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Challah

What is it about food? Food and culture? Food and geography? My friend Janis talks about good ole fashioned southern cookin’, cracker cuisine. Who could argued when possum and cooter are in the index of the recipe book. For those uninformed….cooter is TURTLE…and a delicacy from the Bayou to the Everglades to the Okefenokee swamp. But food is also bound up in religion and faith. The myriad casserole dishes made for Protestant church potlucks. The variations of the sweet potato casserole a testament to its popularity. A casserole does not get embellished unless it is greatly loved. There are few things more satisfying than to trump Perfect Casserole Making Martha at the church function. The Catholic fish fry on Lenten Fridays is a staple, even a fundraiser. I think of loukamades at the Greek festival at my friend Julie’s Greek Orthodox church in Miami when we were all in high school (not to mention the ouzo).

In college I learn so much about Jewish food and the traditions of a Seder dinner or the breaking of a fast for the holidays. I will never like chopped liver. EVER. But lox, yes! A proper poppy seed bagel. Rugalah or Babka. And this past weekend I baked traditional Challah bread, a six braid bread and it came out perfectly.

The fact that I “schmeared” it with butter, pear conserve and added crumbled maple sausage (pork sausage) had to offend some universal force. What a shonda…..!

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