Potato pancakes are the only recipe passed through the patrilineal line in our family, from my father’s father to my father to me.

The general shape of the Rukavina latke tradition involves a meat grinder (later a blender) to grind up raw potatoes, to which egg, flour and salt are added, and the resulting soupy mixture fried in oil.

Today I decided to turn my back on a century of family culinary tradition and use this renegade latke recipe from the Times as a guide.

I took shortcuts: I parbaked the potatoes in the microwave for 7 minutes, and I reduced the “resting” phase in the fridge down to 20 minutes. Otherwise I followed along, and the result was at least partially satisfying, more a fishless cousin to fishcakes than anything resembling the latkes of my youth. But they were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, as promised in the Times article that describes them. Good enough that I’m inclined to try following the recipe chapter and verse next time.

Happy Hanukkah!