Thanks a Latke! History and Recipe

Thanks a Latke!

It last happened in 1888 and, according to one calculation, won’t happen again for another 77,798 years: the convergence of       Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. This year, November 28 is Thanksgiving and the first full day of the eight-day Jewish festival of lights, which begins at sundown the previous night.

The story of the latke begins with the introduction to Jewish people by Italians, but that latke was made from cheese (c. 1286-1328). Potato latkes are a more recent evolution of the fried favorite during Chanukah and the environment played a part. Potato latkes gained popularity in Eastern Europe during the mid 1800′s. A series of crop failures in Poland and the Ukraine led to a mass planting of potatoes, which were easy and cheap to grow.

So steeped in tradition, the latke is open to interpretation. We created a Chipper favorite to celebrate two great family holidays landing on the same day this year Thanksgiving and Chanukah! Share the story with your children and weave in your own history; the opportunity to celebrate who we are, while acknowledging others, helps children develop an appreciation and respect for the world in which they live.

In America we enjoy many things: the ability to celebrate and choose our own religion, where we live, what we do in life, and the friends we keep. It seem obvious to our children today – and they even receive more freedom than the generation before them. But do kids today realize this?

We look at November as a wonderful month to reflect and give thanks. The month begins with a salute to our veterans and ends with giving thanks, but not without the distraction of “Black Friday.”

The opportunity to share and teach about other cultures is never better than this month. As we finish the final illustrations on a new book “Join R Team!” to celebrate Reimagine Phoenix: Transforming Trash into Resources, we reflect on the opportunity to learn about the Hohokahm people of Arizona and all through the eyes of a dinosaur. Chipper’s adventure through Phoenix is rich with history, both environmental and cultural.We are thankful for another partnership committed to teaching children about conservationism and the importance of reconsidering our trash, and ways we can reduce waste from our landfills. Through this program with Keep Phoenix Beautiful, children will excite in the idea that they can be a part of making their environment better for everyone.

So, a month rich with opportunities to teach our kids something new and celebrate family, friends, and the environment is here. We hope you will resist the urge to wake up early and hit the long lines at the store (If you jump on board the retail frenzy try and keep it local to help support the businesses in your community).We hope you will linger just a little bit longer at home; with a puzzle, a deck of cards, a game of tag in the backyard, or a walk to your park. The gift of just being together is something your children will forever be thankful for.

Thanks a Latke Recipe

What you need:

• Frying pan

• Vegetable oil

• Potatoes (russets to sweet)

• Egg

• Salt and Pepper

• Sour Cream

• Apple sauce and cranberries

• Roasted turkey breast sliced

• Gravy

*If you’ve made your mashed potatoes, have a half cup ready!

How to cook it: *Latkes can be made in advance and then baked to heat before serving.

• Two pounds russet potatoes

• Egg


1. Shred potatoes.

2. Beat an egg in a large bowl.

3. Pour in potatoes and coat. *Add in the mashed potatoes if you like as it yields a fluffy to crispy latke

4. Pour about ¼ inch oil into frying pan and heat to medium high.

5. Fry the latkes for 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown. Test the first latke and make sure it’s cooked all the way through; if the latkes are browning faster than they’re cooking, reduce skillet heat.

6. Place on paper towel and pat.

7. Place one to three latkes on a plate then layer the turkey breast.

8. Dot each latke with sour cream, applesauce and cranberries then drizzle the gravy over them.

*Makes 12-16 medium latkes.

Enjoy and have a Chipper Thanksgiving!