Food Friday, but first, the snow day, and a bonus tutorial

It snowed all day yesterday and all night as well. This morning, after morning services,  my friend Leah was celebrating her 90th birthday. Leah is one of the world experts on transgenderism. Margaret Mead was her thesis advisor, and gave Leah bad advice.

I haven't been going to morning services lately, because I think that my son does better getting out in the morning with my grumpy company. I really did want to go the services this morning to celebrate Leah's day. So, I planned to leave the house just before my son did this morning.

I had the distinct pleasure of waking my son up, I wasn't sure if school had been called off or not. And then sending him back to bed as soon as I had heard that school was cancelled. So he had the pleasure of lying in bed and knowing that he was home, and not on his way to school.

When I walked to synagogue, the sidewalks still hadn't been cleared. Broadway was barely plowed. I walked to synagogue up the middle of Broadway. It was just too cool. Leah who normally takes a taxi the two blocks to synagogue,  walked with her husband just to be there. My friend, Barbara who gets around with a walker, was driven to synagogue by kind strangers in an SUV who saw her waiting for the busses that were not yet runningand took pity on Barbara who was sitting on her walker and covered in snow.

We all ate a beautiful breakfast together after Shaharit.

My son took the two little  kids across the hall sledding in Riverside Park.  The challa is now doing it's first rising. Two of our dinner guests were supposed to come in from Boston. They wisely decided to stay home. Their children, though, will be joining us.

Knowing that I would be celebrating Leah's birthday this morning, I made the dessert for tonight, last night. I made grapefruit sorbet ( two grapefruit whipped up in the food processor with corn syrup, sugar and a shot of vodka) and pomegranate sorbet (  about 1 1/2 cups water, 1/2 c confectioners sugar, two Tbs flour and lots of pomegranate molasses heated until boiled) .

I think that the late winter is making me hunger for the sun. Citrus is standing in for sunshine for me these days. I am eating a couple of amazing grapefuit each day. They are just at the peak of season right now.

Tonight's potatos are roasting away in the oven coated with olive oil, lime juice sea salt and Tabasco. The chicken is what I call idiot chicken, coated with herbes Provencal with left over wine poured over.  You can't go wrong with that herb mixture. It always tastes complex and satisfying. Salad is all greens, baby field greens, water cress and baby arugula.

And a bonus this week. A Challa braiding tutorial.
Challa looks better when braided into a four stranded braid. Trust just does. Three braid challot tend to look a little undernourished in my opinion. As you can see, the four strands can look lumpy and ugly when you begin. They will look lovely once they are braided.
Starting from about 1/2 way down, bring the left most strand over and under the other strands until you get all the way to the right.

Then, pick up what is now the left most strand and repeat weaving over and under, go back again to that left most strand...until you get to the bottom of the loaf.

Then turn your loaf around so the unbraided side is facing you, and begin braiding from the middle down to the bottom of the loaf .
Here is the challa waiting for the second half of the braiding to begin.

Once you are done braiding, tuck the ends underneath the loaf. They just look cuter that way.

And finally, the challa ,braided ,and ready to do it's second rising.


  1. What a beautiful time with your friends this morning. Snow certainly can transform our surroundings. I was 'gifted' a snow shovel yesterday and thought, after seeing your snow photos, that I would have passed it on to you, if the distance wasn't so far!

  2. I am delighted to not own a snow shovel these days. I am a DIY sort of a girl but I'm happy that I no longer have to shovel my own snow.


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