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The Big Challah

(post, Ronnie Fein)

A couple of years ago my sister-in-law Eileen asked me to make potato latkes for their Hanukkah party, which always takes place on Christmas Eve because that's when everyone from everywhere has the next day off. My brother also always dresses as Santa and gives little gifts away to everyone, children and adults.

But it is a Hanukkah party and we eat Hanukkah type foods. Like latkes. I am chief latke maker. The last time I made a hundred of them and my hands looked like I had used too much Lava soap (am I dating myself??). Then Eileen said she needed more and I made another one hundred. My hands looked like I had used much too much lava soap and also my clothes and hair reeked of hot oil. It was so bad that even after a shower the smell lingered inside my nose.

I rebelled lasy year and told her to buy latkes. I would make challah. I have to say, my challahs are great. The only problem is that I never learned to braid it properly. I always did a three strand, like you would braid someone's hair. But although the bread tasted wonderful it looked like someone's braided hair. Not the real thing. So, I decided to practice with my grandson and we recently made a challah with six strands, following a you-tube demo.

The problem with that is, the woman who was teaching went so fast that I had to stop the computer in between each step and so flour got into the keyboard a couple of times. Thank goodness nothing happened but the bad part was that after the first six steps she says something like "now continue as before." But now the strands are not in the same place they were to begin with so how can I do that?

The first part of our challah looked professional. The second half looked like two illiterates were baking.

We tried again, this time putting stickers with numbers on each of the strands but that didn't work because the dough is rich and eggy and the stickers fall off. So our challah, once again, looked rather unfortunate. But it still tasted terrific.

Tomorrow's the day. Our Christmas Eve Hanukkah party is almost here and I need to do this right. I am going back to youtube right now and write down the instructions syllable by syllable. Maybe three times is a charm.

I'll let you know.

I do know the challah will taste good, no matter what it looks like. I think my recipe is already on Culinate. Good luck if you try it and give it a six-braid.