Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I have been thinking about my deceased mother-in-law a lot lately. No wonder because we are still in the horrible entanglement of her estate. I just can't even talk about anymore it makes us so upset.
This is Audrey's latke recipe....with a good story.

9 large russet potatoes, peeled
3 small onions, grated
3 eggs
1 tsp. Oil
salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

Take 3 of your potatoes and boil and mash them. ()You may add milk and buter to your mashed potatoes if you wish.) Set your mashed potatoes aside.
Grate the remaining potatoes. Put in a large bowl. As you are putting your grated potatoes in your bowl press out excess liquid.
Add your mashed potatoes, onion, eggs, oil, salt, and pepper.
Mix all together.
Heat a frying pan, griddle or cast iron skillet over medium high heat with a layer of oil on the bottom of the pan.
Wash your hands and grab a handful of potato batter and shape it into a circle about 2-3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. It is all personal preference.
Fry latkes. When golden and crisp on each side, drain them on paper towels.

When my Mother-In-Law, Audrey Thomas, was pregnant with her first child her father took her out to lunch at Ratners Dairy Restaurant. Ratners was a well known Jewish Orthodox Kosher restaurant on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. As they were finishing their meal their waiter came by asking how everything was. Audrey replied that her potato latkes were so wonderful and how great it would be to have the recipe. The waiter became distressed and did an about face into the kitchen. Audrey could see into the kitchen through the windows of the big swinging kitchen doors. She saw the waiter making frantic gestures to one of the cooks. Both the waiter and the cook came out into the dining room in heated discussion. The cook had a large ladle in his hand and was pointing it directly at Audrey. They both went back into the kitchen gesturing and discussing. The waiter then came out and handed Audrey a piece of paper with a handwritten recipe on it. He told her that Ratners is a restaurant and selling their food is their livelihood. It was against their policy to share recipes. But since it was quite obvious that Audrey was pregnant they had a religious philosophical conundrum. In the Jewish Orthodox faith it is believed that if a pregnant woman makes a request of someone that someone must oblige if it is at all humanly possible. Of course it was possible (even though they had a “no share” policy) for them to give her their recipe so they had to. He asked her to not share the recipe with anyone.
So Audrey got her recipe and she didn’t share it for many years. Ratners has since closed so you can enjoy your latkes guilt free!!


Jane_hates_Dick said...

I LOVE this story! I will make them and enjoy them, guilt-free.

madre-terra said...

I'm thinking the covetted Cheesecake recipe might be next.