Celebrating Hanukkah with Latkes

West Park patients got into the holiday spirit, getting a taste of Hanukkah with latkes


Dec. 6, 2021 - Tonight marks the end of Hanukkah, the Jewish holiday also referred to as the “Festival of Lights.”

West Park patients got into the holiday spirit last Friday afternoon by getting a taste of Hanukkah.

Ahead of the sixth night of Hanukkah, Recreation Therapy Assistant Naomi Max led a cooking class on how to make the perfect latkes.

Max has made these fried treats with patients before as part of the Happy Chefs program, and says she was excited when patients said they wanted to do it again this year.

“It makes me so happy that they want to do this, and they want to learn about Judaism,” she says.

Latke is the Yiddish word for pancake, and these potato pancakes are fried in oil until they are perfectly crisp and ready to be dipped, traditionally, in applesauce or sour cream.

During Hanukkah, oily foods such as latkes and sufganiyot (fried, jelly-filled doughnuts) are served as a way to celebrate the Hanukkah miracle.

Max has been making latkes with her family since she was four, and she’s got a secret to making them perfect every time.

“Okay, the secret I’m going to let you in on – and all of West Park – is that you need to add raw carrot.”

Adding one raw carrot when the oil is frying will prevent the latkes from burning and this works for any friend foods, she adds.

By the end, the class had made about 100 latkes for patients to enjoy.

Feeling a bit of food envy? Toronto is packed full of great places to enjoy Jewish cuisine.

Some top spots to get your fill of latkes, include:
Pancer’s Original Deli, 3856 Bathurst St.
Schmaltz Appetizing, 414 Dupont St.
Free Times Café, 320 College St.

Happy Hanukkah!