January 25, 2010

When I was growing up, my grandmother, my dad’s mom, used to make latkes for every high holiday–Rosh Hashana, Passover, all of them.  They were delicious–crispy and greasy, and we used to go into the kitchen while they were cooking and say hi to Marva, who became the latke master.  Grandma had skillets that were older than I was for sure, black and seasoned, and I think they must have held a little bit of the oil each time.  Her latkes were the best.

My grandparents were also of a certain generation that didn’t open windows or doors.  Everything was always locked, latched, the curtains stayed closed.  While those latkes were frying in the kitchen with its linoleum floor and formica table and chairs that had been there since the 1950s when they moved into the house on Concord Avenue, the air filled with the smell of oil.  My mother used to make sure she didn’t wear her good suits there, and she would put on clothes that she didn’t mind smelling like fried for a few days.  The smell would cling to our hair.

Scott’s mom brought us boxes of latke mix when his family came in December (thank you!) and we made one box last week and then Scott made the other box today.  Our little studio apartment smells like my grandma’s house.  It’s kind of comforting, if a little greasy.


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