A New Day Begins At Sunset

I’ve always found it interesting that Jewish holidays begin at sundown the night before but I never really wondered why until recently.

According to the omniscient (and sometimes accurate) Internet, the reason dates from the creation of the Universe.  In the Torah, it was written that G-d created the heavens and the earth and evening came and morning followed, the first day.

I like this idea a lot, particularly since it means that I can cram a lot more life into my days if they begin just as my work day is ending.

Tonight, I finally pulled out the recipes I’ve been hoarding for traditional latkes.  Truth be told, it’s just a happy coincidence that my latkes attempt corresponds with the start of Passover, a holiday that retells how the Israelites broke free from slavery in Egypt.

Passover is a fascinating holiday but so many other have written so well on this topic and I have had so little first-hand experience with it that I hesitate to add anything except to say that it sounds like an amazing, tradition-fueled holiday that coincides with some interesting food.

I chose to focus on something simple:  latkes.  They were easy to squeeze in after a long day at work and I thought my son would like to help me cook.  I was right on one count, wrong on the other, but I still managed to single-handedly whip up some delicious latkes.

I had two recipes, a traditional white potato and onion latke and a sweet potato latke.

The steps were easy:  I peeled and grated about 4 medium white potatoes; I grated one-half of a yellow onion; I added some salt and pepper; one beaten egg; and two tablespoons of flour.  Once I mixed that well by hand, I heated about 3 tablespoons of oil over high heat and then carefully dropped the potato mixture into the oil.

The sweet potato latkes was even easier.  I grated one large sweet potato, added two beaten eggs (this was a larger amount of potato than my recipe called for); two tablespoons of flour; chopped green onion (about 3); and added salt, pepper, and two tablespoons of flour.  I thought the original latkes could have been improved by a little spice, so I added some paprika to this mixture but it really didn’t add much.

Of the two, my favorite was the white potato version.  I could easily see making them again and I think my son would enjoy them.  

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