I worked out!!

The naptime planets were not aligning today (they don't on most days but they especially weren't today. Jessi was going down for a nap right as Ryan was waking up from a long one.) So I donned my exercise clothes and headed to the gym (well my basement). I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and, man, Level 1 got much harder than I remember. I haven't worked out regularly since Dec of LAST year. That's how I knew I was pregnant even before taking one of those home pregnancy tests... one day I was working out in the morning (just like all the other weekday mornings) and on that morning I couldn't do a thing. My legs felt like bricks and my lungs didn't want to work and I knew I wasn't getting sick. I thought, "oh, I'm definitely pregnant." I mentioned it to Mike, who was doing weights right next to me, and a few weeks later we had our home pregnancy test confirmation. So it's been a year and let me tell you, it's hard to get back started. It's discouraging starting at level 1 and it feeling like you're still going to die before the 30 minutes are up. But I'm going to try to do it regularly when the baby starts sleeping through the night. For now I'll just do it when I feel like it. If it ends up being regularly then fine, but if it doesn't I'm not going to get bent out of shape over it. I need to get my cardiovascular endurance back before I'm going to try to run on the treadmill because I fear I will fall flat on my face if I attempt it right now.

Way back in the mid to late 90s I was an exercise fiend. I collected exercise videos instead of yarn and cookbooks. I still have quite an enviable collection. My favorite instructor is Cathe Friedrich by far. I loved step aerobics and weights and she is the best for complex step routines and interesting strength training for advanced home exercisers (which I used to be, but am no longer).

Hanukkah dinner went well last night. No leftover latkes, though, I'm sad to say. I did, however, find my favorite latke recipe so far (from Fine Cooking, a great magazine). They were AWESOME!!

Potato Latkes
4 medium to large russet or Yukon gold potatoes (2 lb total), peeled
2 large yellow onions (3/4 lb total)
4 large eggs -- lightly beaten
1/3 cup matzo meal
2 tsp salt -- more to taste
10 grinds black pepper -- more to taste (10 to 15)
About 3/4 cup of peanut oil (I used vegetable oil)

Using the medium shredding blade of a food processor, grate the potatoes, laying them horizontally in the feed tube to maximize the strand length. Grate the onions (halve or quarter them first, if necessary)on top of the potatoes. The onions will turn to mush, and their juices will help keep the potatoes from turning brown. Pick out any ungrated pieces of potato or onion.
Lay a clean flour sack towel inside a large bowl and transfer the grated mixture into the towel. Roll the towel lengthwise and wring out as much liquid as possible (you can do this over the bow, discarding the liquid, or right over the sink). Depending on the size of the towel (and your muscles) you may have to do this in batches. *Note, if push comes to shove it CAN be done by hand when no towels are available, but this is by far the best way.*

Transfer the grated mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper; mix well.

In a large cast iron or non stick skillet, pour about 1/8 inch of oil and heat on medium high. The oil is hot enough when a piece of potato sizzles when added. Form a trial latke with a tablespoon of the mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Taste and if needed, add salt and pepper to the potato mixture.

To form the latkes, scoop up about 1/2 cup of the mixture with your hands and loosely pat it into a pancake about 1/2 inch thick, leaving a few straggly strands along the edge. (As you work, liquid will accumulate in the bowl, so lightly squeeze out the excess. The last couple of latkes may need a really firm squeeze.) After shaping each latke, slip it into the hot oil and flatten it gently with the back of a spatula. Fry until golden brown, at least 5 min. on each side to be sure center is fully cooked. If the edges darken too quickly, lower the heat. To prevent excess oil absorption, flip each latke only once. Add oil between batches as needed, making sure the oil heats up again before frying more latkes. Drain the latkes on a paper towel. (I usually put my wire rack over a cookie sheet in at 300 degree oven, cover it with paper towels and let them drain and stay warm there.) Serve immediately with applesauce and sour cream if desired.

Source: "Fine Cooking"

The only problem I encountered (my fault) was that I couldn't find the shredded blade for my food processor. I had them before we moved in the summer but have no idea where they are now. So I used a hand grater. Can I just say I hate hand graters. I have a big thumb nick from grating the potatoes. Ick. I may be in the market for a new food processor very soon.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

So good to hear from you again, Lisa! Must try that latke recipe. We love latkes here and eat them often. Happy Hanukkah to you and your family!


10:05 AM  

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