Potato pancakes during Lent
When I grew up in Cincinnati, it's not like we had fresh salmon flown in daily. Lent was more about McDonald's fish sandwiches and Van De Kamp's frozen fish sticks. Which explains why I didn't really learn to like fish till after college, living in Asia, eating FRESH fish. I learned that, if you don't live near the sea, DON'T EAT SEAFOOD.
Of course that's changed. But for me, Lent has always been more about eating potato pancakes on Fridays, not fish. Am I the only one? Most Fridays during Lent, and certainly Good Friday, were spent in my grandma's kitchen, watching her hand-mix shreds of potatoes with who knows what else. She heated up a skillet full of oil - and we're not talking no trans-fats here - and fried those puppies up. That's what I miss about my grandma - amazing potato pancakes ... and butterscotch pie. Yum. The good stuff. We'd eat her potato pancakes with applesauce. Nowadays, when my dad makes them (with a lot less oil), we eat them with Ontario-made maple syrup, and sometimes sour cream. And applesauce if there's any left in the freezer from last fall.
I can't say that I've launched into a search for the best potato pancake here - there are so many. And they're greasy, so you can only handle so many. Izzy's has a tasty but oily one, with a lot more batter than my grandma ever made. And more onions. Hofbrauhaus in Newport serves up its "kartoffelpfannkuchen" with applesauce or sour cream. Yum. It's really the only thing I eat at Hofbrauhaus. (No wurst for me, thank you). Where else do you get good potato pancakes?
I need to start planning my Friday cook-fest. There will be fish from an area fish fry, too, but I'm thinking of trying this recipe from Burlington's Willis Graves' Bed and Breakfast Inn. And in case you're not a potato fan, you can vote who has the better fish fry here.