≡ Menu

Cooking for Thanksgivukkah

The excitement started this summer, when our friends Mira and Josh alerted us to the fact that the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving. By now, you probably know that Thanksgivvukah — Hanukksgiving? — comes along once every 79,000 years, and not that I’m betting against myself or anything, but guys, I think this may be our only crack at the apple.

And by apple, I mean cranberry applesauce. Hanukkah meets Thanksgiving: has a better gastronomic mash-up ever existed? (Answer: no.)

Why make jelly doughnuts when you can stuff them with cranberry curd and pumpkin pudding instead? Will regular latkes ever have a place at your table once you’ve told your guests how much you love and appreciate them by frying them in duck fat? And honestly, who needs skillet cornbread when you can turn that cornmeal into savory doughnuts stuffed with even more delicious things? I rest my case.

With guidance from M&J plus the inner workings of my questionably sane mind, I’ve put together a menu that unites the customs of these two holidays in one, happy meal of mindblowing gastronomic ecstasy. The pain-in-the-butt factor is, of course, much higher than usual, because did I mention that this only happens once every 79,000 years? So yes, a bit of potchkeing is called for.

I’m guessing that some of you are also planning Thanksgivvukah menus. Please, pretty please share your ideas! My “final” menu is never ever final, and I’d love to change it based on your comments and suggestions.

If you’re feeling super-awesome about a particular mash-up idea for the occasion, be sure to submit it to the Food52/Serious Eats Thanskgivvukkah recipe contest. And for a good laugh, watch Stephen Colbert declare Thanksgiving Under Attack.

This is going to be so fun!

Note: Many of these recipes already exist on the web and are linked below. I’ll be sharing a few of them here on NDP over the next couple weeks, and I’ll be sure to add the links below once I’ve posted them.

To Start:

The Definite Yeses:
  • Sweet Potato Dinner Rolls or Sweet Potato-Olive Oil Brioche (Josh’s idea; worked surprisingly well)
  • Butternut Squash Soup w/Burnt Marshmallow Topping  
  • Green Beans with Horseradish-Mustard Vinaigrette (according to Gil Marks, they’re a traditional Hanukkah food. Good thing we always have green beans at our Thanksgiving meal.)
  • Dry-Brined Turkey Breast (we’re planning on following one of Bon Appetit’s recommended dry-brines, which includes star anise, thyme, and a bunch of other delicious things.)
  • Deep-Fried Turkey Leg (though I may chicken out at the last minute and just roast in a bourbon-cider glaze, which, you know, would be just terrible. I also might smoke the legs, which would be even more terrible.)
  • Turkey Fat-Fried Potato and Sweet Potato Latkes with Cranberry Applesauce (because, obviously. Pictured above; recipe forthcoming!)
  • Josh’s unbelievably genius Savory Cornmeal Doughnuts Stuffed with Stuffing (Cornbread-meets-stuffing-meets-doughnut. Amazing.) Recipe forthcoming!
  • Doughnut Holes Filled with Cranberry Curd and Pumpkin Pudding (half with one, half with the other) (because why only serve one doughnut when you can serve TWO DOUGHNUTS?)

The Maybes:

  • Brussels Sprout Slaw (if not this, another vegetable. This meal needs something not fried)
  • Butternut Butter (I’ve made it in past years and love it, but it might be overkill)

…and here, I should add that we are doing our “dinner” at 2pm so we can work up an appetite for our very delicious, very dairy Hanukkah/Pie Party at night, at which we will eat:


  • Chocolate Pecan Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie (one for everyone; a separate one for D, per tradition)
  • Apple Sour Cream Custard Pie (I’ve been dreaming about this pie for months and finally, it’s mine! Bwah-hah-hah)
  • Let’s face it: more doughnuts. Maybe apple cider fritters?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Aliza N October 23, 2013,

    Awesome post!!! I’m going to send along to my dad (who has been admiring your blog) – he’ll love this!

    I saw a Buzzfeed post with manischewitz-brined turkey, among other delicacies…

    What recipe are you using for pumpkin pie? I’m doing desserts for Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving and couldn’t be more excited (see my Pinterest board http://www.pinterest.com/alizams/thanksgiving/).

    • rivka October 23, 2013,

      So glad you liked it! I really really hope that others share their recipe plans here.

      Re: the Manischewitz brine, I’ll play wait-and-see on that. Let someone else try it first.

      Love the pinterest board!

      Re: pie, I’ve used the Cooks Illustrated recipe in the past (it’s mostly this: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2008/11/silky-smooth-pumpkin-pie/) but it’s very finicky. I think Elise (www.simplyrecipes.com) has one on her site that’s pretty accessible.

  • Trish October 23, 2013,

    We’re having latkes with choice of applesauce or cranberry sauce (or both) an hour or so before the turkey, to give our tummies time to rest and digest, also to free up Hannah’s tiny kitchen for the turkey carving, gravy making, and whatnot. Cheers!

    • rivka October 23, 2013,

      Sounds delightful. I was thinking of piling some pulled turkey between the latke and the cranberry/applesauce, but that seemed like overkill. But then again, isn’t that what Tday’s all about? We’ll see.

      • Trish October 23, 2013,

        I haven’t seen a recipe for turganiot yet–maybe you could invent one?

        • rivka October 24, 2013,

          whoa. challenge accepted? 🙂

          • Hana I. October 29, 2013,

            There is no such thing as overkill on Thanksgivukkah! Bring it on! I have been making sweet potato latkes for the past few years. I can wait to see how they taste with a bit of turkey gravy!

  • Brilliant menu. Deep-fried turkey leg sounds delicious, but you had me at bourbon cider glaze…I may have to have eight nights of turkey just to try all the ideas….

    • rivka October 24, 2013,

      I think we’re going to have three different kinds of turkey, so you’re not alone in that. I’m done cooking birds whole. So much easier this way!

      • Hana I. October 29, 2013,

        YES! whole birds are SO overrated and SO much more work! I started roasted cut up birds a few years ago and guess what? No one can tell the difference! I bake my stuffing separately anyways so what’s the big deal?!

  • sarah.a October 23, 2013,

    yum. it’s exciting!

    • rivka October 24, 2013,

      that’s one way of putting it!

  • Tamar October 28, 2013,

    Hi Rivka,
    The idea of cranberry curd is my heaven. I noticed that you linked to your rhubarb curd recipe, for cranberry curd would you use the same amounts/proportions etc.?

    • rivka October 29, 2013,

      I’m testing the recipe this week! Stay tuned. 🙂