Have you seen them online? You can find Thanksgivukkah themed t-shirts, wall hangings, coffee mugs and more. A marketer’s dream! I see this rare merging of national and religious holidays as a great reason to create new cocktails with some traditional Thanksgiving and Hanukkah crossover foods. A food lovers dream!
I thought about a few foods that stand out for each holiday and how they might overlap, first on the plate and then in a cocktail glass.
Fried foods. We can’t celebrate Hanukkah without them. Latkes are a lot of fun to make, they’re also fair amount of work, and can be messy. Frying isn’t in my family’s cooking repertoire, so it’s usually reserved for special occasions.
I seem to be the only one in my immediate family who has a very clear memory of making latkes during a Hanukkah party and watching the oil in the frying pan on the stove catch on fire. Best party ever. Since then, we make our latkes ahead of time and reheat them in the oven during party time to cut down on the grease smell in the kitchen, the greasy feeling on our hands and the fire in the pan.
It’s hard to beat the classic potato latke. However, I’ve recently begun to appreciate the sweet potato for the first time in my life, mainly as a French cut fry or chip or even a “tot.” Well, then why not a sweet potato pancake? There are a few tasty looking recipes for sweet potato pancakes here on the JFE site, so be sure to check them out. A classic Thanksgiving side dish with a classic Hanukkah preparation. Can it get any better? Could I get it into a glass?
My maternal grandmother grew up in Latin America. While those culinary flavors influenced her daily cooking, most of our holiday foods were pretty traditional Ashkenazi fare. One of our family favorites was her zucchini pie—a mash of zucchini, eggs, breadcrumbs and general deliciousness. To this day it is a Thanksgiving staple for us, and we even make a Passover version.
Of course, the zucchini latke is the natural Hanukkah incarnation of the zucchini pie. My favorite Jewish book, A First Jewish Holiday Cookbook, has a zucchini latke recipe that I might attempt this year. I figure if it’s in a child friendly cookbook it can’t be too hard, right?
I’ve never made doughnuts, but if Dunkin’ Donuts does such a good job on their own, I don’t think I really need to try. Each Hanukkah I’d bring mini jelly-filled doughnuts into my former office for my colleagues and explain the popularity of sufganiyot in Israel. I think some of them now associate doughnuts with Hanukkah even more than they do latkes, which is not so bad.
So, these fried goodies were my inspirations for the newest JFE holiday cocktails. They require a few additional steps, but we’re talking holiday best here!
We’ll celebrate Thanksgivukkah again in about 77,000 years, so until then, enjoy these celebratory drinks with your guests this year.