A Jolly Challah-Day!

 

“Oh, it’s a jolly challah-day with Susan, Susan makes your ‘eart so light!” OMG. Apologies for the appalling pun, to you, to @susanquinn, to Mister Susan, to the brothers Sherman who wrote the music and lyrics for Mary Poppins, and above all, to everyone who reads this, wherever you are, for inflicting upon you Dick Van Dyke’s excruciatingly embarrassing (embarrassingly excruciating?) excuse for a Cockney accent. Born within the sounds of Bow Bells, he most certainly was not:

I recently spent a restorative few days in the company of Ricochet member Susan Quinn and her husband. They were kind enough to share their lives and their lovely home with me, and I’ve rarely felt more welcomed or enjoyed myself so much. I’d like to say a very public “thank you,” right here and right now, to Susan and Mister. And all those of you who know where Susan lives, please don’t beat up on us for not organizing a meetup. Consider this a dry” run (more about that later; I’ll try not to get so digressive I forget to circle back around.  LOL, if you’re me.). Without letting too many cats out of the bag, for those of you who don’t know where Susan lives, I’ll just say that it seems to me that she lives in the land of perpetual sunshine. And speaking as a person whose best friend texted her upon her return saying “welcome back to gray,” I appreciated the hell out of 72 hours of sunshine, which is probably more, in toto, than I’ll see between now and the middle of April.

One of the lovely things we did (pace the others, such as the spectacular bird-watching, the walks, the relaxing “down-time,” the knitting rescues, the interesting conversations about world travel, and so much else) was our Friday morning experimental baking of the challah loaf.

I’m a pretty experienced bread and dough-maker, but not-so-much in the area of egg-laden, sweetened breads. I’m a nonpareil (in my own mind, at least) with French bread and pizza dough, but this was something different. Honey. Eggs. Braids (something I’d only ever done with hair to this point). But what the hay, right? RosietheRiveter

So, after a good breakfast, we got going. With this recipe, I think it was.

Here be Susan, mixing and measuring.

 

And our heroine, yet again, kneading for dear life.  (Pro tip:  It’s not a matter of life or death. Relax . . .)

 

Getting ready to rise.  Aren’t we all?

We is/are riz!

Applying the egg wash, expertly.

Wow!  Challah Day!

If I may, I’d like to address the “lurkers” and the new members who aren’t participating much yet: Friends, this is why I “Ricochet.” Not for the politics. Not for the trolls. Not for the antagonism. Not even for the occasional insults and embarrassments (and there have been some over the almost ten years that I’ve been a member–you can’t win ’em all, as they say). Still, as they (also) say, She persists. And the reason I do is for the connections. For the friendship. For the community. For the love. 

My personal circumstances at the moment are such that it’s difficult for me to travel much without a great deal of advance planning. And I’ve found people here who are willing to help with, and to accommodate me. (You know who you are.) Try that with people you’ve never met IRL on Facebook. Or Twitter. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

Thank you, Ricochet. And, above all else, thank you, @peterrobinson, and @susanquinn. I couldn’t do much for you, but you may have saved me. And that’s the definition of a friend. If Samuel Johnson didn’t say (and I don’t think he did, although he is often credited with having done so): “the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good” then he should have.

PS: I promised I wouldn’t let you down, remember? Regarding that dry” run I mentioned earlier: My suggestion would be that if you’re planning an event anywhere in the area (dry or not), you simply put Mister Susan in charge of the bar. Missus Mister Susan and I tested this proposition out quite thoroughly during our time together, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you follow my advice. 

Just sayin’ 😉

 

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  1. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    Loved this post!  I have met Mr. and Mrs Susan – and I also can attest to the wonderful weather you are speaking of!  I have to say Lucy and Ethel couldn’t have done a better job – that bread looks scrumptious!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw1zHk4oQFM

     

    • #1
  2. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    What did you have on the Challah?

    I had Challah for the first time in a Chicago Farmer’s Market. 

     

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Thank you, dear She! What a lovely post. But you are absolutely untruthful on this quote, whoever made it:

    “the true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” She was amazing in helping me with the challahs–brilliant, in fact! She added all kinds of hints that were not in the recipe, and she offered encouragement when I apologized for my pathetic kneading. She also figured out a mistake I had made on a sweater, ripped it back to the mistake, knitted it correctly backwards and fixed it beautifully. I can’t wait to give it a wash and lay it out.

    Plus we really did have a lovely time getting to know each other better, laughing and baking. On Sunday, Mr. Susan made us french toast with leftover challah–yum! Thanks, She, for gracing our home.

    • #3
  4. James Gawron Thatcher
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    She:

    Applying the egg wash, expertly.

    Wow! Challah Day!

    My Ladies,

    Wow! I can just taste that challah. Yum! What a flavor.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    What did you have on the Challah?

    I had Challah for the first time in a Chicago Farmer’s Market.

     

    Just. . . plain . . . butter! Although we had butter and syrup on the french toast.

    • #5
  6. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    Loved this post! I have met Mr. and Mrs Susan – and I also can attest to the wonderful weather you are speaking of! I have to say Lucy and Ethel couldn’t have done a better job – that bread looks scrumptious!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw1zHk4oQFM

    Yep.  You would understand the differentiation in the weather, I’m pretty sure . . . 

    • #6
  7. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    Lovely! The bread, the bread-makers, and the sentiment – all lovely.

    • #7
  8. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Now I’m hungry.

    • #8
  9. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):
     

    What did you have on the Challah?

    You don’t need anything on challah, really. A glass of buttermilk on the side would be nice.

    • #9
  10. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    What did you have on the Challah?

    You don’t need anything on challah, really. A glass of buttermilk on the side would be nice.

    Slightly off topic: I tried Susan’s suggestion of pumpernickel bread, lemon hummus, and smoked salmon for lunch.  It was delicious.

    Am slightly irritated that, upon returning home, lemon hummus is not one of my options in the local grocery store.  So, am going to vamp, and see if I can recreate something of same.  Will report back.  But, if all options are available, please try.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    What did you have on the Challah?

    You don’t need anything on challah, really. A glass of buttermilk on the side would be nice.

    Slightly off topic: I tried Susan’s suggestion of pumpernickel bread, lemon hummus, and smoked salmon for lunch. It was delicious.

    Am slightly irritated that, upon returning home, lemon hummus is not one of my options in the local grocery store. So, am going to vamp, and see if I can recreate something of same. Will report back. But, if all options are available, please try.

    Add lemon to plain old hummus until you get there, I suppose. Can’t take much.

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Percival (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    What did you have on the Challah?

    You don’t need anything on challah, really. A glass of buttermilk on the side would be nice.

    Slightly off topic: I tried Susan’s suggestion of pumpernickel bread, lemon hummus, and smoked salmon for lunch. It was delicious.

    Am slightly irritated that, upon returning home, lemon hummus is not one of my options in the local grocery store. So, am going to vamp, and see if I can recreate something of same. Will report back. But, if all options are available, please try.

    Add lemon to plain old hummus until you get there, I suppose. Can’t take much.

    That’s my plan.  We’ll see if it works.

    • #12
  13. ShaunaHunt Inactive
    ShaunaHunt
    @ShaunaHunt

    Now I need some challah! Yum!

    • #13
  14. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Challah looks like a loaf-size version of the butter knot rolls Mrs. B makes on occasion. It must be quite delicious.

    • #14
  15. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Fantastic!

    • #15
  16. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    BTW, Mrs. iWe makes a mean challah – but Susan, who comes for Passover, never has tried it! Other Ricochetti who have graced our table Friday nights….

    • #16
  17. Suspira Member
    Suspira
    @Suspira

    She: Dick Van Dyke’s excruciatingly embarrassing (embarrassingly excruciating?) excuse for a Cockney accent. Born within the sounds of Bow Bells, he most certainly was not

    Wonderful post and the 🥖looks delicious. But I want to take a moment in defense of Van Dyke and his faker-than-fake accent. I wasn’t aware it was so awful for many years. I just enjoyed the character and the singing and dancing. But here’s the thing—a genuine Cockney accent would have been unintelligible to American audiences. Now that so many Brit-shows have abandoned the Universal Masterpiece Theatre articulation, we are treated to the authentic speech of the U.K. It’s wonderful in its (I suppose) authenticity, but I’m constantly whining “What did he say?”

    Thank goodness for the rewind button. But going back one, two, three times to try to discern a bit of dialogue plays merry hell with the concentration and the fictive dream.

    • #17
  18. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Suspira (View Comment):

    She: Dick Van Dyke’s excruciatingly embarrassing (embarrassingly excruciating?) excuse for a Cockney accent. Born within the sounds of Bow Bells, he most certainly was not

    Wonderful post and the 🥖looks delicious. But I want to take a moment in defense of Van Dyke and his faker-than-fake accent. I wasn’t aware it was so awful for many years. I just enjoyed the character and the singing and dancing. But here’s the thing—a genuine Cockney accent would have been unintelligible to American audiences. Now that so many Brit-shows have abandoned the Universal Masterpiece Theatre articulation, we are treated to the authentic speech of the U.K. It’s wonderful in its (I suppose) authenticity, but I’m constantly whining “What did he say?”

    Thank goodness for the rewind button. But going back one, two, three times to try to discern a bit of dialogue plays merry hell with the concentration and the fictive dream.

    Oh, I loved the movie when it came out.  And I know what you mean about what used to be called “received pronunciation” and the fact that so many British shows now have become almost unintelligible–even to many Brits, who feel the same way about it, and complain just as loudly as folks in this country do.

    The funny thing is that the only “Cockney” (if you stretch the definition just slightly) in a lead role in the movie was Julie Andrews, who was born about 15 miles from the center of London.  I read somewhere that when she took on the role of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady on Broadway she had to have a “dialect” coach.  I’m not sure if it was because her Cockney accent was so thick people were afraid it would be unintelligible, or if it didn’t conform to people’s idea about what a Cockney should sound like.  Odd, though. 

    Here she is at the age of 13 singing God Save the King, for George VI.  Her voice gets lost in the second part of the verse, until the last note, when you can hear her an octave (two octaves?) above everyone else.

    • #18