Anyone who takes holidays seriously (or has “accidentally” ended up on BuzzFeed in the past few weeks) has probably noticed that Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same day this year.
If you thought the holiday season was stressful enough, just think of the consequences of this coincidence. What if our kids mix up the holiday when they’re supposed to be celebrating the conquerors and the one when they’re supposed to be celebrating the conquered?
As in any difficult situation, the best option is probably just to avoid all conversation and steadily shovel food into your mouth. No one expects you to contribute to an argument about the acceptability of the dairy in the turkey stuffing if your mouth is full of cranberry sauce and Hanukkah gelt, especially if both are in your mouth at once. (Conveniently, this will change the topic of conversation to why you are making this particular decision in the first place.)
Seeing as I love food (and therefore, holidays), my primary concern about this overlap is that some foods critical to each holiday will be lost. However, these fears may be baseless. Thanksgiving is all about that overeating-induced PTSD (Post-Thanksgiving Sleep Disorder), and no Jewish grandmother ever says “no” to making a mere groaning board scream loudly in pain. Might as well just add dishes instead of taking them away.
So really, combining the holidays in a culinary manner isn’t so hard. Besides, one of the focuses of Hanukkah is eating fried foods to honor the oil that burned for eight days and nights, and what blue-blooded American isn’t going to get behind consuming more fried foods?
I’m only recently a sweet potato fan, and one obvious way to combine two staples of these holidays is to make sweet potato latkes. This recipe is simple enough that it can be done in your dorm if you happen to be staying here over break.
However you handle this interesting situation, happy “Thanksgivukkah” from the Argus Food section. Supposedly this holiday won’t come again until the year 79,811, so enjoy it while you can.
Sweet Potato Latkes
(Adapted from Epicurious)
(Makes 25-30 latkes)
1 lb. sweet potatoes, grated
3 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine potatoes, scallions, flour, eggs, salt, pepper, and cumin.
2. Over medium-high heat, warm the oil in a deep, nonstick, 12-inch pan until sizzling.
3. Pour 1/8 cups of the latke mixture into the pan in batches of four. Flatten each with a spatula until they are approximately three inches wide.
4. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook each latke for about a minute and a half on each side, until golden brown.
5. Transfer latkes to a paper towel, or cooling rack above a paper towel, to let the excess oil drain.
6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 until you have used all of the mixture.