If your preferred mode of transportation is the short bus and you haven’t figured it out yet, we Feinbergs are lucky enough to have a mother who is 1) the most wonderful lady ever and 2) formerly Goyisha. This means that even though we are fully Jew-tastic (i.e. wiled away our misspent youths in the Temple Beth Shalom bathrooms), we reap the benefits of both the Festival of Lights and Big J’s Birthday each year. If you think that’s awesome, you’re 100% right. If you think it’s an abomination, you’re just jealous.
This year is one of those years where the stars aligned and Hannukah and Christmas completely overlap, meaning that a) JTJ and OLP’s famed Hannukah party will take place the day after Christmas (talk about a one-two punch!) and b) we get to hang our Jay Strongwater xmas ornaments at the exact same time that we light our Jay Strongwater menorah and eat our latkes using Jay Strongwater serving pieces. I’m literally foaming at the mouth with excitement.
If you similarly lack any qualms with combining two competing religious traditions, I’ve provided the perfect Christmas playlist below (Hannukah songs suck), in addition to the recipe for Linda’s DANK latkes! Just add a tree and a menorah, and you’ll be getting down just like we do on Hollywood Drive. Enjoy!
Gee Whiz It’s Chrismas – Carla Thomas
Chestnuts Roasting – Nat King Cole
¿Dónde Está Santa Claus? – Augie Rios
Somewhere in my Memory – John Williams
Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
Winter Wonderland – Elvis
Step into Christmas – Elton John
Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
Little Saint Nick – The Beach Boys
It Must Have Been Ol Santa Claus – Harry Connick Jr.
Merry Christmas Baby – Bruce Springsteen
Christmas Is – Run DMC
Zat You Santa Claus – Louis Armstrong
My Favorite Things – Tony Bennett
Christmas is All Around – Billy Mack
All that I Want – The Weepies
And now, without further ado, Linda’s Latkes!!! Usually I would have added my own asides to what she sent me, but it was so perfect as-is that I’m gifting you all with the unedited version, straight from Linda herself.
One more very important thing before we get down to brass tacks: Feinbergs eat their latkes ONLY with sour cream and caviar and if you think you’re just going to slop some apple sauce on these things then don’t make them because you are not worthy (with an obvious exception for Babygirl who would go straight to Baby Prostitute Heaven if one molecule of fish eggs got on her grill). So go out to the Food Emp, pick up some sour cream and cheap black caviar, and do it right.
Latkes: for 6-8 people
6 potatoes (Idaho or russet are best, but I’ve used any kind on hand) peeled and shredded on largest side of a 4-sided shredder
one small onion grated or two large shallots (milder flavor)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup flour (add more if batter looks too soupy)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
peanut oil for cooking – about a quart (can substitute other oils but peanut is best for flavor and high heat tolerance)
-mix all ingredients together (except cooking oil).
-heat oil to shimmery hot so that a bit of batter sizzles – the hotter the better – use the largest frying pan you can find with enough oil that the latkes have space to float
-scoop batter in the bowl of a large cooking spoon and smush it so it isn’t too fat in the middle and is about the size of the inside of the palm of your hand (approx. 3 inches across)
-when oil is good and hot slide latkes into the very hot oil and cook until they get medium golden brown on one side, then gently flip and cook until golden. Should take about 4-5 minutes total.
-place on a paper towel and keep warm in 250 oven until all latkes are cooked, or serve in batches. Scoop out bits of dislodged potato that accumulate in the pan so they don’t burn and give the oil a burned flavor. Keep the oil very hot but don’t let it burn. THIS TAKES CONCENTRATION – AVOID DISTRACTIONS – ENLIST A HELPER
-serve with sour cream (get lots, it goes fast), caviar and applesauce. (Put these out before you start cooking to avoid distraction during the frying phase)