Monday, November 11, 2013

Thanksgivukkah: Rare 2-in-1 Holiday Mash-up

A Thanksgivvukah poster from the people at Modern Tribe,
Last year, Hanukkah arrived about two weeks after Thanksgiving--and for me that was already too soon. We'd just had our traditional family feast at my mother-in-law's house--and before I could take a breath, I was up to my elbows in potato latkes, brisket and rugelach for my annual Hanukkah gathering. This year, the schedule's even more challenging. For the first time in 125 years, the first day of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving. Oy!

Menurkeys are hot right now.
 (Photo credit: New York Times) 

The Web is alive with stories of this rare holiday mash-up. It's even got its own name--Thanksgivukkah--along with Facebook and Twitter accounts and a Wikipedia entry. There are Thanksgivukkah cards, posters, coloring books, even a rap song and Thanksgivukkah-themed nails. A turkey-shaped menorah called a Menurkey, dreamed up by a precocious 9-year-old kid from New York City, is flying off the Internet--not to mention the little ditty that goes along with it ("Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, come light the Menurkey. Once in a lifetime, the candles meet the turkey."). There's even a parody trailer in which the twofer celebration gets extended for eight days, with two families--one Jewish, one gentile--locked together in turkey/latke hell.

 YouTube Video screen shot of Thanksgivukkah gone amok.

Since the two holidays apparently won't coincide again until the year 79811, Thanksgivukkah has become a magnet for media, marketers, comedians and, yes, food bloggers like yours truly. What could be more fun than trying to dream up a menu that combines the flavors of these two food-centric holidays? After all, they're eminently compatible--more, I think, than Christmas and Hanukkah, two holidays that we're used to seeing converge at the end of December. The possibilities are endless, and dozens of recipes are popping up on the Web: Manischewitz-brined turkeychallah chestnut stuffing and pumpkin tsimmes are just a few that caught my attention.

Thanksgivukkah Pumpkin Tsimmes from food writer Jennie Schacht
I haven't yet figured what to bring to my mother-in-law's and whether to tone down my Hanukkah party--or ignore the calendar and delay the celebration until late December--when perhaps we'll toast the usual Chrismukkah mash-up instead. But ultimately, tradition must triumph (in this case, two traditions!), so we will have our latkes and turkey on November 28, perhaps mixing some cranberries into the applesauce and adding a pinch of pumpkin spice. Then later, a post-Hanukkah celebration. We might call it Un-Hanukkah and hold it in the holiday-free pause between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I'm covering my bets by buying a Menurkey and some candles in varying shades of pumpkin. Oh, yes, and a turkey dreidel!

Gobble tov!


  1. I love it. You're such a good cook, whatever you create will be a winner. I wish I could have such a challenge in deciding what to do. The stories are educating me about your heritage. How ingenious of the lad who created menurturkeys. I saw it at BB&B.

    1. Thanks, Cherry! A Menurkey party is in order!