This past Friday I had the opportunity to do something very special on campus. A couple of friends in my Sorority house asked if I was interested in helping to cook a dinner for the organization "Aish" on campus. The normal hosts of Aish were out of town, but they still wanted to provide students with the weekly Friday night Shabbat dinner, but they needed the help from us, the active members of Aish. We arrived at the house at 1 and instantly jumped into Challah preparation - the hefty bag of Spelt (non-wheat) Flour was carried up from the downstairs and lifted onto the counter, along with the other ingredients. We cracked eggs, poured Spelt flour, dripped honey, sprinkled salt, scooped dry yeast, drizzled vegetable oil and began to mix the ingredients in a large bowl. After kneading the Challah with our hands, we let it sit for about 2 hours so it had time to rise.
Next, came the "Thai Slaw" salad. This is one of my favorite salads because of the sweet and salty tastes from the dressing combined with the crunchiness of the cabbage, cucumbers and leaves of Cilantro. The rainbow array of cabbage was placed on the bottom of a large purple bowl, it was used as a base for the remainder of the salad. Then we chopped up long green English Cucumbers and tossed them into the mix of cabbage. I sneakily munched on the leftover pieces of Cucumber while no one was looking. Then it was time for dressing preparation; Olive Oil, Rice Wine Vinegar, Soy Sauce and Sesame seeds. Then I slowly drizzled the dressing over the salad. In an effort to spread it out throughout the entire bowl, I took the large salad tongs and scooped the cabbage from the bottom up, so every last piece was dressed.
For a crowd pleaser salad, we decided on a corn, avocado and tomato salad. About 20 miniature cobbs of corn were lined up in a tin-foil container and placed in the oven to defrost. As the corn was softening in the oven, I took on the liberty of slicing the tomatoes. Tomatoes are a difficult vegetable to cut and I struggled a bit as the juice poured out from the inside. After the four tomatoes were cut, the corn was taken out of the oven. I cut the kernels off the ears of corn and spooned both the tomatoes and corn into the large container. And it was time for the last ingredient...avocado! The brown and green circular vegetables were sliced in half and cut into small chunks for the salad. The bright yellow, red and green colors of the vegetables made the salad a sight to see. The salad was covered in a lime juice, salt & pepper dressing with a drop of olive oil.
Although it was a tiring day, the long hours of preparation were worth every second. I love to cook and this was the perfect opportunity.