Friday, December 21, 2012

Hanukkah Study

Part of our homeschooling this year involves studying Jewish religious holidays and traditions and how they compare/relate to Christian holidays.  This month we talked about Hanukkah.
Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication, remembers the rededication of the Holy Temple after the revolt by the Maccabeans.  The law required a light to burn in the temple all night but there was only enough purified oil to burn for one night.  Miraculously, the oil burned for eight straight nights.  It took seven days to make a new supply of purified oil.
In memory of how important the oil was, traditional foods for Hanukkah are fried in oil.  We made potato latkes for our celebration.
Here are four large potatoes shredded.  We didn't have any Russet potatoes on hand so we used red potatoes. 
Squeeze as much water out of the potatoes as possible.
Discard the water but add back in the potato starch that separates from the water.  Add a medium sized grated onion, three beaten eggs, 1-1/2 tsp salt, two tbsp. of flour and mix well.
Form the mixture into balls the size of a large egg.  Place in hot oil and flatten with a spatula.  Fry about four minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy, on each side.  Remove and drain.  You can keep them in a 250 degree oven, on a draining rack, until ready to serve or eat them as they get done. 
Check out the nice crispy, crunchy edges.
Serve the latkes with sour cream and apple sauce.  The outsides are nicely browned and the middles are soft like mashed potatoes.  Here the latkes are being served with a jelly filled doughnut, another traditional oil fried treat for Hanukkah.  The jelly filled doughnuts are called sufganiyah in Israel and are popular around Hanukkah.

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