Hanukkah begins at sundown on Dec. 12. But how will you decide which latkes to fry? We've paired a few varieties with some beloved winter activities to help in your decision-making. Here's what you should make if you enjoy . . .
Building snow forts
You may never make a snow fort as impressive as the one from the Blizzard of 1996 or Snowzilla. But, you still appreciate the art of delicate balance and need something more substantial to see you through your efforts. Herb and Meat Latkes are for you. Best of all, they can be made in advance and served at room temperature — keep them near the door so that you can snag a few to eat in between your snow brick building.
You pine all year for the hours when you can glide gracefully across the ice. (Or you've been talked into ice skating and are sincerely very nervous about it and no amount of hand holding will help, thank you very much.) Channel that elegance (or nervous energy) as you wring out as much moisture as possible from the vegetable mix for these Zucchini-Potato Latkes — lighter and more sophisticated than most, thanks to the addition of the summer squash.
Snowboarding and/or skiing
You're into extremes, so clearly you'd be into some gnarly Frankenstein Latkes. Don't worry, these are neither eight feet tall nor were they created in a questionable laboratory. They are, however, a mash-up of different latke techniques and happen to make enough for a crowd while using only a small amount of oil. Maybe there is some mysterious alchemy to them, after all.
Sitting by a fire
Latkes require a certain amount of work (you know, the shredding of starches, the shaping of patties, the frying). But when you're the person whose favorite winter activity is cozying up to a fire and staying there, perhaps that means you're also the type of person who doesn't want to put in that level of effort. (No judgment.) It sounds like these Persian Potato Pancakes (Kookoo Sib Zamini) are just the ticket: They use cooked potatoes (psst — you could microwave them whole instead of boiling to make it even easier) and a minimal amount of added ingredients. And if you don't want to make individual latkes, spoon the whole mixture into a skillet to make a large rosti-style pancake.
Not only is cross-country skiing less terrifying than careening down a steep mountain, it's also a good workout. Clearly you've got health on the brain, so a batch of low-fat and low-carb Cabbage Latkes seems like a good fit.
Sledding and/or tubing
If you stare at them long enough, these Herbed Potato Cakes With Smoked Salmon and Roasted Red Pepper Relish sort of look like little people perched on a sled or snow tube. If that's not reason enough to make them, then perhaps the promise of a tangy, salty, umami-rich condiment to compliment buttery smoked salmon and crispy potato latkes would convince you.
Starting a snow ball fight
Is it really a latke if it's not fried? Duke it out over a snow ball fight, then make some Oven-Baked Potato Latkes and let your taste buds decide. Take comfort in knowing these are a more healthful option.
Building a sand castle
"But I live in a warm climate and there are no cold winter activities," you're thinking. Well then you won't be needing starchy and substantial potato-filled latkes for Hanukkah, will you? Try these Crunchy Parsnip-Carrot Latkes, a light and tender mix of root vegetables that won't weigh you down before you take a dip in the ocean and sip a daiquiri on the beach or whatever else it is you fair-weathered people do.