I had a short week. My brother came on Sunday from Pittsburgh and left on Monday morning -- so naturally, Monday seemed like a weekend day. Delete.
The rest of the week I have spent literally at the dining room table, sorting through the never-ending photos and papers that my mother has kept since the 1930's...and papers of my grandmother's that she has kept. It has been a world of memories and discoveries. I found a copy of my grandmother's birth certificate. Not only was her actual birthdate a day later than she celebrated, but her mother's maiden name was totally different than she had told me. My great-great grandmother was married twice and my great-grandmother was from the first husband, who died. It was the second husband's name that Nanny told me. Nope!
I have also been cooking for Rosh Hashanah, which begins Sunday night. Family dinner at this house (if I succeed in clearing the dining table, as above). My children and grands and my mother will be here to see the Jewish New Year in with me. Because we want a sweet year ahead, we will have apples and honey at the beginning of the dinner. Challahs are sweet, too - and round at this holiday, instead of braided.
There are several possible reasons, as I discovered when I did a little searching...
Round challahs are unique to the High Holiday season. Some say they
represent a crown that reflects our coronating God as the King of the
Others suggest that the circular shape points to the cyclical nature of the year. The Hebrew word for year is "shana,"
which comes from the Hebrew word "repeat." Perhaps the circle
illustrates how the years just go round and round. But Rosh Hashana
challahs are not really circles; they are spirals…
Ha - the last time I baked a challah for New Year's, my children told me they liked the store-bought one better. I am just irked enough to try it again.
Have I done my art all week? Nah. But tonight I have auditioned a few backgrounds for a piece I have been working on. These are two of them - but I am far from finished doing tryouts.