Last month I neglected to credit the author of the recipe used for my maiden challah making experience: The one and only Melissa Clark (IG @Clarkbar) from the oft-referenced New York Times Cooking website.
This untraditional loaf called for olive oil, fresh squeezed orange juice as well as a bit of orange zest. Because I'm slow on the uptake the orange flavor surprised at first bite; stil, the bread itself was delicious and texture - lovely. All in all, we called it a very solid effort on my part. Although the strong orange attributes threatened to overwhelm my palate’s expectations, I couldn't stop eating it, neither could marvelous Mia who shared my feeling about the citrusy presence.
The following week, I decided to work with the same recipe, with my own adjustments: Omitting all things orange and replacing it with honey.
After spending too much time living in the overwhelm - that’s probably most of us, am I right? - it’s really easy to feel comfortable in that familiar space of chaotic and reactive living. Those of you whom know me really well, know this way of living has been a theme for me long before the crapfest a.k.a. 2020. Anyhoo...after a particularly emotionally grueling few days, I felt ready for some kind of reset.
Friday, October 16th: In typical Toni-fashion, the intention to follow my 7AM physical therapy session with a few errands and a lot of work on Toni’s Table, followed by a few hours in the kitchen preparing Friday Night dinner turned into a melee of many errands bringing me home much later in the day with a sudden urge to clean the house (procrastination, anyone?) delivering me to a critical junction: Start the work I intended to do and should have been working on at 9 AM, or start dinner in order to eat before 11PM (you don’t wanna know how often that happens). An unassuming query from Marvelous Mia ("When will dinner actually be ready?") helped clarify my decision. [remember the aforementioned 11PM meals!]
The year end portion of The Momma Mia Tour 2018, while fraught with mishaps, miscommunications, and maladies of a physical nature, still managed to delight and engage Mia and myself on multiple levels. If you follow my sporadic social media presence the fact that Marvelous Mia spent her fall semester studying in Denmark comes as no surprise. She thrived during her months in Copenhagen. I visited for a brief moment, getting to switch places with my newly minted world traveler - but that’s another post altogether. Before taking off for Scandinavia Mia mentioned the prospect of taking extra time to continue her European experience. Actually… her statement fell somewhere between an inquiry and a demand. No matter - She could have ended her request with the surliest of attitudes and nastiest name-calling (not that she ever would; apparently mine is the only potty mouth in this family) and I still would have fallen over myself trying to make reservations.
DATELINE 4 December 2018 - As a kid growing up on Long Island, my favorite cookies arrived pre-packaged from the local A&P or, more often than not, from my mother’s grocery runs to the commissary one town over in Hempstead’s Mitchell Fielid. Our household favorites rotated between Mallomars (my brother) Chips Ahoy (sister & mother) and Fudge Town (your’s truly).
That my mother died after suddenly suffering a stroke during a last -minute trip to the commissary did little tamper my appetite for cookies, or food, for that matter.