To be clear: I'm a lapsed Presbyterian.  But I love a Latke (and o.m.g. don't even get me started on hamentashen).  In the past I've been invited to the homes of other, more-expert Latke makers than myself to partake in this seasonal delight.  But, as with so many other things in this first year of having a baby, if I wanted Latkes I realized I was going to have to make them chez moi.

I made the first batch of Latkes, on Saturday night, according to the Gourmet cookbook's recipe - a pound of potatos grated on a box grater, mixed with some finely chopped onion all wrung out and tosed with some salt and pepper and one egg, dropped into a pan with some hot olive oil, pressed flat and flipped.  Salt, keep warm in the oven . . . delicious!!  I also cooked some sausages (keeping kosher not being a mandate for the lapsed-Presbyterian) on my grill pan.  They smoked up the whole apartment but they were delicious with grainy mustard and a really nice Latke-accompanyment.

Last night, I made Latkes part 2.  This was actually a Pomme Paillasson - a skillet-sized potato cake - aka a GIANT Latke.  My friend Bekah came over to help.  The recipe we used, sent to my e-mail from a private chef, involved 2.5 pounds of potatos grated using my cuisinart, wrung out and mixed with salt and pepper and then pressed into the bottom of a large pan into which butter had been melted.  Caramelized onions were sandwiched between the bottom and top layers of grated potatoes and the whole thing was elaborately flipped using two plates and some chutzpah in order to cook the other side.  We cut it into wedges and served it with a frisee salad that involved endive, radish and apple, the recipe for which I found on

We finished both Latke meals with these cookies which have gotten more delicious with age (maybe that sounds gross, but it's true).  My friend Rob who came for Latkes #1 suggested they would also be delicious with fruit and nuts instead of chocolate.  In any case, these cookies mixed up easily and are a treat!

I hope you're enjoying the holiday season and it's many treats and traditions!!