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Food

Times of Need and Kneading: On Making Challah When Nothing Else Helps

I pinched off a small piece of the dough, wrapped it in aluminum foil, and cupped it in my hands. I closed my eyes and gave thanks for my blessings, my husband and my beautiful daughter, and asked God to watch over and protect them. I threw the parcel into the bottom of the hot oven and returned to the table to braid two challot for Shabbat. It was the first time I had ever made challah and the first peace I had felt all week.

Lena Horne in the kitchen, cropped

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Lena Horne in the kitchen.
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Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

Lena Horne in the kitchen.

This Shavuot, I’m Ditching the Cheesy Recipes

I feel a certain amount of discomfort in posting on JWA’s blog the glowing, cheerful recipes so common this time of year. As a Jewish organization that focuses on women’s history and feminism, what does it mean to fill our blog with recipes for baked goods and brisket? Though we boast an increasingly robust number of male readers, JWA reaches mainly women. Do I want to bombard them with tips for cooking for a large family during the holidays? No, not really.

Lena Horne

-lena_horne_conserves_fuel_gas.-_ca._1941_-_ca._1945_-_nara_-_535820.jpg
Lena Horne in the kitchen.
Rights
Creative Commons (attribution non-commercial share alike)

Lena Horne in the kitchen.

Related content:

Jean Nidetch, Diet Queen

Every woman in my family has been on a diet for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of family parties: everyone surrounded by lovingly prepared dishes, saying “oh god, I shouldn’t eat this” and “I’m not eating carbs right now” as they piled their plates with lasagna and bread. That was the deal: diets weren’t really adhered to, but they were talked about incessantly.

Jean Nidetch circa 1965

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Founder and director of Weight Watchers Inc. Jean Nidetch poses for a before and after portrait circa 1965 in New York City, New York.
Courtesy of Michael Ochs/Getty Images.
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Public Domain

Founder and director of Weight Watchers Inc. Jean Nidetch poses for a before and after portrait circa 1965 in New York City, New York.

Courtesy of Michael Ochs/Getty Images.

Related content:

Marjorie Shostak

Despite a lack of formal training as an anthropologist, Marjorie Shostak wrote one of the most popular life histories in the field, Nisa: The Life and Words of a !Kung Woman, in 1981.

Book Review: Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months

Exclamations of pride and wonder filled the room when we filed into the kitchen and found that the dough we had carefully mixed and kneaded had successfully grown into two pillowy, pungent loaves. Pulling off an olive-sized piece of dough, I recited the blessing “Blessed are you, God, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to separate challah.” Laughing and singing, we split the dough and began forming it into loaves.

Etta King Kneads Dough for Spiritual Kneading

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Women at the Moishe Kavod House knead challah dough for the Rosh Chodesh/New Moon gathering.
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JWA use only on jwa.org

Women at the Moishe Kavod House knead challah dough for the Rosh Chodesh/New Moon gathering.

Etta King Explains Spiritual Kneading

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Etta King explains Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months: Building the Sacred Through Challah at the Moishe Kavod House for the Rosh Chodesh/New Moon gathering.
Rights
JWA use only on jwa.org

Etta King explains Spiritual Kneading Through the Jewish Months: Building the Sacred Through Challah at the Moishe Kavod House for the Rosh Chodesh/New Moon gathering.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Food." (Viewed on February 10, 2016) <http://jwa.org/topics/food>.

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