Last winter was just horrid. Bleak, depressing and it seemed to go on and on. Most days I was stuck inside for hours with my darling, teething toddler and when we did venture outside we had to pick our way around icy mountains of old snow and through biting wind only to have an excuse to leave the house. Also, I can see now that I was definitely still in the postpartum doldrums and the biggest indicator (believe it or not) was my musical taste during those frigid months. Some people eat ice cream or watch the soaps when they are sad, I listen to ultra-cheesy pop music. I don’t know if it’s because it cheers me up, or matches my mood but whatever it is, if you catch me with kiss 108 on the radio, something is not right. Auralee and I must’ve listened to Leona Lewis’s Bleeding Love a thousand times from December to March and now that we are entering that season once again, I want to just take a moment to say how appreciative I am to have survived last year, how glad I am to be in the here and now, and that you know…it’s really quite a catchy tune. Happy Hunukkah.
Isa Chandra’s Autumn Latkes from Veganomicon
2 cups peeled, shredded beets (2 average-size)
1 cup peeled shredded carrot (1-2 medium)
1 cup peeled shredded sweet potato (about 1 medium)
1 shallot, chopped finely
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
several dashes of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds, chopped
1/4 cup water (I did not find this necessary, the veggies had enough moisture)
Olive oil for pan frying
Have ready layers of paper towels or large paper grocery bags to absorb the oil after frying. You can also preheat the oven to 250 F so you can keep the fried, drained latkes warm while the others cook.
Combine the shredded veggies (I used to food processor to grate everything, takes no time al all) in a large mixing bowl. Add the shallot, cornstarch, flour, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds. Use a wooden spoon to mix everything well; the flour should coat everything. Add the water, if using and stir until all the flour is dissolved.
Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Pour 1/4 inch of oil into the pan. Let oil heat for about 2 minutes.
Form the beet mixture into balls the diameter of a quarter and then flatten into 1 1/2 inch medallions (you can make then a little bigger if you want to). Fry the medallions in batches for 5 minutes; turn over and flatten them a bit with a spatula. Fry for another 3-4 minutes (you can adjust the heat if they are burning). Transfer to bags or towels to drain. Serve ASAP with your choice of toppings: apple sauce, sour cream etc.