We celebrated both Christmas and Chanukah when I was growing up, and my favorite dish for the holidays is potato latkes, which are traditional for Chanukah. My grandmother was an incredible cook, so I always use her latke recipe.
Mae Konigsburg’s Potato Latkes
6 medium baking potatoes peeled, thoroughly washed
1 medium onion, quartered
1.5 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1/4 cup oil, for frying
Serve with applesauce and/or sour cream
1. Drop potatoes into a food processor, across the shredding attachment (you may have to do this in batches). Process shredded potatoes with the onion until coarsely chopped. Remove from processor and place in a mixing bowl. If shredding in batches, repeat with the remained of the ingredients.
2. Drain potatoes in a sieve or in cheese cloth. This is the secret to great latkes!
3. Stir in just enough matzo meal so that potatoes hold together (about 3 tablespoons). Add eggs, salt, and pepper.
4. In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Use a quarter cup measure to portion out the potato batter. Fry until crisp and brown, then flip. Fry on the other side until golden and cooked through. Add more oil for frying as necessary.
5. Drain cooked latkes on paper towels and keep warm in a 350 oven until ready to serve. Makes about two dozen.
My favorite Christmas gift: My dad was always really into computers, gadgets, and really loved music. When I was still pretty young and CDs weren’t very popular yet, my dad gave me a CD player and a few CDs. I’m not sure I even knew what a CD player was, and I definitely didn’t ask for it, but he must’ve known I would love it and I did. I used the heck out of that CD player for the next decade or so.
Favorite Christmas tradition: We always drank hot chocolate and watched the original “Miracle on 34th Street” on Christmas Eve. That was one of the best parts of the holiday for me.
Favorite song of 2017: It’s hard to pick just one so I’ll pick two. My friend Mary Bragg put out a great album called “Lucky Strike” and the title track is one of my favorite songs ever, and definitely tops for 2017. I also love the album Caroline Spence put out this year, “Spades and Roses,” and my favorite song off the record is “Hotel Amarillo.”
Hopes for 2018: I’m planning to record my second solo album early in 2018, but I haven’t quite finished writing the songs, so my main hope is that I’m able to write and record some songs I’m really proud of.