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Cooking up a wonderful celebration

Latkas (potato pancakes) helps the sermon go down a bit easier

Posted: December 26, 2008 8:57 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2008 4:55 a.m.
Arleen Gold started eating potato pancakes (latkas) every Chanukah for as long as she can remember.
The smell of potatoes, onions and the perfect collection of spices, fried up for the and served with apple sauce or sour cream produce a life-long aroma that is warm and familiar to Gold and her friends in the Jewish community.

Over time, Gold fried thousands of latkas for family and friends. So she, Congregation Beth Shalom Rabbi Ira Rosenfeld and his wife Canter Beth Wasserman Rosenfeld will serve as judges for the inaugural "Latka Throwdown."

The synagogue will host the cook-off from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Congregation Beth Shalom's synagogue in Santa Clarita.

Temple members, Breena Prater, Eylat Poliner, Diana Meyer and David Gold will compete for the Top Latka to be determined at the end of the day.

"Judging is a difficult job but someone has to do it," Rabbi Ira Rosenfeld said.

"There are a few things I will judge on. Taste is the number-one thing. And there has to be a consistency of the batter. I will also be looking for an authentic taste."

Contestants will prepare their individual batter recipes at home then compete at the temple, Rosenfeld said.

"(Latka) is a big tradition back when I grew up in New York," Rosenfeld said.

Publicity Director, Gary Jacobs said the throwdown idea came from a popular Food Network program and contestants will make enough latkas for judges and everyone in attendance.

The cook-off is meant to be a fun activity before temple members light the final menorah candle Sunday. It is open to the public.

Rosenfeld, who came to Beth Shalom 18 months ago, organized the community menorah lighting held at the mall last Friday.


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