Lentils and latkes / Lentejas y latkes

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

ABOUT 20 YEARS AGO, I phoned The Kid Brother from Palm Springs and when I asked him for that week’s bowling scores, he said, “No bowling this week!” When I asked why not, he said, “You should know!” I asked, “Is it a holiday?” He repeated, “You should know.”

San Geraldo, raised Lutheran, head of Luther League at church (don’t ask me what that entailed; all I could think of was Lex Luther, Superman’s nemesis… I know… I know…) told me later it was Passover. ‘Yeah,’ I thought, ‘I suppose I should know.’

This year, I know it’s Hanukkah because one of my still-Catholic friends wrote yesterday to wish me a happy one. San Geraldo obviously remembered. He made traditional potato latkes (potato pancakes) last night to accompany “Jerry’s Lentils” (his lentils are delicious; click here if you’d like the recipe).

The latkes and lentil soup were followed by mantecados, Spanish Christmas cookies. They’re a type of shortbread (made with lard!) and come in all sorts of flavours. There’s no need to chew; they melt in your mouth. I bought an assortment at that same Christmas pop-up shop in our neighbourhood where I bought yesterday’s sublime black & white cookie. The mantecados I purchased are sugar-free (because lard is so much healthier with no sugar added — I lie), but I’m going back today, I think, for another black & white cookie, or two.


HACE UNOS 20 AÑOS, LLAMÉ a El Hermanito desde Palm Springs y cuando le pregunté por los puntajes de bolos de esa semana, dijo: “¡No jugar a los bolos esta semana!” Cuando le pregunté por qué no, dijo: “¡Deberías saberlo!” Pregunté: “¿Es feriado?” Repitió: “Deberías saberlo”.

San Geraldo, criado como luterano, jefe de la Liga Luterana en la iglesia (no me pregunten qué implicaba eso; todo lo que podía pensar era Lex Luther, la némesis de Superman … lo sé … lo sé …) me dijo más tarde era Pascua. ‘Sí’, pensé, ‘supongo que debería saberlo’.

Ahora, sé que es Hanukkah porque uno de mis amigas todavía católicas me escribió ayer para desearme feliz. San Geraldo obviamente lo recordaba. Anoche preparó tradicionales latkes (tortitas de patata) para acompañar sus ahora famosas “Lentejas de Jerry” (sus lentejas están deliciosas; haz clic aquí si desea la receta).

Los latkes y la sopa de lentejas fueron seguidos por mantecados, galletas navideñas españolas. Hechas con manteca de cerdo y vienen en todo tipo de sabores. No hay necesidad de masticar; se derrite en la boca. Compré un surtido en la misma tienda emergente navideña de nuestro vecindario donde compré la sublime galleta en blanco y negro de ayer. Los mantecados que compré no tienen azúcar (porque la manteca de cerdo es mucho más saludable sin azúcar agregada — una mentira), pero hoy volveré, creo, por otra galleta en blanco y negro, o dos.

Mantecados from Antequera, a city an hour north.
Mantecados de Anequera, una ciudad a una hora norte.
One bite and heartburn. But worth it.
Un mordisco y acidez de estómago. Pero lo vale.
Apple sauce for the latkes.
Salsa de manzana para los latkes.
From bed this morning.
De la cama esta mañana.
From the terrace. Not the best (because I had to pee).
Desde la terraza. No es el mejor (porque tenía que orinar).

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

20 thoughts on “Lentils and latkes / Lentejas y latkes”

    1. Debra:
      Nope. We had a religious (Methodist) friend years ago who desperately wanted me to find some religion. (I had checked out a few.) She bought me a menorah one year and I felt obligated to light it. After about three years, I realized she had some nerve and I donated it to a thrift store.

    1. David:
      I love bacon. Can’t remember the last time I had any. But the lard cookies… I think I’ll stop now. I had one after breakfast and decided the immediate heartburn was NOT actually worth it. However… maybe it’s the artificial sweeteners!

  1. OHHHHHHHHHH That last picture!!!!!!!! I guess I can overlook no bun shots for the fifth day in a row!!!! And I love latkes. My mother and I have a tradition of having them every Christmas morning with pancakes.

    I love that little shop, lots to see in there.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Latkes AND pancakes. I hope you don’t put maple syrup on your latkes! Anyway, you might want to stop counting. I don’t have any immediate plans to share my bun again.)

    1. Bob:
      The lentil soup is incredible. SG added hot dogs to it for lunch the next day. Spanish sausage would be great!

  2. Being raised Polish we had Potato Pancakes with sour cream and applesauce. Plus Pierogies with sauerkraut or plums. so tasty.
    I just had takeout from the Polish Cottage with a hig mashed and thin potato pancake with beef stew folded inside.
    Food from my childhood.

    1. Parsnip:
      I never put sour cream on my latkes, but I remember that. Oh, pierogies. I love them. We would get them as a treat while out for walks near my mother. That beef stew potato pancake sounds exquisite!

  3. shine the menorah lights all over the world! spin the dreidels and eat the chocolate gelt! HAPPY HANUKKAH to all who celebrate!

  4. Please send San Geraldo to cook for me. After a few good meals, I’ll return him to you.


    1. Janie:
      Oh, I doubt you’d return him after only a few meals. Besides, he’s handy around the house, too!

  5. A Lutheran! My Godparent is a Lutheran and oh the funny and amusing tales I have interaction with the L-folk.
    Does he know “Lutheran Basement Church cookbook”?

    1. Urspo:
      Oh yeah. We had that book AND the follow-up “They Glorified Mary. We Glorified Rice.”

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