Sometimes I feel like years of cooking for my family growing up was all for naught. I learned a certain way to cook as a girl, but cooking consciously for a family requires some new skills. It’s like trying to learn to write with the wrong hand. I know how to do this cooking thing, I really do…but you can’t tell from my disintegrating felafels or burnt-in-places-but-raw-in-others fish fillets. I gave myself the challenge to cook fish every week until I had it. Then it happened. My Cajun flounder was well done, slightly dry but very tolerable! I did not even have to offer to cook the boys something different! This momentous evening happened during the week of Hanukkah, a Jewish holiday celebrating light defeating darkness. While I don’t know if my cooking challenge would really count as darkness, I sure did defeat it! Like a boss!
In celebration of light, Jewish use oil in everything; oil lamps to light the house, oil in menorahs, and plenty of deep fried foods. The same night as my fish success, I conquered latkes. Latkes are a traditional deep fried potato pancake (similar to hash browns) that I have tried to make more times than I care to mention. This time, I read an amazing tutorial on them by a woman who understands the struggle that comes with learning a new style of cooking. http://theshiksa.com/2013/11/27/how-to-make-crispy-latkes/ I did everything exactly as she said. It took much longer than it should have, because I had to wash my hands every few minutes and pull my phone out to check that I was following her directions precisely. I pulled out my ancient food processor, grated potatoes, rinsed them, squeezed them out in a cheesecloth to perfect dryness, and mixed them with eggs and bread crumbs. Dinner was beautiful. Maybe I can master this cooking thing after all! I hope you had a happy Hanukkah!