A Jewish Freedom Fighter and a Puritan Refugee Walk into a Bar…

OK, not a bar, unless you plan to celebrate Hanukkah and Thanksgiving in a bar, which could happen. Anyway, this is not a joke but the actual and exceedingly rare concurrence of two beloved holidays in the USA – Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

Neither is a fixed date. Thanksgiving falls on the 4th Thursday of November, which according my loose estimation can range from the 22nd to the 28th. In the lunar Jewish calendar, the eight days of Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which can fall anywhere from late November to late December. This year, it’s very early. Next year, the Jewish calendar will reset with a leap month in the Spring, which will put Hanukkah back into December.

According to some calculations Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will not coincide again for almost 80,000 years. So we better party while we can! The internet is flooded with merchandise and recipes to mark this rare event, which has been dubbed Thanksgivukkah. Here are some of my favorites:

9-year-old Asher Weintraub conceived and designed the Turkey/Menorah he calls the Menurkey, http://menurkey.com/.

Two silly Youtube entries:
Turkey vs Dreidel Rap Battle, sponsored by Manischewitz, of course
Pilgrims Story of Thanksgivukkah

And of course food!

Sweet Potato Latkes
from the San Francisco Chronicle’s SFGate.com

1 pound sweet potatoes or yams, peeled (about 2 medium)
1/4 cup grated onion, squeezed dry, about 1 small
1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour + more as needed
Vegetable oil, as needed

Shred the sweet potatoes with the shredding disk of the food processor or on the large holes of a box grater. Place in a large bowl. Stir in the onion and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and flour to blend. Stir into the potato mixture, mixing well.

Heat 1/4-inch oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until it registers 365° on a thermometer or sizzles instantly when a small amount of batter is added. Add a little more flour to the batter if the test amount is too wet and doesn’t hold together.

For each latke, fill a 1/4-cup measure half full; invert into the oil and flatten slightly. Repeat, making about 8 latkes at a time, but being careful not to crowd the skillet. Cook until the latkes are golden on the bottom, 3-5 minutes. Carefully turn and brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Remove to a tray lined with paper towels. Keep warm while frying remaining latkes.

Serve sweet potato latkes with this:

Cranberry Applesauce
from Buzzfeed.com

2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup sugar
½ cup Manischewitz Concord Grape wine
4 large Granny Smith apples

In a medium sauce pot, combine cranberries, spices, sugar, and Manischewitz. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Peel and core apples, then cut them into large chunks (approximately ½-inch cubes), and add to the cranberry mixture. Cover sauce and continue to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. If sauce begins to stick, add water.

Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before serving.

Sweet Potato Latkes Photo: Craig Lee, Special To The Chronicle

Sweet Potato Latkes Photo: Craig Lee, Special To The Chronicle

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Hanukkah!


1 thought on “A Jewish Freedom Fighter and a Puritan Refugee Walk into a Bar…

  1. Pingback: Hanukkah & Thanksgiving, the Beginnings | The Ya'lla Blog

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