Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Putting the Parsha on the Menu: Chayei Sarah

This week's Torah Portion is parshat Chayei Sarah, in which Sarah dies, and Abraham purchases the Machpela (cave of couples) as a burial place for her. Then we are told the story of how Rivka (Rebbecca) was selected as a wife for Yitzchak (Isaac), and of their first meeting.

Here's this year's (very quick and easy) parshat Chayei Sarah Machpela cake:

Here's a healthier version from a previous year, made with dried fruit and nuts:

I just noticed this year that the "courtship" of Rivka and Yitzchak comes bounded by camels at both ends. We were introduced to Rivka with camels (when she offers to water all of Eliezer's camels, thus showing herself worthy of marrying Yitzchak), and she drops off her camel when she is sees Yitzchak for the first time.

So, we made camel cookies:

I made sugar cookies and gingerbread. I wasn't able to frost the gingerbread cookies, because they disappeared into the kids' lunches before I had the chance to put them away and save them for Shabbat.

I didn't have a camel cookie cutter, so I made one. See the next post for instructions for making your own cookie cutters.

I'm also working on a well (because the episode with Rivka takes place at a well), but will only post more info if it works. There are two versions, one with chocolate and graham crackers, and another (healthier) version with matzah and vegetables, using hummus as spackle to hold cucumber discs to the matzah roof.

(The graham cracker version would make a great classroom snack-time activity. Just melt some chocolate chips, give each kid 3-4 graham crackers, and empty out the snack drawer of any pretzles, cookies, etc. and let them design their own wells.

Update (Friday afternoon): Both wells worked. They both can be seen in this picture. Here's a close up of the one made of vegetables:
The matzot are held together with melted chocolate. Inside the well are carrots, inserted in a heavy-bottomed glass. The cucumber slices are spackled to the roof of the well with hummus. The yellow pepper bucket holds more hummus to serve.
Shabbat shalom!

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