It's early morning here at Cheesecake Farms.
It's drizzling that drizzle they've been predicting all week but so far it's a warm, gentle drizzle - not the freezing rain they've been predicting.
Yesterday, we worked like mad to plant the last of our fall perrennials so they'd be tucked into their winter homes before the big freeze came.
To my memory, it's never been this warm in Virginia so we dragged our feet about getting everything planted earlier.
We tilled most of the vegetable garden, too, for it's winter sleep.
Holiday parties are everywhere this year and going to them has been great fun.
Yesterday, Tony and I attended a Chanuka party at Mark and Laura Mensch's. They always have great parties with crowds of interesting people. They know EVERYBODY!
The conversation was lively - from "What's Europe's role in the 21st century?" to "Invasive, red wiggler worms are changing the pH of Viginia's soil!" to "How can I get Christine Fox (an upscale local store) to sell my hand crafted silk felted scarfs?"
Laura made tons of Latkas (potato pancakes) that were crispy and light - as delicious as I've ever tasted.
I hung around her kitchen begging for some tips and here's what Laura had to share:
1. Use Yukon gold or russet potatoes for latkas.
2. Prepare the onions and potatoes by washing, peeling and cutting them into chunks but keep them submerged in cool water to keep them from turning brown.
3. Shred the onions and potatoes just before you're ready to fry them - not before.
4. By hand, squeeze out all the extra water.
5. Use peanut oil for frying or (if you're alergic to peanuts) canola oil.
6. Serve hot with home made apple sauce and sour cream.
Check back tomorrow as we count the days till Christmas with scrumptious recipes, festive holiday tips and gifts ideas from the kitchen.
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