Grandma Becky’s potato latkes

By • November 21, 2010 • 9 Comments


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Author Notes: No other recipe quite matches up to the golden memories of our Grandmother’s potato latkes (this recipe is jointly contributed by Joan G and Apple Annie.) Grandma Becky left her family home in Krynki, Poland at the tender age of 16,(ca 1914) to join two of her brothers in the US. She was “smuggled out” through Hamburg to England where she sailed for Ellis Island. The photo was taken shortly after she arrived and she is wearing a fur hat and scarf from the "old country." When we knew her, cooking for family and friends was her greatest joy. Her latkes were food for the gods, and we gobbled them up as fast as she could fry them. Fortunately she made them frequently, not just at Hannukah. Our grandfather patiently grated the potatoes and onion for her on a box grater, and our parents joked that a tiny bit of his fingers were grated into the batter as well, a secret ingredient. She typically served the laktes to accompany roast chicken or pot roast, perhaps with homemade applesauce but no sour cream. She never used baking powder. This recipe faithfully reproduces Grandma’s ingredients but has been adapted for the food processor. AppleAnnie

Serves 6

  • 7 potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt (recorded as "a sprinkling of salt")
  • oil for frying
  1. Peel potatoes and put in cold water to keep from browning. Shred the potatoes in a food processor. Remove from workbowl and transfer to another bowl.
  2. Cut the onion in quarters. Insert knife blade into processor and rough chop the onion. Add eggs, salt, matzo meal, and flour to onions in the work bowl and process until mixture is smooth.
  3. Add half of shredded potatoes to the egg-onion mixture in work bowl and process until smooth, taking care not to let the onions get too finely pulverized.
  4. Transfer the batter into the bowl with the rest of the shredded potatoes and mix.
  5. Heat the oil in the frying pan until a drop of water sizzles. Drop batter by spoonfuls and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in moderate oven if necessary.

Tags: Hannukkah, Holidays, savory, traditional

Comments (9) Questions (0)

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over 3 years ago Lizthechef

A recipe with a family history - beautiful, my favorite...Thumbs up!

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over 3 years ago ashleypiersonchasesdinner

I love the picture, the story and the recipe!!

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over 3 years ago MakeThatMakeThis

This is a beautiful photograph. Thank you for sharing your story.

Stringio

over 3 years ago testkitchenette

I loved hearing your family history...what a wonderful photograph and legacy to her. My great grandmother arrived from Poland in about 1914 or so as well. I look forward to adding these to my latke repetoire.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 3 years ago lapadia

THANKS so much for sharing! Love reading about your Grandmother coming to America (my Italian mother came 8yrs after her). Love reading your latkes family tradition....all year! I did not grow up with this tradition but love potato pancakes and so I posted my own.

Dscn2828

over 3 years ago JoanG

A wonderful tribute to our grandmother who is our cooking inspiration and who is in our hearts and memories, especially when we make and taste these golden treats. For Proust is was a madeleine. For us, it is that first bite of a potato latke (pancake).

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over 3 years ago Sadassa_Ulna

What a beautiful story and photograph! Now I want to know how Grandma Becky and your grandfather met. I must try these, thanks for posting this recipe!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13

over 3 years ago lapadia

same here!

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over 3 years ago Sagegreen

What a wonderful history!