When I was a kid, we didn’t have “normal” foods in the house. For “normal” foods like poptarts or Kudos breakfast bars I would have to go to my best friend’s house down the street. I thought carob was just bad chocolate until I was about ten when I wizened up. According to my mother, everything had MSG. So I was forced to drink the organic sodas (i.e. flavored seltzer) and eat tofu pudding. Her tofu spaghetti was what I disliked the most.
Tofu spaghetti, you may ask, is exactly what it sounds like: Make some spaghetti (in her case, it was probably soba or whole grain too), then make a marinara sauce, and mix it up with crumbly tofu. Serve. My sister loved tofu spaghetti! In fact, everyone seemed to love tofu spaghetti…twenty years later I am still convinced I was being punked.
So when I came home one day when I was eleven years old and wanted to make a challah, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that we didn’t make any regular challah, but a whole wheat sugar free challah. It was a complete and utter failure. Have you ever tried to have yeast rise without sugar? I can’t even remember if we gave it the time to fully rise or it very obviously didn’t, so my mother kindly “lied” to me and said it was supposed to look like that. We left it on the counter for the second rise for hours while we went out for dinner. When we returned, it almost looked necrotic.
I decided from that moment on that I would never bake challah ever again.
But something about being away from home, I forgot about my failed challah… There’s a metaphor in here somewhere… Read the rest of this entry »