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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

The challah is rising.

I don’t remember how long it has been since I baked challah. Maybe as far back as Christmas or last Rosh Hashanah. Very sad, but I don’t bake it as much as I used to. Not even with my new amazing Kitchen Aid mixer. I just don’t find the time.

It is a shame, because if anything gets me into a spiritual place, it is baking challah.

No really.

Kneading bread by hand for 5 to 10 minutes. Starting with salt, flour, eggs, water, sugar, yeast and oil and then being able to feed people a mere six hours later. It is an amazing feeling. Really it is.

S

o right now I have some challah rising in the oven, some water boiling on the stove for dinner, a glass of wine and my computer. Making some cheesy pasta, not macaroni and cheese.

The New Year is upon us. In a few days we’ll celebrate Rosh Hashanah. I’m still without firm plans. This year I don’t have the illusion of romance that I had the last two years. No expectations are tied up in the loaves of challah I’ll make. No expectations that will be dashed when he doesn’t pick up his challah. There really isn’t a he this year and that might be a good thing.

I mean there is… there is a distraction. There is a man whom I care for very much, but there is no expectation that he’ll by for challah on Rosh Hashanah or that he’ll break my heart when he calls to say, “You know, this thing happened and I can’t come for the challah you made with loving intentions.” I won’t be sitting in my kitchen with a room of friends trying to pretend that my heart didn’t just fall with a crash through my stomach and shatter on the tile floor.

That might be why I haven’t made much challah in the last year. So much was tied to my baking last year and the year before. It seemed so clear and now seems so foolish. Most men don’t see love in a loaf of bread, they see bread that happens to taste especially delicious.

And the man that does see love in my challah? I’m waiting.

I’m waiting, but I’m not really looking. I shrug when I open the Craigslist personals these days, more out of habit than hope. I don’t even drop by Jdate to have a looksie. I’m just not looking. In part, because I’m distracted and in part… who knows why else in part. I’m just not. He’ll come when we’re ready. Until then I’ll bake challah for friends and be distracted when I can.

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