Thanksgivukkah is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday

Thanksgivukkah has spawned posters, t-shirts and the menerky.

Thanksgivukkah has spawned posters, T-shirts and the menerky, a menorah in the shape of a turkey.

Thanksgivukkah is a glutton’s dream holiday. The excesses of Thanksgiving joined with the fried foods of Hanukkah — together again for the first time in 125 years. The media, the American public and the city of Boston are having a blast with this.

Recipes are flying, merchandise is selling and a woman in Boston trademarked the term “Thanksgivukkah” and started a Facebook page and Twitter account. There are songs, poems, videos, T-shirts and posters. The hybrid holiday was featured in a segment of the Colbert Report. One of the biggest things to come out of the new holiday is the menurkey, a menorah shaped like a turkey invented by a 9-year-old boy from New York.

But many of us are just in it for the food.

My son asked how we would recognize the culinary importance of both holidays at once. Without waiting for an answer, he suggested sweet potato latkes. I countered with cranberry-applesauce to go with them. Other examples:

Oil is the byword of Hanukkah cooking. It celebrates the miracle of oil that lasted for eight days rather than the expected single day. So why not just deep fry a turkey for an all-in-one dish? Remember it’s your last chance to celebrate Thanksgivukkah for about 79,000 years.



Makes 12 regular or 30 mini-sized cannoli

Pumpkin Cannoli

This recipe comes courtesy of Marcia Friedman, who writes the blog Meatballs and Matzah Balls. For a Thanksgivukkah dessert, many people might turn to the traditional Hanukkah dessert of sufganiyot (jelly-filled doughnuts). But Friedman believes Sicilian cannoli (“pipes”) perfectly represent a Jewish-Italian Hanukkah dessert. They combine a fried pastry shell (the oil part of Hanukkah food traditions) with a luscious creamy ricotta filling (a nod to some Hanukkah traditions of serving cheese). Fold some pumpkin into the filling and you've got Thanksgiving covered as well.


  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 7½ tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting finished cannoli
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg plus additional for dusting (freshly grated if possible)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup plus ½ tablespoon canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
  • 12 regular-sized or 30 miniature cannoli shells*


Beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until it holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the ricotta on high speed for 1 minute. Add the whipped cream, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg, allspice and ginger to the ricotta, and beat on medium-high speed 1 to 2 minutes, until very smooth and slightly fluffy. Beat in the pumpkin for another 30 to 60 seconds. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 6 hours.

Just before serving, use a small spoon to fill the shells with the filling. Dust the shells with confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Sprinkle the ends with chopped pecans if desired. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for not more than 1 hour before serving -- they'll get soggy.

*Cannoli shells can be found in large grocery stores or Italian markets, and can be ordered online.

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2 Responses to Thanksgivukkah is a once-in-a-lifetime holiday

  1. Helen Free November 19, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    I read this for fun and got wowed by this cannoli recipe. Chuckles good, too.

  2. Profile photo of Ellen Abrams Blankenship
    Ellen Abrams Blankenship November 22, 2013 at 9:52 am #

    While I have been reading all of the hype about Thanksgivukah, or however you want to spell it, I just can’t get too excited about it. I have seldom served a dish cooked in oil for all 8 nights anyway, so skipping one is no big deal. And I do prefer to keep the holidays separate, so as to not diminish either one. After all the football is done and the Packers have won (wishful thinking), we will light the chanukiah (9-candled menorah for Chanukah as opposed to the 8- candled one), of course, will give the little ones a bag of chocolate gelt, and then proceed to eat our traditional Thanksgiving dinner that is reminiscent of my mother’s cooking. We will have mixed religions at the table, so some discussion will probably occur as both holidays do represent freedom and giving thanks for all that we have. And then on Sunday most of us will gather once more at my oldest daughter’s home for a traditional Chanukah fifth candle dinner and gift exchange. While the convergence may not have been as obvious, I do recall one Thanksgiving week-end during my oldest daughter’s college years when Chanukah began after Thanksgiving and we had our family Chanukah get-together on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and had to rush through before she was picked up to return to school! Anyway, only my thoughts. Guess it takes a lot to get me on a bandwagon! But pumpkin cannoli do sound quite good! (I have made sweet potato latkes and they are also very good, as is cranberry applesauce.) May have to make these later in the season, as winter does drag on quite long in Wisconsin!
    Holiday greetings to all, however and whatever you observe!