Like every non-Jewish woman who marries into a Jewish family, I am pretty sure my mother-in-law hates me.
Not in an aggressive do-mean-spirited-things kind of way. More in a make-subtle-comments-for-decades-until-you-want-to-strangle-me-because-no-matter-how-much-you-do-you-will-never-be-good-enough-for-my-perfect-son kind of way. So that's been a barrel of monkeys for the past 15 years.
Because of this fact -- and perhaps in direct spite of this fact -- I do my best to bring a little bit of my hubby's ethnic heritage into my household...and believe me, if we left it to him to lead the charge we would have zero Jewish traditions in this house. Does his mother appreciate my effort? Of course not! But the beauty of his nonchalance is that I get to pick and choose the ones I like.
And I like latkes.
Like, a lot. They are goddam delicious and don't let anyone tell you differently. They even passed the preschooler test -- each year I make them with my classroom of 3 year olds and they please even the pickiest of picky eaters.
So while there is dust on our menorrah and our Christmas tree is shiny and bright, the potatoes and onions are plentiful in my kitchen. Because even though my mother-in-law would do things quite differently as far as the Jewish education of her grandkids, I rule the roost around these parts and I like latkes.
Wash, peel and cut 3 Idaho baking potatoes
Grate them, along with 1 large white onion, and drain mixture in a colander
Mix with 1 beaten egg, 1/2 t. baking powder, 1 T. flour and 1 t. salt plus a dash of pepper
Place 2 T. of the mixture in hot oil in a skillet -- flatten with a fork, flipping when brown and crisp
Drain on paper towels, and serve fresh and piping hot with sour cream and applesauce!