Once again I found myself in the kitchen on the day of Shabbos eve making challah and a new treat- knish. I tried a new challah recipe today- it tasted yummy but not necessarily like challah. I’m not sure how to decribe how challah tastes. It just is.

I’m waiting for the knish to come out of the oven. I made three varieties: potato, onion, and cheese; potato, onion, chicken and spinach; and potato, onion, steak and broccoli. I was reminded while preparing the dough and fillings that many cultures have their own version of knish- an “everydayman’s” meal. Pierogis in Poland. Pasties in England. Each variation shares a heartiness and a frugality. Each variation stretching out food staples (potatoes) and leftovers into a new dish.

Like last week, I found myself at peace in the kitchen today even during the moments of bustling and balancing two dishes- trying to keep meat from dairy and counters clean. Dancing over the cat who twisted herself around my ankles. This time I listened to Alasdair Frasier and his beautiful fiddle. Again, I prayed while I worked- sent light and love to those close to me and those I’ve yet to know.

I felt at home in all senses of the word- in my kitchen while working with my hands to bake for a loved one, in my heart as i thought of family and friends, and in my mind as I considered the shared history we have of food and tradition and caretaking.

I think that in this time of transition, I’m going to try to keep Fridays as a sacred day for baking, cooking, mindfulness and prayer.

 

Challah recipe  (made two medium 4-braided loaves)

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2.5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast

Knish recipe from The Shiksa in the Kitchen 🙂

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