 a.m. the religious school will hold its Chanukah Family Learning Extravaganza. Temple Beth Shalom is located at 13 Roosevelt Ave., Florida. For information call 845-651-7817 or visit www.tbsny.org. And now, let’s eat In the spirit of the holiday, Temple Beth Shalom shares this classic latke recipe. Latkes are a traditional Hanukkah treat, as they are fried in oil. The holiday commemorates a miracle that occurred in the second century, B.C.E. As the Jews restored their destroyed temple in Jerusalem, they found a small jug of oil to light their eternal light. The oil naturally should have lasted only one night but it lasted eight. Hence the eight nights of Hanukkah and the eating of “oily” foods, from latkes to doughnuts. Grandma Esther’s traditional potato latkes Makes approximately 4 dozen pancakes Fragrant potato pancakes — or latkes — are familiar treats in many Jewish homes during the Hanukkah holiday. But you don’t need to be celebrating Chanukah to enjoy these luscious and easy-to-make treats. This classic recipe is one that many will be using this year as they celebrate the holiday. Feel free to make it at any time, as latkes never go out of style. 5 lbs. of well-scrubbed russet potatoes, unpeeled 2 eggs, beaten 2 medium onions Salt Pepper 1/2 cup matzoh meal (you can substitute flour) Oil for frying 1. Heat oven to 250 degrees, to keep latkes warm during cooking process. 2. Grate the potatoes. (Note: Esther likes to do it the old-fashioned way, using the fine side of a hand grater. But to save time and work, use the grating disc of a food processor; or, for even more texture, the shredding disk.) 3. To help keep grated potatoes from turning gray, minimize their exposure to air. Place them in a colander lined with a clean dish towel, and fold the towel over the potatoes. Or else place the grated potatoes in a large bowl and cover them with water. When all the potatoes are grated, drain them very well, pressing them firmly into a colander while blotting with a dish towel or paper towels. 4. Grate the onions by hand, or by using the grating disk of the food processor. 5. Put the drained, grated potatoes and the onions in a large mixing bowl; add the eggs, plus salt and pepper to taste; mix well. 6. Add the matzoh meal to the potato and onion mixture and mix with a large spoon. Add more matzoh meal, if the consistency of the mixture seems loose, which will cause the latkes to fall apart. Use the spoon to remove any water that collects in the bowl. 7. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. When a teaspoon of the mixture turns brown within one minute, the oil is ready for frying. 8. For each latke, put one to two tablespoons of the mixture into the frying pan. Brown well on both sides. Drain latkes on paper towels. 9. Place cooked, drained latkes on a cookie sheet and keep warm in the oven until all are prepared. Serve with applesauce and sour cream.