07 December 2010

out of order but still giving thanks

Well, it has been a few weeks since Thanksgiving and I am still thankful for the large group of people that ended up filling our house last minute. It was literally a week before Thanksgiving and my husband and I looked at each other and thought, what are we doing for Thanksgiving? One thing lead to another and we ended up inviting 4 different families that didn't have any extended family here over to our house. The total head count was 19, 12 adults and 7 kids. I was extremely thankful for the last minute snow (see "let it snow" below) the morning of. It provided much needed entertainment for both the dogs and the kids that came to our house. We shoved them outside and they ran around and had snowball fights, climbed our trees and made a snowman. This being Aven's first Thanksgiving I was a little concerned about how much I would need to do while still giving her attention and taking care of her. Luckily I had a lot of extra hands and the meal was potluck style. I got away with only making a few things so it wasn't too stressful. I made my traditional Apple Pie (the "Legend"), Ham (thank you Costco), and Challah bread.

The bread is a family tradition in Abe's family. I have honestly always been intimidated about making it since Ilene (Abe's Mom) is SO awesome at it. I decided to give it a try. While I have learned some tips for next time, overall it turned out okay. I got lots of compliments and well, it was my first time so I will give myself some grace. Below is the recipe. It is a sweet bread that is not guilt free but is full of love and amazing taste. You don't have to even eat anything else with it it is so delicious on its own! Good luck if you try it yourself, and enjoy.

Ilene's Challah Recipe:
  • 2 Cups luke warm water
  • 3 packages yeast
  • 8 Cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks butter (1/2 pound)
  • 5 eggs, beaten (reserve one)
Mix water & yeast. Add sugar & 3 cups of flour. Mix and let rise for about 1/2 hour. In a separate bowl, combine 5 cups of flour, salt and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add butter & cut into flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Add eggs & yeast mixture to flour mixture. You can add up to 2 cups of flour if the dough is still sticky. Let the dough rise for 2 hours, punch and rest. Shape the dough into braided loaves (2 large loaves or 4 small loaves), and let rise again at least 2 hours until the dough about doubles in size. Brush on the reserved egg over the top and bake at 325 for about 30-45 minutes until the top crust is a golden brown. Adjust time for size of loaf and desired texture.

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