This November is a rare November indeed—and if you love food, you’ve got to be excited about it. Why? Because this November, unlike most, features a rare event: Thanksgiving, November 28, coincides with the first day of Hanukkah! Yes, it’s the ultimate holiday mashup: Turkey Day as the kickoff of eight nights of fun and feasting.
And it’s not the kind of holiday we could possibly pass up…especially Ruth and her creative cuisine. When we first realized Thanksgiving and Hanukkah were arriving together, she immediately began thinking of the essential dishes for both holidays: the traditional must-haves. For Thanksgiving: roast stuffed turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. For Hanukkah: roast turkey and something for people who don’t like turkey, such as a classic beef brisket. And fried foods, especially the traditional latkes (potato pancakes) with applesauce and sour cream. And challah bread. And noodle kugel…
Ruth got to thinking about how her mother used to cook for the holidays, starting early in the morning, soup simmering on the stove and a roast in the oven. Turkey, because her kids were Americans and they wanted an American Thanksgiving. Yet there was still room for the old Jewish traditions: matzoh-ball soup and yeast doughnuts.
Before she knew it, Ruth had come up with an entire menu for a true family-style “Thanksgivikkah” combining the best of new-world American and old-world Jewish elements. Why not use challah bread in the turkey stuffing…glaze the brisket with cranberry sauce…make latkes with sweet potatoes as well as white potatoes…and put pumpkin in the kugel? Why not indeed?
Today, Ruth’s Thanksgivikkah feast is featured in the Plain Dealer. Go there to learn more about how she blended our family traditions into dishes you can make yourself for a truly memorable holiday banquet. Happy Thanksgivikkah! Mazel tov!