We’ll admit it; we’re distracted.
Finding time and energy for every holiday meal is seemingly tricky this year. You see, Hanukkah, a Jewish religious freedom celebration, is just three days after Thanksgiving. Many Jewish families in Cleveland will whisk together another feast while Thanksgiving leftovers are still in the fridge.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
With a bit of creativity and planning, Jewish families in Cleveland can add chutzpah (boldness) to their Thanksgiving meals and conquer Hanukkah meal prep stress.
Here’s what jHUB suggests:
Try new combo recipes
Everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving dish. Some crave the cranberry spread, some dream of gravy, and some people hyperfocus on the plethora of deserts.
This year, satisfy everyone’s cravings with a twist. Here are a few recipes that combine Thanksgiving and Hanukkah cuisine into dishes people will talk about for years.
Try this fried turkey recipe from delish.com.
This recipe allows you to indulge in the Thanksgiving custom of prepping a turkey for the whole family. And, when you serve it, you can talk about the Hanukkah custom of eating fried food to remember the miracle of the oil.
According to the story, a miracle happened when the Maccabees, Jewish warriors, reclaimed the Temple in Jerusalem from King Antiochus of Syria in B.C.E, who repressed the Jewish religion. When the warriors entered the temple, they lit a menorah (a regular seven-branched candelabrum) with enough oil to last one day. But instead, it burned for eight.
Add some flair to your stuffing with this challah chestnut stuffing recipe from toriavery.com
As Tori explained in her recipe, challah is naturally absorbent, making it a perfect candidate for stuffing.
Transform your sweet potato dish with, yes, some more oil.
Swap out potatoes for sweet potatoes in this latke recipe from delish.com. It’ll add a little sweetness to your latkes (fried pancakes).
Finally, we suggest using your Thanksgiving leftovers for a creative Hanukkah brunch.
Heat some of that stuffing and mix in some scrambled eggs. If you’re brave and curious, you could even smear some cranberry sauce on freshly fried latkes. Even a medley of noodle kugel and sweet potato pie sounds delicious.
Have your Tzedakah night early
Hanukkah and Thanksgiving have a lot of similarities.
Both holidays have themes of giving thanks and dedicating time to make the world a better place through volunteering or donating. During Thanksgiving, some families volunteer their time or donate food to a food pantry. And on Hanukkah, some families dedicate a night to tzedakah.
When people fulfill tzedakah, they perform acts of righteousness such as donating money or time to a worthy cause.
So this year, try combining the two! When your family shares what they’re thankful for, they could also share a charity they admire or how they plan to give tzedakah during Hanukkah.
We hope this helps you personalize your Thanksgiving and Hanukkah plans while alleviating some back-to-back holiday stress.