Beth Siegalkoff

Today, National Fritters Day, allows for no frittering away of time. Make haste and get them while they are hot!

Found in cuisines all around the world, fritters are believed to have first been consumed by Ancient Romans.

Fritters come in a variety of forms, from morsels dipped in flavorful batters to bits of dough stuffed or filled with delicious surprises. All the varieties are deep-fried and served hot with dips, drips or dustings of seasonings, sweets or sauces.

They can also be filled with savory meats, seafood, and vegetables.

There is some debate within the culinary community as to what kind of fried food can be considered a fritter. Some culinarians believe that anything that is battered and fried is a fritter, while others assert that a fritter must have the main ingredient chopped up and fried with the flour batter or dough.

This can lead to some confusion over the nomenclature of fried foods – corn dogs are not considered to be fritters, because they are made by battering and frying a whole corn dog. Fried candy bars, on the other hand, while being the sweet version of a fried corn dog – a whole candy bar battered and fried, are often called fritters.

Every culture around the world has its own version of the fritter.

In the United States, fritters are usually made by mixing vegetables or fruits with a batter of flour and eggs. Popular fritters include corn fritters, apple fritters and crab cakes. In Japan, tempura is a popular type of fritter and is served with sauces or with other dishes. In many parts of India and Pakistan, fritters are called Pakora and are made by mixing vegetables with a batter of chickpea flour and deep-frying them.

My favorite – hot corn fritters with warm maple syrup. Yum!

Did you know – the word fritter also means to waste something, usually unwisely?

Congratulations to all of you who were curious enough and had the stamina to read this column for the last five years! Can you believe it? With the exception of a few missed deadlines, this column has appeared faithfully for five years. It seems like only yesterday the first column appeared. It has been a pleasure, and even more a blessing to connect with some of you. Your encouraging words and even your criticisms have inspired me. Thank you for your support.

Have you seen the outdoor Christmas decorations – the lights, the inflatables, etc.? It has been a challenging year, and those decorations lighten the mood and just make your heart glad. Thanks to all of you who are going the extra mile to make our world a brighter place.

Recently, I was going through the list of tasks I needed to complete before Christmas, and decorating was one of them. My grandson reminded me that decorating should not be considered a chore but be done for the joy of it – a reminder of why we decorate and for whom. Just saying … out of the mouth of babes.

Does the number 22 have any significance in your mind? Well it should – there are only 22 shopping days until Christmas. If you haven’t already, you better start making a dent in those wish lists. And wrap as you go. You don’t want to leave all the gift wrapping to the last minute. Remember to enjoy these next few weeks. Make those memories.

Recipe of the day: Plum Pudding; Flower of the Day: Poinsettias

Dates to remember:

Dec. 7 – Pearl Harbor Day

Dec. 11 – Hanukkah

Dec. 20 to Jan. 1 – Christmas Vacation (no school – virtual or otherwise)

Dec. 21 – Winter Solstice

Until next week – Be strong, be courageous and make a memory.