Challelujah!

October 3, 2011

I saw Moneyball this weekend. Here’s what I learned:

1. I apparently don’t know all that much about baseball because I had no clue that the Oakland A’s had a 20-win-in-a-row season a few years ago. I also don’t think I knew that there was a team called the Oakland A’s. I did know that the Red Sox won the world series, though, so I felt proud of myself for that.

2. Brad Pitt is looking kind of old, but still lovely.

3. Apparently Moneyball is a popular flick with the kids because we had to sit in the third row. As in, we had to go up some stairs to leave the theater after the movie was over.

4. Landry’s dad is in Moneyball for a second. So is Jenn-ay from Forrest Gump.

That’s about all I learned. I bet you’re happy you’re here getting these updates.

So, I made my challah on Friday. Challah is usually made at Rosh HaShanah, and pretty much every week for Sabbath. Apparently, people usually make two loaves before Sabbath to commemorate the double portion of manna that God provided on the days the Israelites weren’t supposed to do any work.

I used this recipe, and it was super simple. It’s pretty much 9 billion cups of flour (which to a normal person is six cups), eggs, salt and honey. Oh, and yeast. The scary, scary yeast.

Pretty much, you mix a whole lot of flour into water and yeast. (Also, sorry for the quality of these pictures. I wanted them bigger, but it’s not working. Someone help me!)

When it’s all mixed in, you knead it and make sure it’s not too sticky. Then you put it in a bowl and let it rise for an hour and a half. There’s a lot of waiting involved in making bread.

Right when I left the bread to rise, I started having flashbacks to an old Psalty the Singing Songbook story that I had completely forgotten up until that moment. Did you guys listen to old Psalty growing up? I loved him and all his singing friends. Anyway, when I was little, we had this Psalty book, and I think there was a story about Psalty’s three kids (Melody, Harmony and Rhythm!) disobeying and deciding to bake something without their parents’ permission. They were baking something with yeast, and when Psalty and his wife (Psaltina!) got home, the entire kitchen was overflowing with dough that had risen and was oozing out the back door. Their disobedience ruined the house, and they got in so much trouble, and I’m sure it was some kind of lesson about yeast/sin affecting everything and such.

This must be the reason I have always been scared of making bread with yeast, you guys! I had some kind of subconscious idea that yeast is bad and will ruin your whole house and Psalty will come home and yell at you! Luckily, this did not happen to my challah bread, and with two or three years of counseling, I think I’ll be able to overcome this issue.

Here’s the risen bread. I thought it was going to rise more than that (and fill my entire kitchen) but it didn’t.

After it rises, you split it in two, and then split each half into three parts and make long ropes. Like this.

Then you braid the ropes together and let them rise some more. Seriously, make sure you have some time when you make bread.

Then you brush the braids with some egg yolk and bake it. Ta da!

The bread actually turned out really well. My roommate Heather and I dipped it in honey in anticipation of a sweet new year.

So, Rosh Hashanah is over, and next up is the Day of Atonement in about a week. These days in between are supposed to be a time of reflection as we prepare for judgment and atonement.

Speaking of judgment, I have a theology test today. I studied for about four minutes yesterday and then fell asleep on the couch. Pray for me.

Happy Monday — see you soon!

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2 Responses to “Challelujah!”

  1. Ginna Cross said

    That book was my FAVORITE!!!! ‘The Booklets Baking Boo-Boo’. It kind of had the opposite effect on me… I thought the huge pile of goo looked quite delicious and like it might be fun to jump in, and oh how I wished it was something that I could do in my mom’s kitchen. Sorry Psalty… lesson not learned. But I will still read it to Gwyneth as soon as possible:).

    Your challah looks delish!!

  2. denisemorris said

    The Booklets Baking Boo-Boo!!! I had totally forgotten that name. Ha! The picture of Psalty standing at the door facing a pile of dough is engrained in my memory, though. You’ll have to find it for Gwyn!

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