With huge thanks to Shayna Marmar of honeypiecooking.com for this wonderful post about bringing the generations together in the kitchen!
It is as sweet as sufganiyot when loved ones can be together during holiday celebrations. Chanukah lends itself to intergenerational quality time, yet sometimes it can be challenging to find an activity that appeals to a mixed-age crowd. Cooking is a meaningful and fun way to unite children and adults of all ages.
Set up a table for a small group with all needed supplies and ingredients.
This includes a small trash bowl if needed, dishtowels for wiping hands, and trays or bowls for the finished products. The more guests can help themselves to centrally located supplies, the easier it will be to host a cooking project amidst other festivities.
Choose a project that is practical, simple, and enjoyable.
A recipe for success includes activities that have minimal and intuitive steps, involve just one trip to the stove if any, and most of all – sound like fun!
Projects that do not require the use of sharp tools allow the youngest children to participate safely.
Intergenerational cooking can also be a great opportunity for older party-goers to work one-on-one with younger guests using sharp tools. However in a party environment, often less is more!
Pick an activity that is inviting for shorter or longer periods of participation.
Naturally some guests will be very interested and drawn to the cooking station, while others will be more inclined for a brief visit.
Keep germ-free cooking in mind.
Place a bottle of hand sanitizer on the table along with a friendly note reminding guests to use a little squirt before working with food. Washing hands is also an option of course, but it simplifies things when everything is in one place.
Ideas for Group Hands-On Chanukah Cooking
Applesauce Apple-Chopping Squad
Slices of apples can be precut and laid out for mixed-age guests to chop into small pieces using butter knives. Place the chopped apples to a pot with a little water and cinnamon, letting the apples cook on a low temperature until thick, adding more water as needed, and stirring occasionally. The house will be filled with a delicious aroma!
Prebaked or purchased cookies, icing, and sprinkles are the only ingredients needed for festive cookie decorating. The cookies can be distributed for immediate eating and/or can be sent home with guests as party favors.
To make homemade gelt, melt some chocolate chips in the microwave or on top of a double boiler. Guests can use spoons to create small circle shapes of melted chocolate on wax paper. After 15-30 minutes in the freezer, the circles will harden and guests can wrap them in small squares of foil for shiny, edible coins!
Safe Potato Shredding Station for Latkes
If interested in having guests involved in the job of potato-prepping, there are a few GREAT graters out there! Sometimes harder to find, standing hand crank graters make for a very safe and effective tool. Another idea is to place small or cut potatoes in a hand held cheese grater. Standard box graters are always an option if there are enough adult-child one-on-one pairs to ensure everyone’s fingers stay safe!
Pre-make a favorite baked sufganiyot recipe. For easy “filling” of the donuts with basic kitchen equipment, just slice the treats in half, then ask guests to spread a little jam inside, close the top, and sprinkle with powdered sugar using fine strainers or sieves.
Please email shayna(at)honeypiecooking.com with any questions, as well as any interest in learning about Honeypie Cooking’s classes and parties for all the honeypies from small to tall, available throughout Philadelphia and neighboring areas. Wishing you a happy Chanukah holiday!
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