Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Not Exactly a Spudtacular Poem

At 7-Imp last Sunday, Eisha listed potato pancakes as one of her 7 Kicks of the week. When I commented that I make great potato pancakes (I learned how from my mother), Eisha asked for the recipe—and so did Jone of Check It Out. Well, ladies, I’m working on it because it’s one of those peel and grate four or five good-sized potatoes (or potatos--spelling a la Dan Quayle) and one medium/large onion, mix in one or two eggs, add some flour…add a little more if the batter is too watery…nothing too exact kind of recipes handed down from grandmother to mother to daughter.

Placki (platskees as we pronounced our Polish term for potato pancakes) are a really tasty comfort food. They make great eating on a chilly autumn or winter evening. The last time I made them for a Super Bowl party the whole platter was polished off in a matter of minutes.

I like to serve potato pancakes with sour cream…and sometimes with my homemade plum sauce. When my husband and I decide to splurge and indulge ourselves, I serve the pancakes with crème fraiche and Osetra caviar…and bottle of champagne.

Here’s a poem for Eisha and Jone until I think I can write up my recipe to be a bit more precise.

A Potato Pancake Poem
(For Eisha and Jone)
by Elaine Magliaro

Before me on my plate
six thin, savory circles
crisped in oil
edged with brown lace
sprinkled with salty crystals
served with mounds
of silky sour cream.

I crunch through
amber crust
sink my teeth into
a pancake’s soft center…
the essence of potato

flavored with memories
of childhood.


Anonymous said...

A potato pancake recipe in a poem no less. That's great, Elaine. I love potato pancakes, too; I'd never had one until I lived in NY. (Though one could argue that hush puppies are a distant cousin.) I love Polish food like that and borscht and pierogi, etc.

Elaine Magliaro said...


Potato pancakes are one of my husband's favorite dishes. I have now learned how to make pierogi from scratch, too. I've never cooked a pot of borscht, though.

Anonymous said...

Elaine, that's almost cruel. Now you've made me super-hungry for potato pancakes, but I still have no recipe to make them. Thanks for writing a special poem for me and Jone!

Elaine Magliaro said...


I've got most of the recipe written down. Janet Wong's coming to Massachusetts on Sunday and I'll probably cook up a batch of potato pancakes for her. When I'm making them, I'll try to pay close attention to exactly what I do so I can refine the recipe for you.