Earlier this week, our Third Grade made use of the fruits of their spring, summer and fall labor, turning their school-grown sweet potatoes into delicious latkes shared with the rest of our Grade School in a beautiful celebration of Hanukkah.
The sweet potatoes went in the ground in our biodynamic Strawberry Moon Garden last spring as slips, a gift from our friend and fellow gardener Cristina Santiestevan. They were lovingly weeded, watered, and tended all summer long by our summer campers, and in the fall by the third grade class. One chilly fall day, we beat Jack Frost to the potatoes, digging them all up and putting them aside to wait for our Hanukkah festival.
Here is the recipe for these delicious cakes. Of course, they are best with Strawberry Moon garden potatoes, but we bet you'll have good results at home as well! Latkes are very forgiving; the amounts given here are approximate.
PCWS Sweet Potato Latkes
1 lb. sweet potatoes
1 lb. Russet or other potatoes
1 medium onion
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil of your choice
Wash, grate and peel the potatoes (you can use a food processor, but the third graders grated by hand!). Put the grated potato in a clean dishcloth and squeeze to wring out as much liquid as you can (for added fun, use a sieve as shown above, but it's not necessary).
Transfer potato to a large bowl, and add the other ingredients, except the oil. Mix until the flour is absorbed.
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the batter to the oil in heaped spoonfuls (exact size of latke is your choice). Once in the oil, flatten the ball a bit. When the edges begin to brown, flip and cook til they are browned and crispy on both sides. Transfer to a paper towel.
Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or both, and enjoy! Add in some dreidels, singing and other games, and you've got yourself a Hanukkah party.