One of the side-effects of this very strange year has been that many people have taught themselves new skills, or have had to learn how to do for themselves what they have previously bought from others.
SCoJeC helped encourage this trend after many community members who had enjoyed our previous baking demonstrations asked about learning to cook their own Chanukah delicacies, and we hosted an instructional event to demonstrate how to cook latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganyiot (doughnuts) just in time for Chanukah.
Thanks to the ability of Zoom to erase all borders, we were delighted to be able to spend an evening with our very own MasterChef Barb Taub, despite the fact that she is currently spending a year in Italy.
Barb has made a name for herself as a cook within the community, and has given much thought to the correct thickness of potatoes for latkes and the perfect oil temperature for frying. Before becoming a permanent resident on Arran, she attended the University of Chicago and was involved in the University’s annual Latke-versus-Hamentashen debates. These involve faculty and celebrities debating all of life and philosophy under the guise of proving which food is superior – which is still under debate!
A gratifying 35 devices were logged in to the zoom call, some with whole families taking part, while, live from her own kitchen almost exactly 2,000 kilometers warmer than here, Barb was able to walk us through her traditional Chanukah recipes and add her own take on Chanukah traditions and their meaning.
Some participants cooked along with Barb, while others just watched as Barb shredded her potatoes (with the skins on!), and rolled the dough for her sufganyiot. Recipes and cooking instructions were emailed in advance and are available here for those who missed the event but would still like to keep the spirit of Chanukah going!
One participant told us it was, “Good to feel part of something”, and another expanded: “Yes! By being able to interact with other Jews, which we don't normally get a chance to do! My kids (and I) were so excited!” – that’s exactly what we set out to do, so it’s good to hear that we succeeded!