The Jew & the Carrot: A Blog about Jews, Food & Sustainability
A Forward & Hazon Partnership
Iceberg lettuce. Pink tomatoes. Bottled dressing. The salad of my youth, a requisite part of every meal, was all that I knew, and I liked it. Start the meal with a slice of melon or half a grapefruit, move on to the iceberg salad, and then a main course.
Biting into a hamburger these days often comes with a hearty side dish of guilt — and not just because it’s loaded with saturated fat.
As summer approaches, many of us wax nostalgic about the years we spent at summer camp. But when someone utters the words “camp food,” it does not usually evoke pleasant memories. For camp veterans, those two words bring back disturbing recollections of rubbery cold cuts, stale bread and the infamous neon-colored “bug juice.”
Once a month, I teach a class in baking challah. There are no machines involved. The (adult) students and I gather the ingredients, proof the yeast, mix in the flour and sugar, eggs and honey, salt and oil. Month in month out, we work off of the same recipe and turn and twist, punch and knead, fold and braid. And never has the resulting bread tasted the same as the batch made the month before. Each challah, like each of us, is unique. Just as we are a mixture of nature and nurture, so too is the finished challah a mixture of the measured ingredients and the care those ingredients received. For challah, I have come to see, while clearly bread that we eat, is also a metaphor for life.