Everyone can’t seem to get enough. Don’t worry, when your belly’s full, you can rest between platefuls by feasting on these warm, crispy, fluffy, savory, salty, lip-smacking picture books, and then you can fry up some more!
Today I’m serving up 8 of my favorites, one for each night of Hanukkah. There’s a little bit of everything in the mix — family and friends, folklore, legend, magic, humor, and miracles! Enjoy these heartwarming, satisfying stories and pass the applesauce!
Oy! It’s Hanukkah already and though I’ve been waiting patiently for a nice Jewish grandmother to adopt me, she hasn’t come forward yet. Cornelius suggested we should just go ahead and make our own latkes while we’re waiting.
Mmmm, latkes — the mere thought of crisp, golden potato pancakes with dabs of sour cream and applesauce makes my mouth water. I can picture mothers and grandmothers busy in the kitchen preparing their special recipes for loved ones, happy families gathered around the table eager to try the latkes first despite all the other delicious dishes being served. And why not? Latkes are irresistible and so comforting, a perfect ode to oil for the Festival of Lights!
Since I really wanted to impress any grandmotherly prospects, I decided to forego the classic white potatoes recipe in favor of something a little different. Actually, I got a special request from poet friend Gail Gerwin to share the Sweet Potato-Apple Latkes recipe from The Apple Lover’s Cookbook which I reviewed recently. I was only too happy to oblige, despite the fact that Gail is too young to be my grandmother (she’s a terrific cook, though, if you remember the delicious Stuffed Cabbage she made for Passover Seder this past April).
#6 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2012.
Today I’m very pleased to welcome New Jersey poet Gail Fishman Gerwin to the Potluck, the first of four guest poets who write primarily for adults rather than children. Whether you celebrate Passover or Easter, it’s likely you’ll be spending time this weekend observing holy rituals and sharing special meals with family and friends.
Gail is sharing a poem from her poetic memoir, Sugar and Sand (Full Court Press, 2009), a 2010 Paterson Poetry Prize finalist. “With or Without Rice, a Kitchen Ballet” is one of three poems comprising a segment about Gail’s mother, “Mastering the Art of Cele’s Cooking.”
Most of you know there’s nothing I love more than a recipe/cooking poem, and this slice-of-life beauty provides ample nourishment for body and soul, a delicious blend of family history and cultural heritage. We thank Gail for so generously sharing precious photos of her parents, sister, daughters and grandchildren, four generations in her family who’ve enjoyed stuffed cabbage at Passover. Gail has already made two batches for tonight’s Seder, which will include gefilte fish, matzoh ball soup, brisket, spinach gnocchi, matzoh kugle, sponge cake, and veggies, among other special foods. Yum!
Now, let’s listen to the voices from Cele’s kitchen.