Lotsa Latkes: Recipes for Hanukkah, the Festival of Light

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Photo by The Blog That Ate ManhattanWith eight days of celebration, I sense that Hanukkah must have a relaxed feeling, filled with both tradition and tradition-breaking. Here's a sampling from the food blogs.

Gluten-Free Bay writes: "It is a custom for this holiday to eat foods that are fried in oil, in honor of the miracle of one night's worth of oil lasting for eight nights in the Chanukah story. The oil burned for eight nights, we light eight candles, we gain at least eight pounds and spell the holiday's name at least eight ways." (Actually, there seem to be sixteen ways to spell Hanukkah.) ~ For gluten-free Hanukkah recipes, see her round-up of recipes.

The Blog That Ate Manhattan writes: "Hanukkah is one Jewish holiday where I feel right at home food-wise, since I grew up eating latkes. Of course we didn't call them latkes - we called them potato pancakes, and they are a standard in the Slovak kitchen. My Grandma used to come up and make them for us in our kitchen sometimes on Saturday nights. We were so anxious to eat them, I don't think we even waited to all sit down at the table together - we just lined up next to the electric fry pan with our plates and practically grabbed them from the spatula as Grandma was laying them onto paper towels to drain!" ~ For her recipe for potato latkes, plus tips for making perfect latkes, read A Latke by Any Other Name. (That's her luscious photo too, by the way.)

Baking Bites prefers oven-bakes latkes. "I am a particular fan of latkes. The potato pancakes are deliciously crispy and, when served with applesauce and sour cream, immensely satisfying. They are also not the healthiest thing you can eat during the holidays. A little indulgence is not a bad thing, but I prefer to make an oven-baked version for snacking at home." ~ Nic offers her tips and a recipe for crispy Oven-Baked Latkes. See too the Star of David bundt pan.

MeleCotte stayed home to cook yesterday and loves: "... the feeling you get being at home when you know everyone else is at work. <*grin*> A lovely feeling...for sure. ... By 9, I had the Challah proofing, Italian Almond Bars on the cooling rack, and the family "Aunt Ida" cookies in the oven ... The smells that traveled through the house really settled in the Holiday season. I wasn't really feeling the holiday cheer until yesterday - just going through the motions of putting up the decorations. But the smells, the wind blowing up outside, and the Chris Brown version of "This Christmas" on the radio sealed the deal for me." ~ For her beautiful braided bread, see Challah Loaves.

The Purloined Letter made Star of David gingerbread cookies to celebrate. ~ See her favorite whole wheat gingerbread cookie recipe.

SlashFood's Marisa McClellan writes: "There's nothing that says 'Jewish Holiday!' to me more than a big bowl of chopped liver. While not particularly traditional to Hanukkah, it frequently makes an appearance at my family celebrations. My mom still talks about the version that her Auntie Tunkel used to make, in an old wooden chopping bowl with a red-handled chopper. Sadly, Auntie died in 1957 and no one wrote the recipe down while she was alive so I'll never know how hers tasted." ~ Marisa shares the recipe that fills her need for this family food in Schmaltz-less Chopped Liver.

The Kitchen Sink is cooking not one but two meals this Hanukkah season. After describing the first night's meals, she writes: "You might be asking yourself about the notable Hanukkah staple missing from the menu: Latkes. Well, shame on you for even asking. Come on, it was a Tuesday! And I’d been braising a brisket for hours!! There was no way I was undertaking a major operation like Latkes. No, those will have to wait until Sunday." ~ So get her recipe for not latkes, no, but instead Zinfandel-Braised Beef Brisket with Onions and Potatoes and other goodies.

Sweet Jessie writes: "Our little Hanukkah gathering was just lovely." ~ Read what made the first night of Hanukkah so perfect.

As the eight days of Hanukkah proceed, more and more recipes will appear on food blogs. So be on the look-out for recipes you can't resist. Lotsa latkes, they're for all of us, not just those who celebrate Hanukkah by faith tradition.

And hey! if you have a favorite Hanukkah recipe to share, please feel free to share one or link to one in the comments. Better yet, become a Blogher member (it's free!) and write your own post. Or if you're a blogger, introduce the recipe on Blogher, then link to the recipe on your own site.

BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg is looking forward to carrot or hmm, maybe potato latkes this evening. Update: they were delicious!

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