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September 21, 2009

Scenes of Domestication

 border=This photo is entitled, "Still Life with Lamp and Half-Eaten Challah"

This weekend I decided to tackle something I've been meaning to incorporating into my skillz set for many moons: the art of breadmaking. Since it's Rosh Hashana I was feeling extra Jewful, and thus challah seemed the best choice. I busted out my Hadassah Jewish Holiday Cookbook and settled upon a recipe perfected by Peggy Samet Fine from the Hadassah chapter in Houston. Sometimes titchy things like "yield" slip by me in my excitement to go gung-ho on a recipe, and thus I missed the fact that I would be purchasing ingredients for four whole loaves.

It's a good thing the manf was out of the house when I started my yeasty journey, for all manner of unladylike utterances escaped my lips as I proceeded to get flour EVERYWHERE. My jeans and sweatshirt were coated with sticky dough. I will probably get un-inscribed in the Book of Life for the curses that flew when the 15 cups of flour weren't incorporating into the eggs, oil, vanilla, yeast, warm water and sugar (holy Moses there is so much sugar in challah) as they should.

But, when all was said and done, I ended up with two beautiful and delicious loaves of holiday spirit, as well as a huge mound of dough in my freezer awaiting my next surge of carb cravings.

 border=This photo is entitled, "Come visit me, Amanda"

My daddy dearest came to town yesterday, and brought with him my most beloved flamenco ladybug apron, a gift from a star-crossed roommate of yore. A theme party with this apron as its central element is in the works.

 border=This photo is entitled, "Who Says a Pattern on a Pattern is Too Busy?"

Last Sunday marked the start of months of football widowhood for yours truly. Instead of moping around the apartment to try to distract myself from the grunts and dull thuds emanating from el boob tube, I signed up for a fair isle knitting class at Yarnia. I learned to knit when I was a senior in high school, and my knitting sensei stayed put in my hometown whilst I ventured off to my institution of higher learning three hours away. I am thus a largely self-taught knitter, and though I'm really, really good at knitting straight things like scarves and blankets nowadays, I hadn't tried anything new since a half-assed attempt at a sock last spring. Twas time.

Fair isle is tricky because you have to knit with two or more colors simultaneously, a feat that often lends itself to the most horrendous yarn snarlys when done improperly. But my new sensei at Yarnia showed me the light and I am now well on my way to making a lovely patterned baby hat. Next up: toe-up socks, gloves and intarsia.


  1. How did you achieve the challah's pleasing braided shapepe? To my Gentile eyes, it looks like you formed it perfectly.

  2. Your challah and your fair isle baby hat look great! Kudos to you, oh domestic diva.