Happy Hanukkah!

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah celebrates a miracle, when 1 tiny jar of olive oil burned for 8 nights instead of only one. So, fried foods have become associated with the holiday- especially if they’re fried in olive oil.

Potato pancakes, known as latkes, are the Hanukkah treat that I grew up with. They’re fried in olive oil and served with apple sauce and/or sour cream. There are numerous traditional recipes for latkes. Some start with grated raw potatoes and onions, while others have you boil and mash the potatoes first. You can buy “latke mix” that’s essentially instant mashed potatoes and spices. The box tells you how much water and eggs to add before frying.

When I started the Blood Type Diet, I experimented with various recipes for sweet potato latkes. I discovered that the raw potato method works best with sweet potatoes- when baked or boiled first, they really didn’t hold together well. I also discovered that Jack really doesn’t like sweet potatoes or sweet potato latkes, and he also prefers potato latkes made the “mashed potato” way. I also experimented with making my own pear sauce to go with the sweet potato latkes, since I’m not supposed to eat apples.

This year, we kept things simple. This was definitely not a “make latkes every night of Hanukkah” year. I slipped on the ice last Sunday, injuring my hand. This kept me from being able to do much in the early part of the week. I even had to light the menorah with my left hand on Tuesday and Wednesday, so I certainly wasn’t about to make a complicated meal! I prepared things that could be made in foil pans in the oven, and served with disposable everything, so I wouldn’t have to hand-wash any dishes.

Tonight, Thursday, my hand finally healed enough for me to peel and cut a sweet potato, and then hand-wash the food processor, two mixing bowls, and two frying pans. My body reacts VERY badly to white potatoes, so I was careful to keep the two latke batters separate, and fried them up in separate pans with separate spatulas.

I kept Jack’s latke mix super simple. I started with instant mashed potatoes- something I already had in the house. I added salt, pepper, onion powder, water, and eggs. It’s simple enough that I’m willing to make more batches later in the week if he wants me to. I used 1 cup instant mashed potatoes, 1 1/3 cup water, and 3 eggs. Jack said it tasted “too eggy” so I’ll only use 2 eggs the next time I make it. I didn’t measure the exact quantities of the spices.

For my sweet potato latkes, I grated one HUGE sweet potato and one medium sized onion. To that I added a bit of rice flour, some onion powder, and 6 eggs. This was a larger batch than the white potato latkes. I have some left over, and I will enjoy them, but I don’t plan on doing this again later in the week.

I did eat them with a tiny amount of sour cream as well as apple sauce, even though both are on my “avoid” list. I don’t react strongly to apples, and I purposely got the sour cream that was just “cream and enzymes” with no milk solids. I don’t react badly to that kind of sour cream, as long as I don’t eat a lot. No homemade apple sauce this year either- we used the unsweetened one from the store.

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