Every 175 years or so, the Jewish and Roman calendars cross paths in such a way that Thanksgiving coincides with Hanukkah. But 175 years ago, Thomas Edison was not even a gleam in his mother’s eye, and by 2188, chances are we’ll be storing recipes in our cybertronic brains. Thus, 2013 might be the only chance to fully appreciate the wonders of the Manischewitz app, a free collection of holiday recipes for both Apple and Android devices, provided by the nation’s largest manufacturer of processed kosher foods.
Their various matzo products, broths and sauces supply the chutzpah behind entries covering not only these November holidays, but also Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Purim, Passover, Shavuot and, oddly, the 4th of July. There is a certain randomness to these groupings with, for instance, Ethiopian chicken stew turning up in four of the categories, including the 4th of July.
But to focus on the here and now, perhaps the perfect Thanksgivukkah offering from the collection is turkey latkes, made with plenty of potato and served with a black pepper gravy. Or maybe it is the sweet kugal with dried fruit, which is nothing if not reminiscent of a corn flake stuffing with apricots and cherries.
It’s not the fanciest or most searchable of apps, with recipes listed alphabetically by title within each holiday section. Find baked chicken in the B’s and roasted sesame chicken under R. And, not surprisingly, the meat dishes are margarine-laden and listed separately from the dairy offerings. But there are some nice, subtle touches to be found. Rotating the device to the landscape position reveals an enlarged set of cooking instructions for each recipe, and an alert at the bottom of the home screen provides the exact time of sundown on the approaching Friday, so as not to miss the start of the Sabbath.
Of course, the more orthodox Jews, who do not use electronic devices on the Sabbath, may have to make due as they always have, with the recipes found on the back of Manischewitz mixes, a glass of concord grape wine in hand.