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Simplifying A Hanukkah Tradition

If I had one word to describe Edith Baughn, a registered mammographer at Kapiolani Women’s Center, it would be dedicated!

This Hawaii Kai resident was born in Lima, Peru, and moved to Hawaii 18 years ago.

Edith met her husband Chuck while attending Cypress College in California, married him three months later and they followed the surf to Hawaii. Chuck is an avid surfer, and has owned Pacific Audio Video since 1994.

The couple have two children, Brannon, 10, a student at Hahaione Elementary School, who likes basketball and plays soccer for FC Hawaii, and Kira, 5, who attends Kilohana Preschool in Niu Valley and enjoys playing soccer and swimming. They are a very close family and make time every week to enjoy sunset cruises on their boat, where they spend quality time and catch up on each other’s lives.

With all of her experience as a mammographer for the last 16 years, Edith would like to send this message to women and those who love them: “Your health is the most important thing you have, and it is important to love yourself enough to take care of it. Give us five minutes of your time and get regular preventative checkups.”

This column is dedicated to the Baughn family and especially to Edith, for her kind and compassionate caring.

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, begins at sundown next Tuesday. Many of the traditional foods are cooked in oil, in remembrance of the oil that burned in the temple more than 2,000 years ago, when the Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV tried to force Greek culture upon people in his territory.

Jews in Judea were forbidden their most important religious practices as well as study of the Torah. Although vastly outnumbered, religious Jews in the region took up arms to protect their community and their religion. When the temple was reclaimed after three years of fighting, it had to be prepared for rededication. In the temple they found only enough purified oil to kindle the temple light for a single day. Miraculously, the light continued to burn for eight days.

The lighting of the menorah is the most important Hanukkah tradition. Each evening of Hanukkah, one more candle is lit, with a special blessing.

These latkes or potato pancakes are an easier version of the pancakes that were made by grating the potatoes one by one (and accidentally grating fingers as well).

Serve with applesauce or sour cream on the side for a delicious meal.

Happy Hanukkah!


• 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

• 1 small sweet onion, peeled and cut into eight pieces

salt and pepper, to taste

• 3 tablespoons flour

• 1/4 cup plus 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

• 5 egg whites, lightly beaten

olive oil or vegetable oil, for frying

In blender, place about half of the potatoes and onions, and add about half of the egg whites, salt, pepper, flour and baking powder. Blend on chop until combined and just chopped, and add the rest of ingredients a little at a time. The batter should be slightly grainy, but not lumpy or very smooth.

In large frying pan, add about 1/4 inch of oil and heat until hot. Use about 1/4 cup potato batter for each latke and fry until edges are crispy, then turn over and fry on the other side. Drain on paper towels.