Monday, November 17, 2008

When I was thirteen a Lender's bagel was about the closest I had ever been to anything Jewish. All that changed with our move to a town where the majority of the kids in my school were Jewish. My friend Bequa was my tour guide, introducing me to real bagels (with a shmear), delis (if there isn't a bowl of half sours on the table, it's not a deli), and my very own NJB (nice Jewish boy, who, as it ends up, is actually an atheist, but that works for me).

I came to love Yiddish (Is there a better word for a rag than a schmuttie? A better way to say pretty face than shana punim? A better word for those little rolls of fat on babies' legs than pulkies?), although my accent is apparently painful, the food (a knish from The Butcherie cannot be beat - oh, wait, I'm vegetarian now...), and, of course, the boy.

I may be a shiksa but I've learned to make a mean kugel, I hear my kasha vanishkas may just be better than a certain grandmother's, (ok, it's her recipe, so I'm not sure if that's possible, but anyway...), and I have mastered the filling and the pinching of hamantashen. Until yesterday, though, I never tackled challah. My mother-in-law's challah is really good. Really good like you just want to eat the whole loaf yourself and not share any. Frankly it's just plain intimidating. She's agreed to share her recipe with me, but it's apparently complicated enough that she needs to show me. Oh, and it makes 5 loaves. In the meantime, she talked me through some braiding instructions over the phone, and I found this recipe.


Isn't it pretty? Rowan did most of the braiding. She's got skills.

Neither Jon or I thought it was as good as his mom's. I couldn't tell you if that's because it isn't as good or because you love what you know and especially what your mom makes. But, yum - I wouldn't have minded a bit eating the whole loaf myself and not sharing any, but with eight other people in the house I didn't stand much of a chance.

11 comments:

Heart Rockin Mama said...

Really, just hearing (reading) the word hamantashen makes my mouth water. Yum!

kelli said...

I looks delish! Yum!

me said...

did you leave any for me?

laura said...

ooh i want some too!! my kids first had some challah from earth fare's free samples last summer...they fell in love and had me buy some!! i'm hoping the new store here will have some too, but i haven't checked yet. i've never been much of a baker but i'm gonna try baking bread again and i'll add this recipe to my wish list of things i hope to get good at!!

Rue said...

Until recently I've only ever made (yeast) bread with a bread machine. The no-knead and challah recipes have been great ones to start off with.

Ronnie said...

I love challah! I can even pronounce it! And yours looks lovely.

Bequa said...

WOW, that brought back some serious memories... how about the food stocked in the refridgerator -knish for one and all!!!

Miss ya tons!

Rue said...

I'm reminded of your parents well-stocked refrigerator very regularly these days, Bequa, since it's our turn to keep one stocked for teenage hunger now. I wonder if they still make that brownie batter...

Schuyler said...

David loves this challah, thanks for the posting the recipe. I braided not having Rowan around to help.

Rue said...

Cool, Schuyler. I always think it's neat when our families are into the same stuff around the world from each other. (and it seems like we often are :o))

I found a few games the other day I thought you guys might like. I actually haven't played any of them yet, and I was waiting for Rowan to let me know what she thought before I stuck any of them on my blog, but here you go:

http://browndyedhotel.com/beforethebeginning.html

http://rainbow.doors.fizzlebot.com/

http://www.xtranormal.com/

That last one's not really a game, I guess.

Schuyler said...

Thank you for the games and the xtranormal. We are having fun!