When I grew up in Italy, we didn’t think twice about Christmas. Everybody celebrated it as 99% of the population was Catholic, which was our “state” religion. Without going into the merit of separation between state and religion – this is a blog about food after all – one of the things I appreciate the most about living in the USA, particularly New York and now the Bay Area, is its cultural diversity. We just spent the morning celebrating Hanukkah at my younger son’s school with kids hearing about the history of this holiday, making a menorah-inspired art project, listening to a story and, this is where I helped out, making and tasting the food that is traditionally eaten on this holiday. Come and make latkes with us!
In addition to home-made doughnuts that children filled with jam and sprinkled with powdered sugar, my friend Rebecca offered to make latkes. I had tasted latkes before, but never made them myself which is why I jumped at the opportunity to be Rebecca’s sous chef.
We served the latkes with apple sauce and a tiny bit of sour cream and they were delicious. You can use store-bought apple sauce if you are in a rush, but home made apple sauce is terribly easy so I encourage you to try it: wash, core and cut four to five medium-sized apples into chunks and combine with about 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly until the apples break apart. It depends on the type of apples you chose, but most of them take about 10-20 minutes. Let cool and use a hand-held mixer to make delicious, healthy apple sauce. You can freeze it or keep it in the fridge for about three to four days. With the skins left on, this recipe makes the apple sauce even more nutritious.
Happy Hanukkah to you all and let me know with what type of food you celebrate your holidays.