New Cookbook Mixes Christmas and Hanukkah Recipes for “Chrismukkah” 2005

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Chrismukkah.com cookbook solves this year's big December Dilemma of what to serve for holiday dinner when one side of the family celebrates Christmas and the other Hanukkah.

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Merry Mazeltov! To celebrate the overlapping Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, the witty folks behind Chrismukkah.com have published a cookbook intended for the kitchens of those who want to indulge in both holidays.

Entitled “Chrismukkah: the Merry Mish-Mash Holiday Cookbook,” the book is a collection of 55 hybrid-holiday recipes that puts a Jewish spin on traditional Christmas cuisine. And visa versa.

The book’s 120-pages are filled with color photographs of cleverly conceived culinary combinations inspired by the myriad of mixes intermarriage can spawn. Each dish is spun like a Hanukkah dreidel, then christened with a cheery Chrismukkah name: Gefilte Goose, Fakakta Figgy Pudding, Bah Humburgers, Gelt Melt, Deck the Halls with Boughs of Challah, Gingerbread Mensch, Good Cheer with a Schmear, and a drink called Yule Plotz!

The result is a global gumbo of delicious dishes of nondenominational diplomacy. For example, on Chrismukkah Eve, while waiting for Santa Claus and Hanukkah Harry to drop in, you could serve guests a snack of Matzah Pizza, Gingerbread Dreidels and a steaming hot cup of Meshugga Nog. For Chrismukkah brunch, Blitzen’s Blintzes and Challah Sticky Bun Wreath would surely put everyone in the spirit.

“The cookbook might bring to mind the question: Does it taste good and is it in good taste? Miraculously, the answer is yes. Each recipe manages to be mouthwatering while keeping tongue firmly planted in cheek” says Chrismukkah CEO Ron Gompertz.

Last year, Chrismukkah’s clever web site and line of irreverent, interfaith greeting cards introduced the world to the celebration of Chrismukkah. Applauded by many, but denounced by a vocal few, Chrismukkah taps into the zeitgeist of American culture at a time when ethnic tolerance, the role of faith in government, and the rise of fundamentalism are themes dominating the news.

Author Ron Gompertz, a Jewish native of New York, launched Chrismukkah.com with his wife Michelle, a Midwesterner from a Christian family. Like millions of other intermarried Americans, the newlyweds were both bemused and bewildered by the culture gap between their respective families. The December Dilemma is a phrase often used to describe the challenges facing intermarried families, especially those with young children, during the holidays.

The recipes were co-created by Kathy Stark, former executive chef with the Honeybaked Ham Company and now proprietor of Starky’s Authentic, Montana’s only Jewish delicatessen. Like the Chrismukkah founders, Kathy is also half of an interfaith couple.

This year, for the first time since 1959, an unusual confluence of the Jewish and modern calendar have many families lighting menorahs at sundown on Christmas day. Gompertz has called this year the “Mother of all Chrismukkahs.” The book sells for $15 at http://www.chrismukkah.com.

Ron Gompertz is available for interviews.

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