The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

November 27, 2013

Overlap with Thanksgiving prompts second look at Hanukkah

(Continued)

WASHINGTON —

When Hanukkah falls earlier in the calendar, apart from the traditional Christmas season, Kreider said, "it's usually the kiss of death from a retailer's perspective. But with Thanksgivukkah, you're going to be with relatives, what are you supposed to do? You're with 10 nieces and nephews. You're not going to give them a little something? This has brought Hanukkah to the forefront."

How rare Thanksgivukkah is remains a topic of debate, because it's a question of analyzing and predicting the part-lunar, part-solar Jewish calendar and the Western calendar, which is lunar. Some experts say the convergence hasn't happened since 1888 and won't again for more than 70,000 years. Others say it happened in 1918 and will again in 2070.

The bigger debates are about food — and what constitutes something really "Jewish" and something really "American." For example, because the original story of Hanukkah involves a small amount of lamp oil miraculously lasting eight nights, oil is the key to the holiday — thus the classic deep-fried potato latkes and doughnuts. But what about a deep-fried turkey? Is that legit?

Tina Wasserman, author of several popular cookbooks on Jewish food, said people worry too much about messing with food traditions.

"Our food tells stories. The question is, did the story come first and create the food, or does the food come first and create the story?" she said. She is advising the torrent of people with Thanksgivukkah questions on food blogs and her Facebook page that if they're uncomfortable merging a recipe, just include two classics — like mashed potatoes and latkes.

"This is the one holiday when you can put another carb on the table and no one will complain," she said.

In some places, the merger wasn't positive. Jewish customers online reported seeing fewer Hanukkah items in grocery stores because shelves were being taken up with Thanksgiving items. The Kosher Pastry Oven in Silver Spring, which usually makes a killing on their pecan and pumpkin pies on Thanksgiving and then a few weeks later on their doughnuts, said business suffered a little as customers had to choose.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014