The unofficial state motto of Oregon is “Things look different here,” and it’s true. More to the point, people who live here look at things differently. So when the Portland Tuv Ha’Aretz steering committee met to talk about upcoming events a few months ago, we decided to take a fresh look at (or taste of) latkes.

We all love latkes. But let’s face it; after years of potato-oniony goodness, we decided it be more interesting to try some alternative recipes that would give everyone some new ideas for their own upcoming Hanukkah celebration. More importantly, this event was an opportunity to get together, cook and eat; what more could you ask from a gathering of Jews?

On Nov. 14, we hosted a non-traditional latke party at the home of two of our members. Six different kinds of latkes were represented (some recipes below). Our hosts also made a delicious white bean/butternut squash soup. I fried up a variation of my friend Andrine’s latkes, using the last zucchini from my garden, along with butternut squash, carrots, parsnips and plenty of onion. Others brought sweet potato latkes, yam/ginger latkes, and veggie-feta renditions. With hot-spiced cider and plenty of sour cream and homemade applesauce, we were swimming in latkes.

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