Friday Night: Shabbat Fail

Our challah didn't quite look like that...

As you may have read, my family’s been trying to create our own Friday night traditions for a while now. Some have worked, some have not. And last week… well…

Last week we had all the best intentions. There’s a new butcher in the neighborhood, and my husband’s been wanting to make his mom’s brisket recipe ever since we didn’t get it over the High Holidays. So he bought a brisket, marinated it, cooked it. (It was delicious–this isn’t the failure part yet.)

But we decided we might as well go all-out. We’ve been meaning to make challah for months, and last Friday seemed like a perfect time.

So we used a recipe that we’d gotten from a friend. As we made it, my husband retold one of his favorite stories–of a time when he was a camp counselor and his friend tried to make challah with her bunk. She ordered all the ingredients for the recipe through the camp kitchen. She followed the recipe exactly… not realizing that the “packet of yeast” called for in the recipe was quite different than the industrial-sized packet the camp kitchen had provided her. But when the dough started taking on a life of its own, she realized there’d been a problem. Funny story, right?

Well, it’s less funny when you consider what happened here. We let the dough rise (no yeast issues here), and braided it together with our 2-year-old daughter. She was really excited to eat the challah when it was done. We were too.

A few hours later, we lit candles, made kiddush over the wine, said a special blessing over our daughter, and said the hamotzi blessing over the bread. And then we tried to eat it. And discovered that it had about five times the amount of salt a challah should ever have. Entirely inedible, which made for a very sad 2-year-old.

But, on the plus side? When we told Abigail that we were going to have Shabbat, she said, “We light da candles!” So it seems our weeks of Tot Shabbats and Kveller singalongs have paid off.

Here’s hoping that we find a better challah recipe for this week… or at least learn how to FOLLOW a recipe! Shabbat Shalom!

Amy Deutsch

Amy is a Jewish educator and a mom. After graduating from Brandeis University she received a master’s degree at the Jewish Theological Seminary where she was a Wexner Fellow. Over the past 10 years Amy has developed experience in teaching, family education, camp, curriculum writing, and most recently, has begun teaching “Baby & Me” classes.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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