The first full day of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving share a holiday, and both are three weeks away.
Hanukkah, which is celebrated for eight days, begins at sundown on Nov. 27 and Thanksgiving is Nov. 28. Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the holy temple in Jerusalem after the victory over the Syrian-Greeks.
Of course, this rare convergence of holidays makes me wonder how the meals for Nov. 28 will change. Turkey could replace chicken or brisket, and latkes or potato pancakes could be made with sweet potatoes instead of a traditional sweet potato casserole. Sufganiyot or jelly-like doughnuts could be added to the dessert menu. Perhaps our Jewish readers will share their menu plans and recipes.
Elaine Cochran of Bradenton also needs readers help with turkey recipes. Maybe she is getting a head start on the season.
"Please publish recipes for the slow cooker, recipes for turkey and turkey meatballs," Cochran said.
I know readers have some great turkey meatball recipes, some that are even made with ground turkey and stuffing or turkey meatballs cooked in a cranberry sauce. Please send those to me; remember, my email is email@example.com. Some readers have said their e-mails have been returned, but that is the working address.
Here is my favorite slow-cooker turkey breast recipe. I previously shared it, but with the holidays ahead, it may come in handy.
SLOW COOKER TURKEY BREAST
1 (7- 1/2 pound or so) turkey breast, defrosted in the refrigerator
Lots of Creole seasoning
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup white wine
After the turkey breast defrosts in the fridge, I wash the bird and heavily sprinkle Creole seasoning over every inch of the bird, including the cavity. I also season it with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For cooking liquid, I pour in 1 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of white wine. I put the lid on the slow cooker and set the temperature on high.
The turkey cooks for about 4 hours on high. I turn the temperature to low and cook it for another couple of hours until the bird's internal temperature hits 165 degrees. I turn off the slow cooker and let the bird rest for 30 minutes or so, and turn the carving duties over to my husband.
How easy is that?
Frosting uses yolks
"For Bev Casey and her request for egg yolk recipes, this chocolate butter cream frosting is a great recipe," said Ann Hall of Bradenton. "I double it for lots of chocolate. I make this pound cake and cut it in thin layers and put the chocolate butter cream in between the layers and frost.
"It is an awesome cake, even better the second day if you can keep people from eating it all on Day 1," she said.
CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM
1 package (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick soft butter
Empty package of chocolate bits into blender container. Add boiling water, cover and blend on high speed for 20 seconds.
Turn off motor. Add egg yolks and vanilla. Cover and turn motor on high speed. With motor on, uncover and drop in butter. If butter is too hard, a vortex may cease to form. Break surface of mixture with a rubber spatula, being careful not to dip too deeply. Blend for 15 seconds or until frosting is smooth. If frosting is too thin, chill in refrigerator until frosting is of spreading consistency.
For really French chocolate butter cream, omit the vanilla and flavor the frosting to taste with cognac or dark rum. Makes sufficient creamy chocolate frosting to fill and frost an 8-inch cake or 12 cupcakes.
-- Submitted by Ann Hall from "The Blender Cookbook"
1 stick of butter and 1 stick of margarine
2 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
5 teaspoons whiskey
Cream butter really well. Add the sugar a little at a time. Beat in one egg at a time. Then some flour, then the whiskey and the rest of the flour.
Pour batter into a wax paper-lined tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until done.
-- Submitted by Ann Hall
Filling for cream puff cookies
"I am writing to you and your readers as a last resort. In 2004, we move from Pennsylvania to Florida and in doing so some things were lost, of course," said Joyce Bofinger of Palmetto. "I lost a cookie recipe that I really liked. It was a petite cream puff cookie with a jelly filling. I have the cream puff part, but cannot find the filling recipe.
"I know it contained peach jelly or preserves and peach schnapps, but I can't remember what the other ingredients were or how to prepare it," she said. "I'm hoping you or your readers can help me."
Readers, do you have this recipe? If so, please send it to me. The holidays are only three weeks away.
Dishes for a large crowd
Sue Meyers of Picayune, Miss., needs readers' help, too.
"Please ask you readers if they have ideas and great food recipes suitable for large gatherings such as family reunions, church dinners and the holidays in all food categories," she said.
I know churches and organizations such as the VFW or American Legion do large dinners for their members. Please share some of your large-crowd recipes with me.
Holiday recipes, please
It is time to start thinking and planning for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas dinners. Please send in your recipe requests and also favorite recipes to share with fellow readers. Don't forget to share your ideas for the Hanukkah-Thanksgiving dinner.
Andrea Yeager, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, takes contributions or requests at Cook's Exchange, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535-4567.