Brought Together by Cooking

By Sophia Shienvold

Cooking has always been a huge part of my family’s life. Between my great-grandma, grandma, and mom, my family has tons of different ways to make the staples of Jewish culture. My great-grandmother passed away when I was young, so I didn’t get much time in the kitchen with her, but I have spent numerous days with both my mom and my grandma, making all of the traditional dishes.

Over the past couple of years, my mom has started to pass on the family secrets to me. Although she isn’t Jewish, we joke that she is an “ABC Jew” (all but converted) because of her commitment to the community. She is very committed to keeping her secrets, and has been reluctant to share them with me. But, slowly, she has opened up, and now I know how to make latkes, matzah ball soup, and potato kugel the Shienvold way.

I believe that being together in the kitchen is something that everyone should experience. The fighting, the messes, the love, and the joy has really brought together my family in a way I never expected.