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90.5 WESA reporters look at food issues in the region, including access, school lunch programs, food history, culture and more. Check our collection of stories below.

Thanksgiving & Hanukkah Traditions Converge with Thanksgivukkah

Thanksgivukkah/Modern Tribe

This year we will experience a once in a lifetime convergence of holidays. Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah occur on the same day.

In celebration of what she calls a "Jewish-American mashup," Dana Reichman Gitell, a native of Squirrel Hill, has popularized the term “Thanksgivukkah” online.

She says most people are tickled by the playful cultural juxtaposition of imagery that can be found on sites like Modern Tribe.

"Hanukkah is a festival of gratitude for religious freedom, for having emerged from a tough battle, and being grateful for what you have. For having freedom. And that is similar to what the pilgrims went through. So there are ways to go around the table and talk about gratitude."

When it comes to the Thanksgivukkah dinner table, Essential Pittsburgh food and drink contributor, Hal B. Klein suggests incorporating traditional items from each holiday, through spices and sides with a kick.

As for drinks, Hal says while there aren't many traditional Hanukkah cocktails, honey is an important element of the holiday.  He suggests a classic cocktail called the Bees Knees. It calls for 2oz of gin, a quarter ounce of lemon juice and half an ounce of honey simple syrup. You can localize the drink by using the new honey-based spirit from Wigle Whiskey called LandLocked.