Happy Chametz

A post-Passover double dose of blogging today!  Thanks to Jo for writing this week and finally sharing her challah recipe.  Happy chametz indeed!

Here is a not-so-shameful admission: Sometimes, when there are too many meal options in one weekend, or I’m tired from work and/or don’t feel like being social, I go to my mom’s house for Shabbat.  She likes to feed me, and I like to eat, so it’s an arrangement that works out quite nicely.

Before candle lighting and kiddush, we ate artichokes with mayo/horseradish/honey dip.  Later we had vegetable soup with matzah balls, arugula salad with sundried tomatoes and citrus dressing (a nod to the salad we had at Pietro’s the night before Seder), pareve kishka, and broccoli.  The meal also included some Seder leftovers: Moroccan lamb stew (symbolic, because it’s made of lamb, like the Pesach offering.  Yummy, because it’s made with lamb), and quinoa (everyone’s favorite Passover grain substitute).  It was a veritable feast, eaten slowly with many breaks for talking and reading ridiculous articles from Elle magazine.  Cuz we’re cool like that.

Saturday morning I went to shul, and then to a “bring-your-Passover-leftovers” potluck lunch.  I didn’t contribute anything to the meal, which was fine since there was plenty of food.  Most notably, I shared some KoJel/Jello shots with Ilana and Sarah.  The shots (with wine, not vodka, for the holiday), were served in orange peel slices.  We were told the trick is to cut the orange in half, scoop out the orange part and pour the Jello mixture in.  Then once it’s more solid, cut the orange into slices.  Yum!  The best part about the potluck was sitting on the deck in the sunshine.  Looks like 15-20 minutes with no sunscreen is enough for a nice burn for me these days (you’d think I’d know that as a nurse, but hey, I’m allowed to be stupid sometimes).

After lunch, Ilana and Sarah and I walked to Mattea’s for some Bananagrams and Set-playing with Josh, Rebecca, Dan and Melissa.  Afterwards, even though there were intentions to spend more time outside, I walked home, read and took a nap, and got ready for my roommate’s birthday party.

I thought about what recipe to include in this entry.  Even though the Moroccan lamb stew is delicious, and supposedly easy to make, that seemed like cheating.  So instead, in the spirit of having Passed Over the holiday, I’m including my often-asked-for recipe for challah.

CHALLAH

 Rapid-Rise Method with a bread machine, modified from my mom’s recipe, modified from Harriet Friedenreich’s recipe.  Gotta give credit where credit is due.

(numbers in parentheses are for double batch)

Yield: 1 (2) large or 2 (3) small loaves.

 Mix together in large bowl and then add to bread machine first:

1 (2) cups very warm water
½ (1) cup oil
2 (4) eggs 

Add to liquids in bread machine but do not mix, just pour on top:

¼ (1/2 ) cup sugar
2 (4) teaspoons salt
4 ½ (7) cups of bread flour

Make a “well” in the flour and pour 1 (2) packets of rapid rise yeast inside.

Turn the bread machine onto “dough” setting.  Let it start kneading for 10 minutes then make sure to scrape down the sides with a spatula, otherwise there will be weird lumpy parts at the end.   

Once the dough is done in the machine, take it out and form however you like.  The most impressive thing I do is also one of the easiest: divide the dough into 16 equal pieces.  Then stretch each piece and knot it, placing it into greased, 9″ round cake pan.  When baked this will make the challah a “pull-apart.”  Most people like it because it’s pretty.  I like it because it means fewer people’s cooties are on my piece.  Germaphobia: an occupational hazard for a healthcare professional.  Anyway…

Brush with egg, sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake in 350 degree, un-preheated oven, for 30 minutes, or until bread sounds hollow when knocked with a knuckle.

As for a picture, here’s what I ate for dinner after Shabbat/Passover were over.  Happy Chametz, y’all!

 

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