Yesterday, my husband tried to explain to a friend why Hanukkah, and other Jewish holidays, move around the calendar. “It’s a lunar based calendar,” he said.
His friend shook her head. “I could never be Jewish and be at the mercy of the moon.”
She makes a good point, I suppose. But sometimes, the moon just gets it right. Exhibit A: Thanksgivukkah. Combining two of the greatest food holidays that we as Jewish Americans have in our repertoire? Moon, I am at your mercy.
To celebrate, restaurants and bakeries across the country are taking advantage of this mashup.
The New York Times cafeteria served a special lunch. Los Angeles has the challurkey. And in Minneapolis, we have two full weeks of epic Thanksgivukkah fare courtesy of Rye Delicatessen.
I checked out Rye’s Thanksgivukkah menu for linner (lunch + dinner, obviously — why stop at one portmanteau?) and I don’t think I can ever go back to plain latkes after trying The Thanksgivukkah, a latke piled high with turkey, gravy, challah stuffing and spinach sitting next to a generous helping of cranberry sauce.
This is what the moon was going for when it decided to plop Hanukkah right on top of Thanksgiving.
The best part about The Thanksgivukkah? A portion of the sales go toward sustaining and building the happening Minneapolis Jewish community through the Minneapolis Jewish Federation. That means as you sink your teeth into challah stuffing, you’re supporting Jewish education and programming at the JCC. As the juicy turkey layer hits your tastebuds, you’re sending a kid to Jewish summer camp. And as the taste of latke (one of my favorite latkes in the Twin Cities!) takes over your palate, you’re providing crucial support to Jews in crisis.
(Was that weird? There’s a reason I write for Federation and not Food and Wine.)
Beyond The Thanksgivukkah, the rest of the menu is worth checking out as well. I tried the bourbon pecan kugel, which tasted like the crunchy lovechild of kugel and pecan pie. (I don’t think I need to point this out, but that is a good thing. A very, very good thing.) And even though the kugel could have passed for dessert, I had to try the pumpkin pie sufganyah, which was easily the prettiest donut I’ve ever eaten. It was worth it. Pumpkin filling oozed from the center and the pastry itself was, well, a donut. You can’t go wrong there.Rye Deli’s once in a lifetime Thanksgivukkah menu is available through December 8. I suggest that if you have any friends who don’t think they could handle being at the mercy of the moon, you take them to Rye and change their minds.
(And support the Minneapolis Jewish community while you’re at it!)
Looking for another way to celebrate this epic holiday? The 20|30 Project’s late night Thanksgivukkah Happy Hour this Wednesday night is the perfect place to celebrate the biggest bar night of the year after you’ve lit the candles and inhaled a plateful of latkes. Click here to RSVP, and head over to Bar Louie in Ridgedale Wednesday night from 9:30-midnight.