The holidays are here!
As Hanukkah rolls into the Christmas countdown and the New year is just around the corner, many of us have been thinking about how to celebrate the season. What to make? What to gift? How to make December feel warm and festive?
COVID has upended family rituals across the globe. Many people will be hunkering down with immediate family or celebrating locally in small groups. But even if you’re foregoing some of your traditional holiday cheer, you can always find a silver lining. I want to help you find it! Indeed, there are some golden opportunities:
- Create new traditions that work for your family. Let go of traditions that weren’t working. Make whatever you want, and don’t make what you don’t want.
- Zoom with the people you care about. Most of us will rely on this tool to “gather” with family and friends over the holidays. But the bonus is that you can also connect with people anywhere and everywhere without a car ride or flight, and you can do so spontaneously or with very little planning.
My family has started a weekly Friday night Zoom reunion with a group of friends in New York City that we typically only see twice a year. Because of COVID restrictions we now “hang out” with them all the time! People come and go on the call and everyone occasionally skips a week. It’s informal, relaxing, and there are no expectations. It’s a new infusion of fun and companionship. Why not propose a standing Zoom meet-up with a group of friends, or far-flung family? Who do you miss? Who cheers you up? Who can you cheer up? Are there any elderly people in your life—especially those who are feeling isolated—who would enjoy seeing a friendly face, even on a screen?
Back to food:
What’s stressful about the holidays? Are there any traditions that have become a burden? Need more time for yourself? How can you make this time more peaceful and to nurture yourself? This season concentrate on what you like to do and like to cook. Prepare only the dishes that you love! Also, try luring your children into the kitchen and putting them to work. If they want pumpkin pie, they can (help) make it! Even the youngest ones can participate in a meal project. You will be a big winner if you get them psyched about cooking—trust me!
My son decided to make potato latkes. He found a recipe online and was off and running. It was so much fun to watch him that I documented the process every step of the way. Hopefully these videos will inspire your kids!
Eggs and Starch
Newsflash: While popular for Hanukkah, latkes are delicious anytime and make a super tasty treat that kids will enjoy making. Try them for Christmas, Kwanza, Solstice, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, the weekend, breakfast, dinner, snack, delivering food to a friend or an elderly person…..
Mixing it all together
Is the Good Food Fighter recommending fried food??
While deep fried food is generally unhealthy and to-be-avoided, this recipe avoids the most toxic ingredient: vegetable oil. In the old days people fried with chicken fat or pork lard, and while these have gotten a bad rap, they are actually the most stable cooking oils, which means that they don’t create harmful free radicals when heated. They are also real food, not industrial, factory food. Want to know more? Check out this post to find out what oils not to use. Here’s an eye–opening video on the “Oiling of America“. Today we’re using coconut oil, which is a saturated fat and therefore safe to fry in and also delicious.Print
- 6 medium sized potatoes
- ¾ cups of high heat cooking oil
- 4 medium sized eggs
- 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
- Salt & pepper to taste
- ½ large onion
- Flaky salt
- Sour cream or Yogurt
- Several bowls
- Large cloth towel
- Frying pan
- Metal spatula
- Peel the Potatoes.
- Grate the potatoes and onion into a medium sized bowl.
- Wrap the grated potatoes inside a large cloth towel and squeeze all the juice out.
- Let the potato juice sit for 6 minutes.
- Pour out the juice but leave the film of starch on the bottom.
- Add 4 medium sized eggs to the bowl with the starch and mix them together.
- Combine egg mixture with grated potatoes and onions.
- Mix in 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs.
- Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Form the latkes into patties by pressing them between your palms.
- Add ¾ cup coconut or cold-pressed grapeseed oil to a pan on high heat.
- Wait about 3 minutes till the oil is about 350 degrees.
- Place as many latkes as will fit in the pan (3-4).
- Turn the heat down to medium high.
- Fry the latkes for 4 minutes.
- Flip the latkes.
- Fry for another 4 minutes.
- once golden brown on both sides, remove from pan and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Skip this step if you like them dripping with oil!
- a pinch of flaky salt to taste
- a dollop of applesauce
- a dollop of sour cream
- a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of honey
Frying it up
Instead of sour cream, we’re using low-heat pasteurized local whole greek yogurt by Mother Culture. As a special treat we’re adding local wildflower honey…but not too much!
Eat ’em up!
Here’s a healthier version:
Just substitute sweet potato, carrots and scallions/green onions for russet potatoes and onions!
The Chef struggled a bit with this one because the mixture fell apart in the boiling oil. He claimed that there was not enough starch to hold the latkes together. But maverick that he is, he decided to scoop the floating particles out of the oil with a small mesh strainer and created a rounded latkes that was unexpectedly delicious!!
Enjoy a relaxing holiday season full of culinary delights and new traditions. Did you find something great to make or do? Post it in the comments!
Want your kids to eat more vegetables?
Check out my new super fun family card game where veggies are king and superfoods help you win.
–your Good Food Fighter