If I show it to you now
Will it make you run away?
Even if it hurts
Even if I try to push you out
Will you return?
And remind me who I really am
Please remind me who I really am
(Warning: If you're not in the mood for existential blah-blah-blah, scroll down to the recipe. If you are in the mood for philosophical whining, keep reading.)
Pop always was a sentimentalist, and I'm sure he had no idea that less than a year later, I would go back to being Cindy Morris.
Cindy (finally has a middle initial) M. Rothfeld is the one that signs pleadings and has appeared in court before some good and not-so-good and even the occasional godawful judges. (One day - not today! - I'm going to indulge in a full-fledged, no-holds-barred, names-will-be-named judges rant, covering 23 years and four different counties. Let me just say that I have personally met two U.S. Supreme Court Justices, and had the thrill of being admitted to practice before that Court during a ceremony in which all nine Justices were on the Bench. Each and every one of the Justices was incredibly kind, and more importantly, respectful to everyone seated in their Courtroom. Having experienced that, and also having heard Antonin Scalia tell a small group of us that Supreme Court Justices were just like regular people, and still had to put their pants on one leg at a time, I want to throw this question out there to those Florida judges who have been an embarrassment to the Bench and the legal profession: Who the hell do you think you are? What part of "Professionalism Demands Courtesy" don't you understand? Do you really think that a courtroom is the right place to exercise your pitiful little egos?" )
Cindy M. is the one who is winding down after a long career. She's getting ready to rest on her laurels. Soon she will become a living memory, not all that different from Cindy Osher. She's there, she'll always be there, just not necessarily accessible.
Is this what Frank Sinatra meant when he sang "I'm in the autumn of my years?" Food for thought, and speaking of food, my big cooking plan is to make an enormous choucroute garnie, and serve these potato cakes on the side.
So I came across a recipe for something called a mashed potato latke, which caught my interest because such a thing cannot exist. A mashed potato cake is not a potato latke anymore than Chicago deep dish is a pizza. I reworked the recipe from scratch, and came up with something delicious. It tastes like the inside of a good knish, and it's fried in oil like a latke. But it's NOT a latke. Make no mistake about that.
4 large potatoes, peeled, cut into cubes
6 tablespoons chicken schmaltz, butter, or a combination
1/2 cup sliced green onions, green parts only
kosher salt and ground black pepper
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup griebenes (optional)
canola oil for frying
additional flour for coating the potato cakes
Boil the potatoes in salted water until done, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Mash together with the schmaltz and/or butter. Don't fret if there are some lumps. Lumpy mashed potatoes, like bow ties, are cool. Stir in the green onions, salt, and pepper. Let the potatoes cool down, and then add the egg, stirring constantly until it is fully combined. Stir in the 6 tablespoons of flour, then cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
When ready to fry, heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high. Form the potato cakes by using a medium sized ice cream scoop; gently drop the scooped potatoes onto some flour; flatten with a fork dipped in flour, then carefully turn and repeat. Immediately slip the potato cakes into the oil; lower the heat to medium. Depending on the size of the skillet, you can fry 4 to 5 at a time. Drain on paper towels. These are delicious with the usual latke accompaniments - applesauce and sour cream - but they are not latkes. I can't emphasize that enough.