Light the menorah candles with colors of orange and brown as we celebrate an unusual Jewish Holiday, Thanksgivukkah. The Hebrew year of 5774 has the first day of Hanukkah falling out on the American Holiday of Thanksgiving, November 28, 2013. How can you combine the two?
Start with the kosher turkey, the food that takes the longest to cook. If it is not as important to have a kosher turkey, then buy one that has not been fed additives, etc. Kosher the fowl by blanching it in boiling water with kosher salt.
Prepare the stuffing. Thank goodness the first night of Hanukkah falls out the night before Thanksgiving. That challah bread that you bought? Let some of it get a bit hard. There are over a hundred recipes for stuffing (or dressing). Just make sure that a sausage stuffing doesn’t involve one made with pork. Deep frying the turkey would remind us of the burning oil. In case you’re already ferklempt, miracle of oil for one day burnt for eight.
As much as you are addicted to grandma’s chicken soup, opt for one made with butternut squash using a kosher chicken stock or make your own using the turkey neck. If the neck is requested during the meal, tell them that Elijah stopped by for a nosh. See if the person realizes which holiday it is. If they are still looking like a deer staring at headlights, say...”Have a piece of challah bread. There’s no maztoh.”
Chopped liver is a must. There is no way that you can substitute turkey fat for chicken fat. How friendly are you with your butcher? If you can’t get chicken fat, make sure you fry the chicken livers and onions in oil…to remind us. What’s more important is that the chopped liver is in the shape of a turkey head with a sign nearby saying, “What am I – chopped liver?”
Make use of sweet potatoes by using them for the latkes that must be fried….remember? Prepare a compote of cranberries and apples for the sauce. Don’t fry any of it. How about a sweet potato kugel? Can’t use butter. I guess you’ll have to make it with oil.
You will certainly need to make a salad to help digest the food. Throw in some pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Bring out some balsamic vinegar. When they ask for the oil, tell them there’s no more left and say, “I’m thankful that we don’t have to put wax in all of the meals”.
Sundown begins with lighting the menorah and a prayer over the wine. Ask a guest, “Would you like a little wine?” Upon hearing a “yes” you say, “Oy, I’m so tired from cooking this meshuggeneh meal”. Wine sounds like “whine” and meshuggeneh means, “crazy”.
Now, before you fall asleep from the tryptophan, play the dreydl game. Fabricate one by carving out a gourd. Make sure that you have a pointed bottom and the four Hebrew letters (that are also numbers). Take a few long sweet potatoes and cook so that they are not too soft. Cool, slice and dip in chocolate for the “Thanksgivakkuh Gelt”.
Now, you get to sing The Dredyl Song” with the following words. “I have a little dredyl. I carved it from a gourd. This year bring us Thansgivakkuh. And gelt I could afford.”
Don’t bother cooking dessert. Buy some pints of Graeter’s Ice Cream. It’s certified kosher. By the time you get to eating it, there is enough time that elapsed between eating meat and dairy. Fairway Market in Douglaston carries a variety of this most delicious and “no palm oil” treat.
If the above gave you chuckles and don’t want to cook, take advantage of Fairway’s catering menus. You can opt for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (kosher style) or a totally kosher meal for the combination of 50 or so people that you would have spent Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with.
A tasting of their Thanksgiving menu was offered to shoppers and included two soups, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and two pies. No challah bread or chopped liver was offered. Find the menus on their website of www.fairwaymarket.com
Have a happy holiday and always recall the chant of Jews everywhere. “We fought. We won. We eat”.