For the first time since 1888 (and the last time for the next 77,798 years), the first day of Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving, giving rise to a once-in-a-lifetime, crossbreed holiday: Thanksgivukkah.
It’s great news for your November menu options. I’m raising children in an interfaith household, and once we instituted Taconukkah in our house — the third night of Hanukkah when we have tacos and the kids receive their one Hanukkah present — we never looked back.
We may have to do Taconukkah on the eighth night this year, as I imagine we’ll need time to recover from Thanksgivukkah. I‘m planning the perfect menu, swapping out any uninspired fare. And I’m sharing it now, because when you start talking about the idea of a Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes (!), you need to give your guests time to absorb that information. Here’s what I recommend:
Latkes over mashed potatoes. Call them “fried mashed potatoes” if you have to win over any skeptics. They won’t notice that the potatoes are actually shredded until they’ve had a bite with some turkey and gravy on it, after which you’ll have no complaints. Which brings us to:
Turkey AND brisket. If people know there will be a bird, they’ll be calmer with your bold decision. And when you have the chance to do two meats, you do two meats.
No vegetables. "Where are the green beans?" they will ask. "Where are the yams?" Nowhere. There won’t room on the table anyway, and no one will miss them. The only possible exception I’ll allow, which requires no cooking whatsoever, is a jar of sour pickles.
Keep the stuffing. Leave the Kugel. Kugel, the noodle casserole that makes appearances at many Jewish holidays can be good, but egg noodle casserole will never be as delicious as even a box of Stove Top.
Challah over dinner rolls. Better tasting, and you can get it from the bakery instead of finding room for one more thing in the oven.
Rugelach AND pumpkin pie. The Pecan Pie Rugelach from Buzzfeed’s impressive Thaksgivukkah Guide looks excellent. But why combine two desserts when you could just serve two desserts? A small dessert (in this case, the delicious little croissant-shaped cookies known as rugelach) is easily rationalized before a big dessert.
Sufganiyot as a third dessert. These jelly donuts, a Hanukkah tradition, will be perfect for the late Steelers-Ravens game.
What would happen in your household if there were no mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving? Tell us about it in a comment or blog post.