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5 Easy Twists for Extra Special Latkes

Latkes are the best thing in the world, just the way they are. That’s our starting premise, and we won’t budge from it. However, we will say that even the best holiday snacks can always benefit from a push to be just a little bit better—especially when…

Latkes are the best thing in the world, just the way they are. That's our starting premise, and we won't budge from it. However, we will say that even the best holiday snacks can always benefit from a push to be just a little bit better—especially when it comes to fried patties of crispy, shredded potato perfection.

Latkes are a process, and they'll leave your hair and half your home smelling like fried something-or-other, but the payoff is a celebration of light and joy and oil for your tastebuds. Here are five ways to make the eight days of Hanukkah as latke-licious as possible.

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Bring Light to Your Hanukkah Table With These 40 Festive Recipes

Eight days every year, Jewish people around the world give thanks that centuries ago, a bit of oil—only a day’s worth!—lasted long enough to keep a sacred lantern lit for a week and some change. In the spirit of this miracle, we light candles and fry f…

Eight days every year, Jewish people around the world give thanks that centuries ago, a bit of oil—only a day's worth!—lasted long enough to keep a sacred lantern lit for a week and some change. In the spirit of this miracle, we light candles and fry foods on Hanukkah.

The Festival of Lights is not the festival of light fare: Its two most central foods are fried potatoes and fried dough. While latkes and sufganiyot are the crispy golden stars of many a Hanukkah meal, those two dishes don't have to be the only focus. Here, we've gathered enough colorful salads and sides, show-stopping briskets, and latkes of all kinds to brighten your plate during Hanukkah.

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13 Gifts Small Enough for Any Stocking

The winter holidays are creeping up on us, and some of you may be thinking of starting your gift shopping early. Our advice? Start small. It’s easy to put off shopping for the little things that typically fill Christmas stockings, are handed out during…

The winter holidays are creeping up on us, and some of you may be thinking of starting your gift shopping early. Our advice? Start small. It’s easy to put off shopping for the little things that typically fill Christmas stockings, are handed out during Hanukkah, or fit the bill for Secret Santa and white elephant exchanges. But why add unnecessary stress by procrastinating?

Treat your friend who loves to host a cocktail hour to an electric corkscrew or give your game-obsessed niece a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle. Here are 13 small-but-meaningful presents to get that gift-shopping ball rolling.

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How Much Brisket Do I Need Per Person?

If you want to know how much brisket you need to serve per person, you first need to watch Mean Girls (or, if you’re a woman between the ages of 25 and 35, re-watch for the 100th time). The answer lies with the protagonist character Cady Heron, played…

If you want to know how much brisket you need to serve per person, you first need to watch Mean Girls (or, if you’re a woman between the ages of 25 and 35, re-watch for the 100th time). The answer lies with the protagonist character Cady Heron, played by Lindsey Lohan, who will tell you “the limit does not exist.” I understand this doesn’t help you determine how many pounds of raw brisket to purchase from the butcher before Passover or Rosh Hashanah. But it’s true. If your brisket is fork-tender and flavorful beyond belief, people will keep going back for more. And even when they retire from the dinner table to the couch and change from fancy clothes to sweatpants, a few people will obviously be craving leftover brisket within (checks watch) 90 minutes. But yes, we do have a handy way of estimating how much you should allot per person if your budget is not infinite.

Types of Beef Brisket

When shopping for brisket, you’ll find that there are two common cuts of meat: brisket flat (aka first-cut) and brisket point. Many brisket recipes won’t specify which cut of meat to use, so here’s what to know: brisket point has a jagged, pointy end that is ideal for pulled brisket (like these braised brisket sandwiches or chopped brisket. Flat cut brisket is what you want to use if you’re planning to braise or smoke brisket and then slice it into neat servings. Flat cut, or first-cut brisket, is a leaner cut, which means it’s at its best when cooked for several hours until it becomes juicy and tender.

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How to Make Noodle Kugel Without a Recipe

Here at Food52, we love recipes—but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don’t always need a recipe, you’ll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Today: Whether you grew up on your bubbe’s kugel or yo…

Here at Food52, we love recipes—but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.

Today: Whether you grew up on your bubbe's kugel or you have no idea what kugel is, you can (and should) make a perfectly sweet, family-friendly casserole that will have you noshing in no time.

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How to Remove Stubborn Wax From Your Menorah

Menorahs, beautiful as they are, have a tendency to get covered in dripping wax over the course of eight nights. Luckily, cleaning them is no different than getting wax off of any other candle holder or jar, and it’s easy to do. Plus, if you save the e…

Menorahs, beautiful as they are, have a tendency to get covered in dripping wax over the course of eight nights. Luckily, cleaning them is no different than getting wax off of any other candle holder or jar, and it’s easy to do. Plus, if you save the extra wax that comes off, you can melt it back down to make new candles.

Before you try any of the below methods, you should try to break off any large chunks of wax from the menorah with something non-abrasive, like a plastic credit card, your fingers, or a spatula, and you can get into the little wells where the candles sit with a chopstick. Be mindful during this step, as most menorahs are made from metal, ceramic, or stone, and can easily get scratched.

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Latke Patacones Are as Untraditional—& Outstanding—as They Sound

I was first introduced to my favorite snack in Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica—a small town outside of the capital, San José, where I went to graduate school. After class one day, I joined some friends and a professor for drinks and snacks at Zompopas, a no-f…

I was first introduced to my favorite snack in Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica—a small town outside of the capital, San José, where I went to graduate school. After class one day, I joined some friends and a professor for drinks and snacks at Zompopas, a no-frills bar and restaurant where you shuffle around fold-out chairs and slide tables together for larger gatherings.

Before long, there was a plate of patacones in front of us to share, with a small bowl of refried black beans in the middle topped with crumbled fresh cheese. It was love at first crunch.

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Latke Cookies Are a Hanukkah Miracle

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we’re gue…

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. Inspired by the column, the Big Little Recipes cookbook is available now. Like, right now.


Though latkes are inseparable from all the Hanukkahs of my life, the word itself is barely older than my grandmother. "Latke" nudged its way into the English language in 1927, thousands of years after the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem.

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Our Community’s Most Treasured Hanukkah Traditions

Synonymous with Hanukkah are, of course, menorahs, dreidels, and latkes, but the larger meaning of the holiday is very much steeped in tradition, which translates to the food, decor, games, and practices that are held dear and passed along in Jewish fa…

Synonymous with Hanukkah are, of course, menorahs, dreidels, and latkes, but the larger meaning of the holiday is very much steeped in tradition, which translates to the food, decor, games, and practices that are held dear and passed along in Jewish families around the world.

We reached out to our staff and community to share their most treasured Hanukkah traditions with us, from seasonal foods to beloved gifting practices, in hopes they’ll bring a little light to this year’s holiday. Read on for some heartfelt stories, and maybe pick up a new tradition to bring home along the way.

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Why Did Hanukkah Become ‘Jewish Christmas’?

Every December, my holiday season officially begins when I arrive at my parents’ home and see the Star of David ornament glimmering from the branches of the Christmas tree. We don’t go to church; we eat latkes with our Feast of Seven Fishes (though Han…

Every December, my holiday season officially begins when I arrive at my parents’ home and see the Star of David ornament glimmering from the branches of the Christmas tree. We don’t go to church; we eat latkes with our Feast of Seven Fishes (though Hanukkah is almost certainly already over). Yet on December 25, there are a few moments that bring about true feelings of fellowship, dare I say spirituality, even for a group of distinctly not religious people.

“Christmas is America’s most popular national holiday,” writes Rabbi Joshua Eli Plaut in A Kosher Christmas: ’Tis the Season to Be Jewish. It’s the only federal holiday with a religious foundation that is celebrated both privately and publicly—in religious and secular households; in houses of worship and civil spaces. “Whereas Jews in the United States can participate in Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day celebrations, Christmas does not belong to all Americans…If not celebrating Christmas, then what is a Jew to do on Christmas in America?”

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