Thanksgivukkah 2013: Drumsticks and Dreidels

In a similar moniker mélange to its pop-culture cousin, Chrismukkah, the recently coined “Thanksgivukkah” is taking America’s holiday calendar (and our Twitter feeds) by storm, so we figured we’d see what all the fuss is about. 

It turns out that this year, the first day of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah overlaps with our American neighbours’ Thanksgiving festivities, and hence another fun, festive mash-up was born. Interestingly, the eight-day long Jewish “Festival of Lights” and American Thanksgiving haven’t coincided since the 1800s and won’t again until the year…. 79,811?! A rare occasion to say the least, and thus quite reasonable that a celebration be in order!

Ok, yes, we do concede that technically we Canadians have already celebrated our own “Turkey Day” (it’s still seems strange that we’re so off on this one), but then again, why merrymake once when you could do it twice? It’s settled then, let’s get this party started, shall we?

As it would be for most fantastic fêtes, the dinner table is a great place to start when getting your Thanksgivukkah on. The only tough part is deciding which of our favourite dishes to mash-up first. Well, have no fear. Your Notable team has come up with a killer Thanksgivukkah hybrid foodie feast that should satisfy all your celebratory needs. Did we mention there’s Challah bread stuffing? Check it out, and tuck in for this (literally) once-in-a-lifetime holiday doozy. Happy Thanksgivukkah! 

Challah Bread Dry Stuffing

1 large challah bread loaf
1 medium-sized Spanish onion, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely chopped
½ cup margarine
1-1/2 tablespoons dried summer savory spice 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Tear challah into small, bite-sized pieces. Transfer to a deep baking dish.

Melt margarine in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add onions and celery, sauté until soft.

Drizzle mixture over torn challah and mix well, coating all pieces.

Bake, stirring the dressing at 5-minute intervals until all pieces are crunchy and golden brown.

Saucy Cranberries

4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

Simply combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir periodically while cooking until all the berries have popped. Allow to cool and serve.

Herb-Roasted Turkey Drumsticks & Gravy

(If you’re cooking for a big crowd, definitely sub the drumsticks for a whole bird, but drumsticks do work great for a first foray into fowl roasting.)

3 large turkey legs
1/3-cup margarine
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1/2-teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (or more) white flour
1/2-cup (or more) warm water 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a small saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Add garlic and herbs.

Rinse turkey legs in cold water and then pat dry. Transfer to baking dish. Rub turkey with margarine/herb mix and arrange bone-down in dish.

Bake turkey legs for 45 minutes, flip and bake for another 45 minutes. If skin is not golden enough, allow to brown under the broiler for 30 seconds to a minute.

Remove legs from pan and set aside. Do not discard meat drippings!

Mix flour and water to create a “roux,” a thickening agent that will bulk up your gravy. Slowly add the roux to your turkey drippings and maintain the mixture over low heat with continuous stirring. Continue adding small quantities of the roux (mix up some more if needed) until your gravy is a liquid yet rich consistency.

Potato Latkes (pronounced: LAUT-kah-s)

4 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled & cut lengthwise       
1 medium Spanish onion, peeled & cut into wedges
2 tablespoons minced parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil for frying 

Using a hand grater or a food processor, grate potatoes and onion. Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and squeeze out the water. A salad spinner can also work wonders.

Combine potato and onion in a large bowl, add parsley, chives, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Season with 2 pinches each of salt and pepper.

Place a deep saucepan over medium-low heat and fill with approximately ½-inch of oil. Carefully transfer small patties of potato mixture into the oil. WARNING: Hot oil is very prone to splashing so be extremely careful with the frying step!

Fry latkes on each side for several minutes until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Allow to cool slightly and then serve immediately.

La pièce de Résistance: The Thanksgivukkah Treat

2 potato latkes
slices of turkey meat
dollop of cranberry sauce
drizzle of gravy

Just stack, add a side of challah dressing and mange! Happy Thanksgivukkah!

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