Hanukkah at home

For the Love of Latkes – Celebrating Hanukkah at Home

It may be hard to believe the holidays are here, because #2020. But everywhere you look it’s hard to miss the sparkles, cheer, and preparations for the winter holidays. Hanukkah comes early this year, so there is no time like the present to get ready for the Festival of Lights!

What the Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that lasts for eight days and this year, the holiday runs from the evening of Thursday, December 10th through the evening of Friday, December 18th

To find out more about Hanukkah, and for a great craft that focuses on GIVING, check out this article from NV Moms!

The Festival of Lights (and celebration of oil)

This eight-day holiday is celebrated by lighting a menorah (an eight-branched candelabra), saying special prayers, and eating fried foods.

The oil reminds us of the miracle that took place all of those years ago when one small jar of oil (expected to last only one day) lasted eight days instead.

Latke Love

One of the most popular (and my favorite) Hanukkah fried foods is potato latkes. The fried potato pancakes are usually savory and traditionally served with a side of sour cream and applesauce.

Below you will find a simple Latke Craft to complete with your Littles, as well as some easy and delicious latke recipes you can try at home with your family!

Flip The Latke Craft — The Budget Busting Craft Corner

My goal is to provide fun, affordable, craft ideas with supplies purchased exclusively at Dollar Stores around Northern Nevada. NOTE WHEN SHOPPING: Each Dollar Store (especially Dollar Trees) seems to have a different inventory.

What You’ll Need (Supplies):

  • Poster Board Paper x 1 sheet
  • Foam Core Board x 1 sheet
  • String/Yarn/Ribbon – cut to about 1 ft in length
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Screwdriver or sharp dowel
  • Latke Template (provided byNevada Moms)
  • Frying Pan Template (provided by Nevada Moms)

Ideal Age Group For This Craft:

Ages 2-9

How We Did It:

Step 1

PRINT – Download and Print the templates provided by Nevada Moms.

Downloads templates HERE

Step 2

Cut out the templates, leaving a border around both

 Step 3

Glue the lake templates to the poster board paper. You will want to make this 2-sided, with a latke on each side

Step 4

Glue the frying pan template to the foam core board.

Step 5

Cut out the latke and frying pan

Step 6

Poke a hole at the end of the frying pan, as well as on one edge of the lake

Step 7

Attach the string/yarn to the hole in the frying pan, as well as to the hole in the latke.  This will connect everything into one piece.

Step 8

Now it’s time to play.  The goal is to flip the latke into the frying pan.  Hold the frying pan’s handle and flick and swing, until the latke lands in the pan!

Yummy In My Tummy: Latke Recipes

There is no right or wrong way to make a latke, as long as it involves potatoes and oil.  Below you will find a traditional recipe as well as a fun, new, take on the potato pancake.

A Traditional Take: Potato Latkes

Traditional potato latkes are golden, crispy, and truly delicious.  This recipe is foolproof and makes perfect latkes every time! Top with sour cream and/or apple sauce for a true Hanukkah treat.

Cook Times

Prep Time = 20 minutes / Cook Time = 20 minutes / Total Time = 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4-6 potatoes peeled (a baking potato like a Russet works best)
  • 1 medium onion peeled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½  cup Matzo Meal (Flour works just fine. Substitute for rice or almond flour for GF latkes)
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ½  tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil (for frying)
  • sour cream
  • applesauce

 Instructions

  1. Using a box grater or the grating blade of a food processor, grate potatoes and onion. Drain in a colander and press with your hands to remove all of the excess liquid. Put into a large bowl.
  2. Add matzo meal or flour to the potatoes and onions. Gently fold in beaten eggs. Add salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet. Using a large spoon, place potatoes in oil, and flatten with the back of the spoon. Allow them to cook for about 3-4 minutes before turning, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Test one and adjust the time if needed.
    • You are looking for that “signature” crispy brown color!
  4. Put latkes on a wire rack. Place paper towels under the wire rack to catch the excess oil. A paper shopping bag also works for drainage.
  5. Arrange latkes on a large platter. Serve with sour cream and applesauce on the side.
  6. EAT right away while still hot.  NOTE: If you are preparing a large amount, keep the finished latkes in a low oven to keep warm while the rest are cooking.

Something Sweet: Sweet Potato Latkes

Yes, these are dessert latkes. These are really good, I swear! If you like sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, you will love these too.

Cook Times

Prep Time = 20 minutes / Cook Time = 20 minutes / Total Time = 40 minutes

 Ingredients

  • 4-6 sweet potatoes (to get 5 cups shredded)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon flour (substitute for rice or almond flour for GF latkes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup canola oil (or other oil for frying)
  • Marshmallows (optional)
  • Caramel and/or Chocolate Sauce (optional)

Instructions

  1. Using a box grater or the grating blade of a food processor, grate potatoes. Drain in a colander and press with your hands to remove all of the excess liquid. Put into a large bowl.
  2. Add flour, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar (reserve the last tbsp. for the end) to the potatoes. Gently fold in beaten eggs. Add salt.
  3. Heat oil to medium-high heat in a large skillet. Using a large spoon, place potatoes in oil, and flatten with the back of the spoon. Allow them to cook for about 3-4 minutes before turning, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Test one and adjust the time if needed.
  4. Put latkes on a wire rack. Place paper towels under the wire rack to catch the excess oil. A paper shopping bag also works for drainage.
  5. Sprinkle remaining brown sugar on top of latkes.  EAT!

Optional Steps

  1. Put OVEN on BROIL
  2. Arrange latkes on a baking sheet. Place one marshmallow on each latke.
  3. Place in oven until marshmallows are brown and bubbly
  4. Transfer latke to a  large platter.
  5. Drizzle with caramel/chocolate sauce or a dusting of cinnamon.

Some Unconventional Twists on a Classic

The ideas of latke creations are endless!  Here are a few more creative twists on the classic latke:

  • Pear & Gorgonzola cheese = an unexpected BLAST of flavor!
  • Mozzarella & Persimmon & Balsamic Glaze = a fun way to use a delish seasonal fruit, and combine sweet and savory.
  • Greek Yogurt & Pomegranate = the sour greek yogurt and tart seeds add a delicious bite
  •  Sour Cream (or Crème Fraiche) & Smoked Salmon = put these two ingredients on a latke and you’ll forget about a bagel!

Hanukkah at home?

Do you celebrate Hanukkah at home with your family?  What are your favorite family traditions?  Do you make latkes annually, or make a different fried treat?  Don’t forget to tag NV Moms in your photos this holiday season to share the fun with everyone!

sarah rively

Sarah Bear Rively is a Reno resident for over 30 years and loves the uniqueness of Northern Nevada. Sarah and her husband are parents to a sassy, smart, considerate “three-anger". Sarah has spent the majority of her career helping Reno’s at-risk populations through non-profit and social service work.  She now proudly works for the Northern Nevada Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Sarah considers herself a fun-loving person who enjoys laughing, getting creative, helping the community, and spending time with family.  You can follow her in real life on Instagram and TikTok.