Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Preserved and Pickled

I have started another blog, Preserved and Pickled, that will focus on preserving fruits and vegetables, as well as occasional recipes.  Please click on the title above. I  would really like to know what you think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sweet Potato Latkes

Latkes can be eaten plain as a snack, with a side salad, topped with applesauce, sour cream, or my personal favorite, Greek yogurt.

The French sometimes serve potato galettes with coq au vin. Those of the Jewish persuasion eat them during Hannukah because they are cooked in oil (and delicious). The Swedes add grated potatoes to a pancake batter, and Germans and Austrians like them with garlic, salt and butter. 

This is such a versatile recipe you can’t go wrong.  Usually all the ingredients you need are already in the house, and even the most finicky eaters are happy with the results. Besides, like loaves and fishes, a little goes a long way. Here is my recipe. Enjoy!


1 Sweet Potato
1 small Red Onion cut in long, thin slices similar to the grated potato
2 Eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 – 3 Tablespoons dried Marjoram
Kosher Salt
White Pepper
Freshly Diced Chives (topping)
Greek Yogurt (topping)
Olive Oil for frying

Grate Potato by hand or in a Cuisinart and place in colander for at least 15 minutes.  Rinse, press to remove water. Lay grated potato on kitchen cloth, roll to squeeze our excess water.  Repeat until potato is as dry as you can get it.

 Mix together the eggs, sliced onion, marjoram, salt and white pepper in large mixing bowl.  Add potato, stir together until well blended.

Coat the bottom of non-stick skillet over medium heat with olive oil until hot, but not smoking.

Using a medium wooden spoon (or comparable spoon) drop mixture carefully into hot pan.  Use a fork to spread to preferred thickness.

Cook over medium heat until crispy on the outside (about 3 minutes). Turn carefully with spatula and crisp other side for another 3 minutes.

Work in batches adding oil as needed Remove to baking pan covered with newspaper and hold in 200 degree oven if not serving immediately.

When ready to serve top with a dollop of Greek yougurt and sprinkle with chopped chives.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.

Last night I had the strangest dream. I was in an old house. Made of stone like a castle with large beams and sections of wood throughout, it was large and stately. There were several immense stone fireplaces throughout the building for cooking and warmth. I remember my mother and step-father were there as well as others, but they are the only two that I remember specifically. We were in the Great Room and the fire was blazing. Suddenly there was a strange sound in the room and my step-father said that the chimney was on fire, everyone throughout the house had to move outside for safety’s sake.

The fire was large, blowing from the chimney in swirling red flames, lighting up the night with showers of sparks flying everywhere. Nearby was an immense old oak tree with one large arm sticking out into the night, an “owl hole” noticeable on the side facing me. A spark flew into the hole and started the old dry wood on fire. The flames increased and eventually the arm of the tree fell to the ground sending up a curtain of sparks, but the rest of the tree remained standing.

We rushed over to the area of the tree and underneath covered in moss and debris was an round stone pedestal rising from the ground. At this point I knew that the house we were at was my grandfather’s and that the stone pedestal was a creation of his. I tried to verbalize this to the people around me, but there was a man who was older, a teacher-like figure, crawling around on the flat top, which was quite large, brushing away debris and tracing lines that ran through the old granite, explaining as a scholar would the significance of the stone, but explaining that no one really knew the purpose. I tried to explain several times that it was designed by my grandfather and was similar to a carousel, but the man would not listen and ignored me because I was a child and he knew better than I. Finally I gave up trying to speak and waited.

Eventually the man crawling around on his knees spouting his “knowledge” and tracing the lines came to a square block on the far side of the circle with a cross or an x carved into it, such as you would see on the old stone property markers found in the corners of New England fields. As he was expressing his curiosity as to what this piece was doing here, with no visible tie to the patterns of the other lines, I pressed down on the x and stood back.

The circle of rock began to rise from the ground shaking off the moss. People jumped off its surface and stood to the sides as the rock began to move in a circular motion. The lines the man had been tracing were demarcations and as the rock turned cog-like sections began to pump up and down

“Oh,” the people whispered and breathed. “Look, it moves like a carousel.”

I stood off to the side and smiled. Then I woke up.