We all know that life can get so hectic. Especially during the winter months, when the sky darkens early, and night seems to appear quite suddenly. Never is that more apparent than on a Friday, with Shabbat preparations frantic, as time quickly runs out. So it’s always nice be able to get help by having someone else tackle some of the preparations. Especially if those preparations are delicious and homemade!
Enter Emma Tropper and Abby Minkove of “Eat’m Challah.” These two young entrepreneurs, 11th graders at SAR High School in Riverdale, have really brought their A game to New Rochelle. Abby and Emma had always talked about doing something together involving baking, and this February will be one year since the duo joined forces to bake homemade challah. A self-professed “stress-baker,” Abby says baking is a form of relaxation for her.
As the word spread, their orders for fresh challah increased. Now they bake once a month, as many as 70 challahs in 4 different varieties. The standard flavors available are plain, streusel and cinnamon, with one featured flavor, depending on the time of year. On Rosh Hashanah, it was apples and cinnamon, Thanksgiving was pumpkin spice and this month was chocolate.
Emma is excited to continue expanding the line of challot to include whole-wheat and gluten-free varieties. “I like experimenting to make recipes healthier, using non-traditional ingredients,” says Emma. She has made chick pea blondies, and muffins using coconut, oat and whole wheat flours. “Oat flour worked,” she said, while the “coconut crumbled.”
Elana Minkove, Abby’s mom, who allows the girls to do the baking in her kitchen, says she is “so proud of them,” as it is very challenging to manage this business and stay committed to their schoolwork. It is a great learning experience, as they must “pay their bills and be responsible for cleanup.” Additionally, 10 percent of their profits are given to charity.
While I watched the girls prepare their orders, they worked together like a well-oiled machine. They seemed relaxed and chatted effortlessly, as they poured the ingredients with three different mixers simultaneously running. And, cleaned up as they went along! Dough was kneaded, challah braided and orders filled.
By Rachel Berger