GREEK CABBAGE SLAW

I've been told I'm a great salad maker. It's a weird thing to be proud of, but damn am I proud of it. If there's one that gets a bad rap it's salads. I think the American food system has made people associate salads with sad iceberg lettuce, pieces or purple cabbage and mushy tomatoes doused in ranch or Thousand Island dressing. 

Sad, indeed.

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CHALLAH FOR BODY AND SOUL (OR YEAST MEETS WEST, FROM DAD)

Today's post is written by none other than Rina's amazing mama bear, Ruth! Welcome to the blog, Mama Gato.

Rina always stood on the little green stool.  I stood behind her, her crazy curls tickling my nose as she stretched her tiny fingers to reach the kneading bowl. My grown up hands guided her child hands.  Palm down, fold and turn, palm down, fold and turn, again and again. If the dough was too sticky Rina would make monster fingers with the tacky mess, and I would slowly add small pinches of flour to the bowl.  “Does it feel like an earlobe, yet?”  When Rina’s crazy curls bobbed up and down I would announce, “Then it’s done!”

That was how we made challah every Friday after nursery school.  I showed Rina how to check an egg for blood spots, how to wake up the yeast with warm water and feed it with sugar and then proof it— wait patiently (or not so patiently) for it to froth in the bowl.  This, Rina understood, was what it meant to “make Shabbos.”  The Sabbath did not come on it’s own—if we wanted Friday night to become Shabbos, then we had to make it so. We had to invite the guests, shop for groceries, prepare the meal and set the table.  In this way we transformed the mundane into the holy. A key step to turning an ordinary end-of-the-week dinner into a Shabbos feast was to bake the challah.

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