Gaelen told a story today on her FB page about being in the grocery store behind a very angry man, a man with no mask and refusing social distancing. When he left and it was Gaelen’s turn, she apologized to the long-suffering clerk and the clerk said, “It’s okay, he’s just scared.”
I got thinking that pretty much describes us all, in our heart of hearts. Will our children survive this, get jobs, keep jobs? Will our grandchildren be penalized for this educational vacation? What about food and shelter? What about health care if we have something other than Covid-19? Will we ever get back to where we were? I guess I don’t think we will, but we’ll get someplace else…someplace different, when this is over. Will it be someplace we want to live? I don’t know. We don’t know. What can we do? Not much. Take good care of ourselves and others, wear a mask, and think creatively about how we’ll go forward.
And make bread and soup. The calming nature of baking bread in one’s own kitchen, an old activity familiar the world over, is a momentary vacation from this outside scary world. So today I made Challah, a Jewish egg bread, ready for tea time with my cup of Mother’s Day Green Tea. Join me:
2 packages (2 tablespoons) yeast
1/2 cup sugar or honey
5 1/2 to 6 cups flour (unbleached all purpose or bread)
1 3/4 cups hot water
4 eggs slightly beaten
1 stick unsalted butter melted (I do this in the microwave for 40-60 seconds)
Rich egg glaze (1 egg beaten with 1 Tblsp milk)
poppy or sesame seeds
I made this bread dough in my mixer with the dough hook
Place yeast, sugar salt and 2 cups flour in mixing bowl. Add water eggs and butter and beat hard until a smooth dough is formed, scraping down the bowl occasionally…3-4 minutes.
Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is firm but a bit soft.
Place in a greased bowl and cover til dough is doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours
Gently punch down dough and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
I decided to make three loaves instead of two very very large ones. I divided dough into 3 balls (each about 1 pound three oz), and then cut each ball into three equal piece and rolled each piece into a strip, laying three pieces side by side and pinching and tucking ends under, then braided each loaf.
Place on a parchment lined sheet pan (or these can work nicely in bread pans), cover loosely and let rise about 45 minutes, until double.
Brush loaves with egg glaze and then add seeds. Bake 40-45 minutes in a 350 degree oven, until golden brown. Lift off carefully and cool before slicing.
And on our menu rotation for next Monday is an “old” family favorite from a Sunset Cookbook of 1965. For our household “hamburger soup” became an easy favorite in the mid-1970’s. I have continued to use it because over the years I’ve discovered you can use ground lamb, canned white beans, ground turkey, pasta (though pasta and beans need to be added to the bowl before serving as they’ll disintegrate in the soup)…whatever you have, whatever you want. But don’t leave out the onion soup mix, 8oz tomato sauce and split peas. You can start at 4:00 and have hearty soup on the table for dinner. It’s better the second day. It’s part of our way forward…just adding stuff and making different creative choices.
Keep in touch friends.