November 11, 2022

Baking My Way Into the Community

This blog was written by Ben M-S, a participant in the T9 from Riverdale, New York. He interns every day at construction. Ben enjoys baking, 3D modeling, and playing Minecraft.

I love baking. I have made a lot of desserts for Tivnu, like cookies, brownies, banana bread, and honey cake for Rosh Hashanah. I have a lot of recipes that I use, and I often change them to be vegan, gluten free, and sometimes even both, so everyone can try my food. Everyone seems to love my baking, and I have never heard a negative reaction!

Ben, with his beautiful challot

Aside from baking desserts for everyone, I love to make fresh challah. At the beginning of Tivnu, I participated in an optional challah baking class. We were a small group, but It was really fun baking with everyone who was there. The challah came out amazing!

After Shabbat dinner that week, I decided along with one of my fellow Tivnuniks that we’d try to make challah every week. We decided to experiment with different recipes to see which we liked best. We also tried different toppings, and my favorite is everything bagel seasoning. We even made it a ritual to braid a tiny loaf along with the big ones!

Dough is ready to go – with a mini version!

I try to bake challah from scratch every week. Sure, I could buy some from the supermarket, but it’s just not the same as homemade. Shabbat is a day of rest, a day to unplug, a day to take a break from one’s daily routines. Most importantly for me, it is a day to do things yourself instead of relying on corporations to do it for you. Some people say that the preparation for Shabbat is as important as the celebration of Shabbat itself. I love Shabbat, but it just doesn’t feel special unless someone in the household puts physical work into making it happen.

I believe that food is one of the few things that can unite people, and my challah and desserts are how I have baked my way into Tivnu!

Baked and ready to enjoy. Shabbat shalom!

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