December 9, 2014 § Leave a comment

This time of year is so many things. It’s exciting and festive, rushed and full, bittersweet and even sad. The end of one year seems to hurtle into the start of the next. It can be such a special time, seeing old friends and spending time with family, cozy-ing up to fires or mugs of hot beverages. I feel the need, the desire, to slow it down somehow, to not breeze right through it. To see the houses and cities lit up, to hear the carols and hymns sung with depth of feeling, to be truly with the ones I love and the ones I am just meeting.

Last weekend I was planning to visit a friend who recently had a lung transplant, and that trip got postponed, thankfully for a minor reason that my friend needed to return to the hospital for bloodwork. The weekend stretched before me then with no plans. A flip through a few cookbooks and a glance at the pantry on Saturday morning revealed most of the ingredients for a loaf of challah, Smitten Kitchen’s Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt challah to be precise. I didn’t have what I needed to make the fig paste, but as luck would have it, a friend had gifted me some fig jam this summer. I put it to good use here. Aside from missing the window to cover the bread so it didn’t get too brown black, I felt this recipe was a success for me. The yeast foamed! The dough rose! The challah was (lopsidedly) braided! I ate it all by Monday morning!



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