This is the story of Frankmas Eve (the night before December 27 when long, long ago, before the post war baby boom began, little baby Frankie was born into this world... no wise men, no shepherds, no manger, no frankincense, and only a little mirth). This year a miracle occurred! Latkes appeared on the table at the house of Beth and Frank. The miracle of the latkes, like most miracles, was a combination of inspiration, perspiration and public relations. Dave Winer can be credited with the inspiration. Last week, he was fondly remembering some shiksa from his past and the latke recipe he shared with her... ("Shicksal" is German for "fate" so maybe there's a little metaphysics there, I don't know, I only report the news, the good news of latkes on FrankMas Eve).
Potato pancakes, how bad could that be? I talked it up with friends, I looked it up on-line, and finally I came to a recipe I thought I could handle. Thanks to Mr. Cuisinart, I didn't grate the skin off any knuckles. Neither unfortunately, did I really grate the potatoes fine enough. Next time around I'm using the grater with the smallest holes. I used two tablespoons of corn meal and a tablespoon or so of flour. I was referred to Manischewitz Instant latke mix, but I didn't have any on hand. The recipe specifies a ridiculously small quantity of oil. I poured about a half inch of peanut oil in the bottom of the frying pan, and it worked for the entire batch. In fact, there was enough that I got it all over the stove, the floor in front of the stove, spattered all over my front, and on the counters beside the stove. I'm glad I wore my glasses or I would have gone blind from hot grease spatters.
Bottom line? Delicious! Okay, maybe also a little coarse grained and a little underdone. I didn't want to burn them. I took Danny Miller's suggestion and froze the leftovers. When we take them out of the freezer and bake them, they'll probably be done to perfection.
Anyway, there's a new Frankmas Eve tradition in this house and it's spelled LATKES!