Oy, Chanukah

I’M MOSTLY KIDDING ABOUT THE ‘OY.’ CHANUKAH IS WONDERFUL, even if, midway through my first Chanukah here in East Hampton, it’s a far cry from the days when my kids were young and we sometimes had eight consecutive nights of festivities (cue the klezmer fiddles).

I started the holiday on an architectural high note, attending Friday night services at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, below, an extraordinary synagogue designed by Norman Jaffe in the mid-1980s. It synthesizes elements of Old World wooden synagogues, the shingle vernacular of the Hamptons, and Jaffe’s wedge-shaped modernist residences, which he built prolifically for clients in this area before his premature death in 1993.

The interior is built up of vertically etched pale wood pilasters, oddly angled in repeating layers, that create a literally awesome experience, warmer and more intimate than I would have imagined from the outside.

I made the traditional potato latkes the other night for my neighbors across the road. They came out delicious (it’s hard to mess up fried potatoes). I served them with homemade applesauce (secret ingredient: apricot jam), roasted Brussels sprouts and garlic, and a salad with blue cheese.

Three nights to go. Three more latke ops.

About cara

I blog (for fun) here at casaCARA, and write (for money) about architecture, interiors, gardens and travel for many national magazines and websites.
This entry was posted in HAMPTONS, LONG ISLAND, MISCELLANEOUS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Oy, Chanukah

  1. Nancy says:

    Oy hits the right note for me…It’s hard to celebrate any holiday without the kinder…Since my daughter left home for college several years ago, she’s never been here for Chanukah only xmas. I really miss lighting the candles with her.

  2. carrie says:

    If you wanted to send this WASPy girl in jersey some latkes {or if the recipe were to magically appear as a post}, they would find a very happy home. Yum.

    Happy Chanukah!!

  3. cara says:

    Here you go, Carrie and others who’ve emailed for the missing latke recipe. This is for 4:
    Peel 2 lbs white potatoes and drop them into a pot ice water until you’re ready to use them. Grate 2 onions (don’t stint on the onions) & the potatoes into a colander set in the sink to drain. (I use a hand grater; most people use a Cuisinart.) Mix the onions & potatoes together (this keeps potatoes from turning brown) and press out all possible water. Then spoon the onion/potato mixture into a clean dish towel and wring out remaining water so the mixture is as dry as possible <-key step. Add 3 beaten eggs, generous salt & pepper, and matzo meal, bit by bit, until the mixture holds together reasonably well. Heat oil in a skillet (my grandmother always used Wesson oil, pronounced Vesson) so I use Wesson canola. Drop small patties into hot oil and fry (deep fry, actually) until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with applesauce and/or sour cream. Happy Chanukah, y'all.

  4. BrooklynGreene says:

    Yes, Happy Hanukah!

    Listen, try using some good ol’ chicken fat. It adds that extra je ne sais coronary. ;-)

    I love, love, love latkes, but haven’t made latkes in ages…they’re more work than most people realize and the house really smells of the frying. It’s amazing how much so! But YUM! Then I eat two and feel stuffed!

    How’s the East End weather? Bklyn just got BITTER tonight!

  5. cara says:

    hey, BG, I wondered what became of you! As far as I’m concerned, it’s not Chanukah unless the house smells of oil and the smoke alarm goes off!
    Cold here too (25 degrees) but my house is toasty:-)

  6. brooklynGreene says:

    I guess you’re right about needing to have that smell to make it the holiday! And that smoke detector comment just made me laugh.

    Sorry, I’ve been in the doldrums of work and eldercare with very little time to myself so I haven’t had a chance to comment but have tried to check in and read your great and informative entries on the blog.

    Happy Solstice and take care!
    Brrrrrrrr! (That’s it! Moving to a warmer climate!)

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