Latkes of Love
By Joan Weise
My mom has been gone for almost 20 years. But every year, at Hanukkah, when it's time to make latkes, I stand in the produce section, counting on fingers, calculating the exact number of potatoes I'm going to need - and then, I raise my eyes to the ceiling, and ask (always out loud), "one more potato, right Ma?" Because she always bought just one more, in case there wasn't enough.
The latkes bring us together - generations of family and friends, all sitting at the table waiting for the piping hot, right out of the pan and onto their plate potato pancake. I never sit at the table with them, my plate empty, napkin unused, but I sip some wine and nibble nearby on the "too ugly to serve" latkes.
During the evening, I am joined by loved ones as they circulate between kitchen and table, joining me at the stove and sometimes taking their turn at flipping all that yumminess until each pancake is golden brown.
Snagging a cold latke out of the fridge, late at night after the family is snuggled in their beds, I channel my mom, knowing that she would be proud of how I've carried on the tradition.
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