Friday, January 1, 2016

Just Another New Year - Potato Latkes

It's been a while since I've thrown you an earworm, so let's start the new year off in the right way with something from Barry Manilow.
Don't look so sad

It's not so bad, you know

It's just another night

That's all it is
It's not the first

It's not the worst you know

We've come through all the rest

We'll get through this
We've made mistakes

But we've made good friends too

Remember all the nights

We spent with them?
And all our plans

Who says they can't come true?

Tonight's another chance to start again
It's just another New Year's Eve

Another night like all the rest

It's just another New Year's Eve

Let's make it the best

(I apologize for the crappy formatting, but I am just not up to fighting with Blogger today.)
Somewhere between my early twenties and my early sixties I lost faith in the power of the New Year, having come to the realization that all the hopes, dreams and prayers are aspirational at best. For too many years I spent part of the first week of January thoroughly immersed in whatever new version of Weight Watchers was being touted. Resolutions look good on paper, but having disappointed myself too many times, I no longer bother with them. Well, I did resolve to continue with my tai chi classes, but just that. After all, last year my resolution was to knit more, especially on unfinished projects. I'm still working on the same little shawl that was at the head of that list.

I have high hopes of finishing it this week,

so I can move on to a lovely scarf and a pair of socks I started in 2009 or thereabouts.

No promises and definitely no resolutions. Let's just say the Yarn Harlot has nothing to worry about.

New Year's Eve came and went - I was watching Doctor Who up until the last 5 minutes - and once the ball dropped in Times Square, I felt sadness rather than hope. Certainly there are things I hope for - health and well-being for those I love and care for, cancellation of all reality shows, and world peace - but I don't need the power of the New Year to express those, as I pray for them most every day.

I've learned that with fibromyalgia it is best to live in the moment, because who the hell knows how I am going to feel after breakfast? I guess that means it was pretty cheeky of me to book the Alaska cruise for May, but that's been at the top of my bucket list for many years and I am going this time even if Robert has to wheel me up the gangplank in a golf cart.

Speaking of cruises - I am always speaking of cruises - the nicest thing happened yesterday, courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line. The most amazing part is that when my phone rang, I answered it. Normally, I would not answer a call from an unknown number. Ha! Good call! The bottom line is that this nice lady from the nice Carnival office in Miami advised me that she was pleased to offer us a complimentary upgrade from our inside stateroom to a spa balcony stateroom. Why? Because We Are Platinum, that's why!

Besides the balcony, the room includes access to certain spa amenities like the thermal suites and thalassotherapy pool.  Best of all, we are on Deck 12 along with a very few other staterooms and easiest access to the outside Serenity deck, which is an adults-only zone. This is all on the Carnival Sunshine, our current favorite, very new and shiny ship, sailing out of Port Canaveral.  I like to think this is an omen as to how the rest of the year is going to proceed (but I wouldn't put any money on it.)

I am still working on those missing recipes, and since I won't be cooking today, I'm going to snag one that I have (finally) finished typing up.

Potato Latkes

6 peeled Russet potatoes
2 medium peeled onions
2 eggs
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 - 1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
canola oil for frying

Grate the potatoes by hand or food processor. Put aside in a bowl of cold water with a little milk (to keep potatoes white.)  Chop the onions in the food processor. Put in a mixing bowl with the eggs, flour, salt and baking powder, and beat together. Drain the potatoes and squeeze our excess liquid.  Use the food processor chopping blade to chop the potato shreds a bit finer (pulse on-off several times but do not over process.) 

Combine the potatoes with the onion-batter; Add a bit more flour if needed to hold the mixture together. Over medium-high, heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Carefully add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the potato mixture to the hot oil and with a metal spatula gently flatten the latke to 1/4 inch. Fry on both sides until deep golden brown. move to drain on paper towels. Serve immediately with applesauce or sour cream.

These can be frozen in a single layer, then bagged for longer storage.  Reheat at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

So this is my basic, can't fail recipe, but I mess with it all the time, changing the type of potatoes, adding grated carrot, that sort of thing. For the ones I made in the photos, I substituted 8 yellow potatoes (or gold potatoes because these have thin skins that do not need to be peeled.) I cut the potatoes and the onions into 8 wedges, then ran them through the grating blade of the food processor one at a time.  No need to soak in water and milk. Tip the bowl to drain off excess liquid. I added an extra egg, some sour cream, some matzo meal and baking soda along with all the other ingredients. Delicious. Just not for Passover.

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