Friday, November 16, 2007

Traditions

I've started trying to do a Sabbath dinner on Friday nights. I say trying, because so far I haven't managed to pull it off in the fashion I'd like, but I'm still plugging away. I'd like the kids to get a sense of tradition, and the feel of a set-apart, special day.

I bought 6 tea light holders: one each to symbolize Dave and I and each boy, plus an extra we can light when we have someone visiting Friday nights to symbolize them (Dave's mom was here for last week's Sabbath dinner, for example). We use our "good" dishes. This week I bought sparkling grape juice and we used our nice glasses and Ethan got to drink out of a big boy cup instead of a sippy. We listened to the Sirius Christian music channel.

And then there's the part where I've hit snag after snag.

Initially I loved the idea of Challah bread to go with our meals. The first week, I made some, with great anticipation, and it flopped. Big time. It didn't rise, even a little bit. It was small and hard as a rock. The texture was grainy and crumbly, and the taste...it was horrible - nothing like the soft, rich, sweet Challah I used to buy as a young singleton in Atlanta.

Well, I thought maybe it was the cook, not the recipe, so I gave it a second chance, with the same results.

Fine. The Challah as part of our Sabbath dinner is obviously not to be, so I switched to the idea of a French bread, maybe with some soup. I know I can pull off French bread. I've done so several times.

Except that today, what with one thing and another, I didn't start it in time to be done for dinner. So a-googling I did go, searching for a quick French bread. Was there such a thing?

Yes, as it turns out. But. It didn't rise, even a little bit. And it was hard as a rock and while the taste was passable, it was not what I'd envisioned. And now the suspicion I have has been confirmed, so I have this to say:

Dear God,

Please remove this Sabbath Curse from my bread. All I'm trying to do is make this day memorable and special for my kids. Could You please just let the yeast do its job.

Amen.

I'm giving it one more go next week, and if my bread doesn't rise yet again, I'm giving up on fresh bread on Friday nights, and I will be content with the things that we're already doing.

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