Thanksgivakkah - Thanksgiving & HANUKKAH
by Sue Zelickson - Tastemaker in Residence
Only once in a lifetime, on November 28th, 2013, two favorite holidays, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, are happening together. Many have named the celebration Thanksgivakkah and are combining the traditions of both with creative menus, recipes, and décor. The family gatherings should include humor, creativity, and new taste combinations. They will surely provide gracious tales to be recalled and embellished for years to come. It is also ironic that both holidays celebrate food and freedom from religious persecution.
Turkey fits well into both traditional meals, but the side dishes could easily be reconfigured. Potato latkes are the highlight of Hanukkah, and in recent years have been made with sweet potatoes as well as traditional white ones. This year, white, sweet, or even pumpkin latkes would fit the overlap for either holiday. Some of each could be perfect.
Since frying in oil is another Hanukkah tradition, the new way to deep fry turkey could also be visited. The brine that many now use to make turkeys tenderer could be made with Manischewitz Kosher wine. The stuffing for the turkey could be made with Jewish Challah bread and the sufganiyot (donuts) could be fried and stuffed with cranberry jam or jelly.
The traditional green bean casserole that Aunt Sally always brings for Thanksgiving could be updated with tempura green beans instead. And a nice dessert garnish for the pumpkin and pecan pies could be the gold and silver wrapped chocolate coins (gelt) along with pumpkin lattes.
So whether you choose to divide the holiday celebrations or do them together, create some fun, traditional combinations by making new tastes. The best part is sharing the special times with family and friends.