comfort

normally potatoes are out.

but there is something about them: how crispy they get, that beautiful golden brown color, and the creaminess encased in the perfect cocoon of crunch that makes them the perfect thing when you’re looking for a little warmth and comfort. We never ate a ton of potatoes growing up, but somehow they remind me of home.

being nineteen and being nearly 3,000 miles from everything you grew up with can make you awfully homesick sometimes.

My last visit home was for 13 days at Christmas, and boy, I wish it could have been more. There is something so special about being in a house, a home really, that is irreplaceable and that we take for granted so easily. Being able to spread out your work on the coffee table without having to wipe it off and wonder if the last person there spilled beer on it, left cookie crumbs all around, etc. Knowing that a comfy couch is waiting for you to snuggle into it with the Sunday newspaper. A bed that is a soft, luxurious cocoon of blankets and pillows. Sitting down at the kitchen table to a meal that you cooked with your family, with ingredients from your garden.

It’s the little things sometimes.

For our spring training trip, we went to San Diego to play with some California teams. Let me just say, those Californians know their water polo. But the point is, we spent that week on the West Coast. And while San Diego is pretty far away from the beautiful, mountainous lushness that is Seattle, the visit reminded me of how dearly I love and how much I miss the West Coast.

It is my home.

I though one day I might like to live in Boston or Washington, D.C. While that might happen, any stay there will be brief. Being so far away from the West for this long has taught me that I cannot live long without the rocky beaches, salty air, evergreen trees, and rainy skies of the Pacific Northwest. That’s right, even the gray rain.

This recipe was concocted on a gray, rainy, Seattle-like day. I hope you enjoy.

Potato-Apple Latkes

2 medium russet potatoes, peeled

2 granny smith apples, peeled

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup fava flour

2 TBSP chia seed + 7 TBSP water

Ghee* or oil for greasing the pan.

I used my cast iron skillet, but you can use any frying pan. If you’re using cast iron, put it on the stove now (medium heat) to heat up.

Grate the apples and potatoes together into a large bowl. Add 1 tsp salt and all of the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly (this is a hands-on project).

Roll into 1/3 cup sized balls and squeeze. Then lay the balls on a plate of baking sheet lined with paper towels. Cover with paper towels and press. This serves to both flatten the latkes and remove the exterior moisture, which helps them brown.

Coat your pan with 2 TBSP ghee or oil, and throw in 3 or 4 latkes. They should sizzle. If not, the pan isn’t hot enough. Cook until they get crispy and golden brown on the first side (up to five minutes) and then flip them to brown the other side (about 2 minutes). Pull of the heat, smother with your favorite condiment, and enjoy.

*Ghee is lactose, casein, and whey-free. We were hesitant to try it at first, but it doesn’t seem to bother us, and we all have casein and whey allergies.

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Cranberry Spread

This tangy spread goes well on the salty latkes.

1 cup cranberries

1/4 cup water

2 TBSP agave

2 TBSP sunflower seed butter

1 TSBP hemp milk (or milk of your choice)

Cook the cranberries down in the water and agave until soft (add more water if needed so they don’t burn). They should all squish when gently pressed with a fork. Crush the cranberries and pull off the heat. Add the sunflower butter and hemp milk and stir vigorously, giving you a creamy, tangy spread for your delicious golden latkes.

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