Hanukkah, also known as the festival of lights, begins at sunset Tuesday, Dec. 20 and continues through sunset Wednesday, Dec. 28.
The holiday marks the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after the 200 B.C.E. Maccabean revolt against the Greeks, who had banned Jewish practices. The Maccabees were said to have discovered a seven-armed candelabra inside the temple and kept it alight for eight days with only one day's supply of oil.
To mark the miracle during each night of Hanukkah, the Jewish faithful light one candle on the menorah—a ninth candle is used to light the others—and make foods prepared in oil, such as doughnuts and latkes.
To celebrate, the Beth Samuel Jewish Center in nearby Ambridge will host its Annual Latke Fest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18. Along with latkes, the event will feature music by the Eastern Watershed Klezmer Quartet, a silent auction and children's crafts.
Can't make it to Beth Samuel's Latke Fest? Sewickley Patch has you covered with this time-tested Latke recipe:
For this recipe, wash the potatoes and keep the skins on. Grate them and the onions in a food processor, and then replace grater with regular blade. Pulse-mix a few times so the grated potatoes are a little smaller and don't resemble hash browns.
- 6 medium potatoes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 small onion 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons flour (I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free blend)
- Enough oil (canola works well) to wrap around latke, but not cover it.
Directions: After grating and pulsing potatoes and onions, stir in eggs, and then dry ingredients. Heat oil in deep frying pan with medium heat. Test with a drop of latke batter. If it spatters and bubbles, it's ready. Drop latkes by spoonful into hot skillet and wait 3-5 minutes until brown. Bubbling will slow down when it's ready to flip. Flip and brown other side. Again, the bubbling will slow down when it's ready. Place cooked latkes on paper towels to drain.
Tip: There will be liquid from the potatoes on the bottom of the bowl as you spoon the batter in. Just drain as you go!