When someone asks, "What is your favorite dish?" it stirs memories of sitting down to your favorite meal, the smells and aroma of the foods you love, and that special person who prepared a favorite meal just for you.
Older can be better
Here at Beit Immanuel Congregation we thought, "What a great way for our older folks to share their memories and experiences with our growing group of youth. Let them cook and share a meal together!" So we asked our elderly members to pull out some of those all-time favorite recipes, the ones they enjoyed most with their families, and prepare and cook them together with our youth. We were not sure how they would respond, but you should have seen the light that shone in their eyes when we asked our older people to bring out those beloved recipes. They were elated that anyone was interested in those special dishes that meant so much to them, and that they could share them with the youngsters! Some of them had kept them for 50 years!
Too quick to stick
To our surprise, the young people were just as excited! In today's fast paced modern world parents and children are not spending much time in the kitchen. Families spend less time than ever enjoying the smells and experiences gathered around a warm oven waiting to enjoy their favorite dishes together. It is just too easy to cook instant, fast food, which may save time, but lacks the tastes, smells and experiences of a home-cooked family meal together.
How did we manage to pull it off here at Beit Immanuel with 27 youth and elderly in one kitchen? We teamed up, one elderly and one youth, and pealed, cut, washed, boiled, fried, laughed, got silly and cooked. For many of the youth it was the first time they had ever spent time preparing a meal in the kitchen. For the older folks, it was just plain fun for them to watch the amazed expressions on the kids' faces as the smells filled the kitchen, and when they tasted the results - well let us just say that we wish that you could have been there to share this meal with us!
After the meal we took time to read some scriptures, worship together and pray. We believe that God used this experience to draw our older and younger folks even closer together. We are very thankful that by his grace we can share our gifts with each other. May you be encouraged too, in whatever age you may be, and in all the good things that you do!
Your Team at Beit Immanuel Congregation