Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Home-Baked Challah
Heavenly, hot-from-the-oven challah, courtesy of Elder Daughter.

Even as the ground shakes and the wind blows in the east, the wheel of Time continues to turn. And this week it brought us a very special Shabbat.

Look, I am nohow a punctilious keeper of the Sabbath. I do many things observant Jews would never consider doing on the Sabbath: turning lights off and on, shaving, handling money, driving, et cetera. (I do try not to do any actual work, but that’s not an effort I confine solely to the Sabbath.)

But there is something magical about Friday evening if we allow ourselves the privilege of entering the precincts of sacred time, however imperfect our observance. And this Friday evening was especially magical, because both Elder Daughter and the Mistress of Sarcasm were with us at the Sabbath table.

We ushered the evening with traditions that our family has followed more in the breach than in the actual performance: singing Shalom Aleichem, blessing the children, and the appropriate blessings over wine (Kiddush) and bread (Motzi). Our daughters are adults now, and I thought of all of the lost opportunities, all those weeks of their childhood when I did not recite the Priestly Benediction with my hands laid upon their heads... and yet this moment, in some small way, made up for it.

Dinner was chicken, a Sabbath tradition, and this one (an Alton Brown recipe involving a metric buttload of shallots and garlic cloves) was especially worthy of the evening. The wine was a Lenz merlot from the north fork of Long Island, a connection with my geographic roots. And the bread... ahh, the bread. The bread was a heavenly loaf of challah, made by Elder Daughter’s own hands, served piping hot from the oven.

In keeping with an untraditional (but meaningful) tradition Elder Daughter has begun observing recently, we all shared words about the things for which we were grateful this past week... and I needed only to look about me to find inspiration.


Kevin Kim said...

Looks to have been a wonderful meal.

Rahel said...

Elisson... it sounds wonderful.