The Grims (us) like to mix things up. Most of the folks in our neck of the woods (the south) keep a Sunday rest day. That’s the common day around these parts, to stop & celebrate, to worship & fellowship, to honor & remember. While Drew & I grew up in a Sunday-sabbath environment, we now keep it from sundown on Friday evening to sundown on Saturday (which basically means saturday).
What does this mean? Well, generally it is our family day & a day of rest. We enjoy nature, enjoy our comfortable home, make merry, read scripture & generally try to refocus on the steadfast things in our lives. Before we were married we knew that shabbat (as it is called in the Hebrew) would be a fundamental for our family. & it is…
Making a commitment to keep this holy day is not always easy, but when we do, it is always fulfilling. & the rituals we use are ancient, with our own modern additions & they connect us completely with our faith. There’s nothing richer than the physical side of our beliefs; faith without works is…what?
So, our set-apart traditions often include a treat of Challah Bread, some bubbly juice, a candlelight dinner & a clean home. (I say, ‘often’, we do our best). Some weeks we order in or go out to a nice meal which helps with the relaxation, easy clean-up & satisfied bellies. But, somehow a home-cooked meal & a special dessert ring in our weekly holiday even more clearly. We have picked up traditions of our own over the years, like coloring pages for Naomi while we read scripture, special breakfasts, coffee sipping & the afternoon nap. Gathering with friends for picnics and kid-play is another regular event.
Our sabbath routine doesn’t always go undisturbed–life comes, things happen, the world around us exists & so we adapt. But the weeks in which we get our rhythmic finale, well they always seem a bit sweeter…
Mother-in-laws great ‘secret’ Challah Recipe: I don’t know why I don’t have a appetizing picture of challah–it’s so pretty. I’ll get on that.
- 61/2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 envelope quick rise yeast
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 11/2 cups warm water (1250-1350)
- Combine 51/2 cups flour, 1 envelope quick rise yeast, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Mix slowly.
- Add 3 tablespoons oil, 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix.
- Slowly add 11/2 cups warm (approx. 1300) water. Stir. Slowly add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time to form a dough. Usually 1 cup is needed, but may be more or less.
- Turn onto floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes).
- Grease bowl with vegetable oil. Place dough in bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or damp cloth. Set in a warm place to rise 1 hour or until doubled.
- Punch down. Cut in half. Knead each 2 minutes. Let rest 10 – 30 minutes until it rises slightly.
- Cut each piece into 5 sections (making 3 of them slightly larger then the other two). Roll the 3 large pieces into 12″ lengths. Braid the three pieces. Form the two smaller pieces into a braid. Tuck ends to gether. Repeat with other portions of dough. (note: this braiding is confusing at first. I generally just braid 4 strands)
- Place on greased baking sheet. Let rise 30 minutes, brush lightly with beaten egg; sprinkle with seeds.
- Bake 35-45 minutes at 350 F or until browned. Cool 5 minutes. Remove to wooden board. Cool 30 more minutes. (note: on convection at 330F I bake for 20-25 minutes & it’s done).