Sharing a tradition

Yesterday, my fellow English conversation class teachers and I held our second annual Valentines baking event for our adult students.  We learned from last year’s experience that this year we needed to simplify.  Instead of baking five kinds of cookies, we decided to have no more than three baked goods and to prepare two out of the three ahead of time.  I brought shortbread that I baked at home and the hostess made cupcakes. This lowered our stress levels (mine started out low, because we were in someone else’s kitchen this year) and gave the students plenty of time to make icing and decorate both kinds of treats.  The group made rugelach, a Jewish dessert, together.  It’s a rolled crescent-shaped cookie made from dough filled with a mixture of marmalade, nuts and cinnamon. 

I love doing this event, because it gives students a great opportunity to talk to people they don’t know, create, learn the vocabulary of cooking and cookware — as in “tablespoon,” “spatula” and “whisk” — and take home treats for their families.  And when they stick candies that say “Be mine” into their cupcakes and squeeze icing out of a tube into the shape of a heart, they also learn more about a popular American tradition.

About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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