Name of Chef: Leslie Morrison

Age: 65

Community of Residence: Poway for 22 years

Hobbies/Interests: I enjoy reading, shopping, visiting with friends and attending various organizations, but above all, playing with my darling granddaughter.

About the Recipe: I used to make this recipe with my classes and continue to make them for my family. They can be sampled along with other Jewish traditional foods at Temple Adat Shalom’s Jewish Food Festival, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Poway. In addition to these delicious foods, there will be celebrity chef demonstrations, music, dancing, crafts and gifts to purchase. Traditional foods that are fried in oil, also symbolize the miracle of the lights. The most popular of these are potato latkes.

About the Chef: I live in Poway with my husband of 43 years, Al, an engineer for SAIC, daughter Beth, and granddaughter, Lily, 2 ½. My son, Michael, an attorney, lives in L.A. I am a retired teacher, who taught for over 30 years, K-3 grades.

Chanukah Background

Chanukah is not a major Jewish holiday, but a popular holiday, partly because it is a celebration of freedom, and because of its proximity to Christmas. Chanukah occurs on the 25th day of the month “Kislev” on the Hebrew calendar. This year, the first night of Chanukah begins on December 8. Over 2,000 years ago, the Jews defeated the Syrians, under the rule of King Antiochus, who tried to rid them of their religious beliefs to worship the Greek gods. The Jews drove the enemy out of Jerusalem, and rebuilt their Temple, which had been destroyed and defiled. They went to re-light the Eternal Light of the Temple, but there was only enough sanctified oil to last one night. Legend says the light miraculously burned for eight nights, until more sanctified oil could be obtained. Thus, Chanukah is celebrated for eight nights. Since the rededication of the Temple occurred on the 25th of Kislev, Chanukah, which means ‘rededication’ in Hebrew, begins on that day. It is called the Festival of Lights, and celebrates religious freedom, and the miracle of the lights.

The most important Chanukah custom is the lighting of the menorah, a candelabrum with eight branches of equal size, (one for each night of Chanukah), and one prominent, Shamus candle, (which means servant), that is used to light the others. On the first night, the Shamus candle is lit, and then used to light the first of the eight candles. On the second night of Chanukah, the Shamus is lit, and then used to light the first two candles, and so on, each night, until the eighth night.

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4 medium potatoes, grated
1 small onion, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup flour or matzah meal Oil for frying

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Directions

  1. Grate potatoes.  Food processor can be used.  Leaving peels on is optional.
  2. Place grated potatoes in a colander, and rinse under cold water to remove starch.
  3. Grate onion.  Place in colander and press down with spatula to remove extra moisture.
  4. Place in bowl and mix with other ingredients.
  5. Heat of oil in frying pan.
  6. Drop potato mixture into oil by tablespoon.
  7. Flatten slightly with spatula.
  8. Brown well on both sides.
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Makes about 36 pancakes.

*If made in advance, to reheat, place latkes in a
single layer on an ungreased foil lined baking sheet.
Bake at 450 degrees for 7- 8 minutes until crisp, and hot.
* Optional toppings: applesauce or sour cream.

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