They’re calling it Thanksgivekkah, this year’s odd mashup of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah. The last time this happened was in 1888, more than 250 years after the Pilgrims observed that first Thanksgiving in 1621.
At core, both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah give thanks for surviving religious persecution. Both holidays are observed with a feast with an animal at its center. But we have come a far distance since1621, and even farther since 134, when the Maccabees led the battle for Jewish freedom.
Sure, turkey or brisket has been the mainstay of the feast all these years, but we’ve evolved, and let’s be honest — the main attraction at both holidays is the humble spud. Potatoes are mashed and anointed with fats at Thanksgiving, grated, shaped and fried into those addictive pancakes known as latkes at Hannukah.
A unique holiday like Thanksgivekkah warrants its own unique choice — to spare the animals and give in to our potato passion. Behold the Thanksgivekkah mashed potato cake.
Mashed potatoes are formed into patties, coated with flour for a crunchy crust and pan-fried. You get the fluffy reward of mashed potatoes, the crispy fried goodness of latkes, and an advantage over both — the mashed potatoes cakes can be made in advance and reheated in the oven.
At the holidays, we want to create celebration, togetherness and gratitude — the real thanks that prompted that first Thanksgiving. That’s what we bring to the table.
A meal that causes no harm only increases the love. And here we do have precedence, straight from the Bible — Proverbs 15:17. “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”
The next Thanksgivekkah won’t happen for another 77,798 years. To be here and celebrate now is lot to be grateful for. Here’s to a happy Thanksgivekkah, and pass the potatoes.