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August 9, 2021

Rediscovered Latke Recipe Links Generations

Family Recipe Rediscovered Years Later Connects Generations

Lindsey Rose Weiss is a writer for and shared a touching personal story with her readers. In 1994, her uncle rediscovered her Grandmother’s secret recipe for her famous latkes.

Rose Weiss (or Grammommy, as her father and uncle called her) crafted a secret recipe for her signature latkes that were much different from the traditional deep-fried potato pancakes served during Hanukkah. Lindsey shared that her Grandmommy’s latkes were sweet, pan-fried, dredged in sugar and served on wax paper at room temperature.

"When Grammommy passed away, the latke recipe died with her. Or so my family thought." – Lindsey Rose Weiss

Unearthing a True Treasure

About a decade after her Grammommy’s passing, her Uncle Jeff unearthed a latke recipe that was identical to the sugary potato pancakes he enjoyed as a child. After years of looking, where did Uncle Jeff finally unearth the latke recipe of his youth? On a “Jewish food enthusiasts” message board, of course.

However, this is a rare occasion in which Uncle Jeff was wrong.

Passing Down Recipes Is a Longstanding Tradition

In 2017, shortly before Hanukkah, Lindsey’s Uncle Jeff was diagnosed with glioblastoma – an aggressive form of brain cancer with a life expectancy averaging between 12 and 16 months. His diagnosis meant it was time to start passing down family recipes – and first on the list was Grammommy’s latkes.

Lindsey’s uncle emailed her the recipe so she could make them at home and deliver the finished product to him the following day.

“Facebook message me if you have any questions,” her uncle said. And her questions began as soon as she started grating the potatoes and only grew more numerous when the first batch of latkes turned out mushy and burnt.

Lindsey realized she required guidance beyond anything a Facebook message could provide. So she turned to FaceTime, and instantly, her uncle Jeff was with her in her kitchen.

The result? Together, Lindsey and her uncle replicated her Grammommy’s latkes, right down to the sugar-coated, wax paper presentation. “They’re freakin’ perfect,” he told her the next day.

Family Recipe Preserved For Generations

Lindsey’s uncle Jeff died that October and won’t be at future Hanukkah celebrations to make her Grammommy’s sugar latkes, or retell the tale about rediscovering the long-lost recipe at the dawn of the internet. But Lindsey will.

And every December, Lindsey says a prayer of thanksgiving about how fortunate she is that the internet gave her a connection to her family history, her namesake, her ancestors and her Uncle Jeff.

One day, Lindsey shares that she will tell this story to her children over a heaping batch of Grammommy Rose’s latkes. By then, they’ll not likely marvel at FaceTime, or online message boards. But the fact that they’ll know their heritage, and their great-uncle, through these mediums? That’s a true miracle of modern technology.

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