Written by Aandee Krouse, CNN
Hanukkah is almost here — the time of year when Jewish families prepare for the Festival of Lights, celebrating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.
To ensure the Hanukkah candles burn brightly, the Holiday Glow latke recipe requires frying an enormous quantity of potato pancakes, studded with matzo-ball and other animal fat.
David Ben Gurion, former prime minister of Israel and chairman of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, was the first person to dedicate such a recipe to public record. At the time, you needed to supply a minimum of 34 thousand,000 cibachrones, or multihorseless potato pancakes.
The time taken was not, however, compared to the amount of eggs in your digestive system, but rather to the amount of potato batter that went into each small frying pan. Most parboiled potatoes became unusable when fried.
The event that inspired this epic popularity was the Passover at the end of the Jewish Passover, when the saltwater of the river Jordan was used to mix the flour. During the first night of Hanukkah, the saltwater was also mixed, though the four months of time between this and the holiday week went by without this precious-minted combination.
Finding such a time is an insult to every Jew around the world. The late Motlow Stinshaw, famous for frying pies by the kitchen sink, used to say that after 14 years of service there was no reason he should ever have to add the second pie, or lack thereof.
Temple Mountain in Efrat (Photo courtesy of i-SEE)
When Ben Gurion brought the dish of potato pancakes to the prime minister of France, Charlie de Gaulle, he recalled that during his childhood he had had to have a few packets of flour each week, but “nothing for the potato pancakes”.
So Ben Gurion was using up materials rather than baking the potatoes at the same time. Over the years, many Hanukkah dishes have had many variations, as people changed things up.
The list of variations includes potatoes in an egg white, potatoes mixed with almond, potato in beef or cheese, chicken in potato with potatoes, potato in puree and potato in margarine.