I don’t know who came up with the whole Battle of the Bubbies idea (it was me) but the series has become an important part of our life in the deli. Celebrating Jewish food culture is a big part of the Caplansky’s Deli mission. The series kicked off with matzo balls, followed by latkes, gefilte fish and the cabbage borscht and is always a fun way of celebrating and maintaining recipes and traditions passed down through our families.
This year Latkepalooza, as the latke competition has become known since I stole that name from Arnie and Rita Lipson, will fall on December 16, the last day of Hanukkah. When the bell chimes 8 your presence is requested at the deli to celebrate a miracle that occurred many years ago.
I like to think of Hanukkah, aka the Festival of Lights, as a celebration of miracles. Although it is meant to cause us to remember the victory of the weak over the strong as well as the symbolism of the holy oil in the temple lasting for eight days instead of just one, I prefer to think of this as an acknowledgment that miracles do happen.
I don’t know about you but I have personally experienced miracles in my life. The Googler defines “miracle” as:
- A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.
- A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.
Starting a Jewish deli on the second floor of a dive bar on a residential street in Little Italy and seeing that business grow and thrive four and a half years is the fist miracle that comes to my mind. The mending of a broken heart? Maybe not a miracle but a feel good story for the ages for sure.
I digress. On December 16 at 8pm all are welcome to celebrate whatever you wish to celebrate over latkes, apple sauce, dreidels and good cheer. If you wish to enter, simply make at least 6 dozen of your best potato pancakes (cooked) but remember that anyone who tastes a latke gets a ballot so don’t be skimpy. We will reheat in the oven for you.
Note that it is a popular ballot system. We promise not to take 5 days to figure out who won like they did recently in Florida and we ask that people try not to advertise whose latkes are whose so the voting may be as fair as possible.
Lastly, PLEASE email Kristen@Caplanskys.com to confirm your participation. All entrants will receive lunch for two and the winner will receive dinner for four, a trophy and bragging rights.