The eight-day Hanukkah festival begins at sundown on Nov. 27, the evening before Thanksgiving. A savvy marketing specialist named the phenomenon Thanksgivukkah which led to merchandise like the menurkey candelabra, the brain child of a child.
The BuzzFeed staff came up with an inspired dinner menu, including Manischewitz-brined roast turkey, sweet potato bourbon noodle kugel, and roasted Brussels sprouts with pastrami and pickled red onion. Latkes, of course, are a natural way to link American and Jewish cuisines. Last year Joan Nathan shared with us her recipe for curried sweet potato latkes, which is a good place to start.
"I'm stoked!" Greenspan said. "My two favorite holidays are Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, and it's because of the food that is involved with both of them. To have them on the same day is going to turn them into a gluttonous affair."
One way to embrace both holidays at the same time is by making a stuffing using challah. Greenspan shared his recipe with us -- and yes, there will be chicken schmaltz.
Another idea is to be creative when it comes to latkes. Greenspan pointed out that pretty much any vegetable that you can grate can be converted into a latke: "Mix it with eggs, onion, flour and fry away." A lot of frying will be going on during the weekend after Thanksgiving at the Roof on Wilshire, it should be said, where the theme will be "leftovers and latkes" with three kinds of turkey sandwiches and a trio of latkes as well.
Both Hanukkah and Thanksgiving typically revolve around a meaty main course, making the dual holiday doubly challenging for vegans and vegetarians. But Hever, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Gluten-Free Vegan Cooking, says there are plenty of plant-based seasonal options with broad appeal: "Autumn-themed dishes are perfect this time of year, using brightly colored squashes, pumpkins, accented with dark, leafy greens, and substantiated with potatoes, whole grains, and legumes."
Rather than trying to substitute something big in place of a turkey or brisket, she suggests serving a variety of dishes: "I love doing buffet style, where there's just tons of different, colorful healthy foods that people can pick and choose from. I put everything out at the same time, including the soups and salads, instead of serving the meal course by course."
One of Hever's holiday favorites is stuffed acorn squash. Looking pretty and tasting great, this is a nice addition to a traditional or vegan Thanksgiving dinner -- and it just occurred to us that acorn squash kind of looks like the spinning tops known as dreidels, so you've got Hanukkah covered, too.
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