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Not exactly a potato pancake: sweating for sweets in the springtime

Sometimes latkes turn out well.
Ted Koppel

Who would make latkes for Memorial Day? ‘Tis not exactly the season, after all.

That didn’t stop me, though. At least it didn’t prevent me from trying. I decided to attempt sweet potato latkes, this time.

What caused this seasonal recipe anomaly, though?

Maybe it was the fact that I had sweet potatoes in the cabinet. Maybe it was the fact that the sweet potatoes in the cabinet were growing what looked like arms out of their veggie sides. Maybe it looked like the arms were waving at me, saying, “Cook me, already, before we go the way of our neighbors, the Nasty Potatoes, you threw out last week.”

It could have been any of those reasons, but most likely it was all of them.

So I cut off the seemingly waving sweet potato arms, which were, in reality, sprouts that were perfectly still, thank goodness, and I proceeded to grate a potato. This took about twelve strenuous minutes, during which I frantically questioned my off-season decision. It seemed a little too hot to be working this hard.

I consoled myself, though. I told myself that if I burned off a lot of calories, shredding a sweet potato, I could reward myself by eating a sweet potato.

It was enough to keep me going for about three quarters of a single sweet spud.

Then I sighed and strongly considered sweet potato fries.

After thirty seconds of sweaty contemplation, I took the plunge and just started slicing. I was done before a minute was up. Obviously slicing was countless seconds quicker than grating, but how would they pan out above a low but hearty flame?

It was time for the test. Too tired to shape potato pancakes, I threw in the shredded mess. It would be just like hash browns, only they would be orange, or so I thought.

Actually the shredded sweet potatoes turned out quite brown and in some cases they were quite a crispy black. They weren’t bad with plain yogurt and tasted almost like baked potatoes with sour cream but they certainly didn’t stand alone as a dish. They didn’t even stand aside or stand a chance as a side dish.

I sighed and tried the sweet potato fries.

They were absolutely, unbelievably, awesomely delish.

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