Tag Archives: challah

Dreidel Challah, Menorah Challah

menorah challah, dreidel challah

When Hanukkah and Shabbat coincide, the challah deserves a thematic tweak.  The preschooler and I made a big Menorah Challah and a few little Dreidels.

We learned that using food dye to color the “flames” orange is not worth the trouble.  After the challah is baked, the food color merges with the golden egg wash.  But it was fun to try, and now we have orange palms for the rest of the day. Continue reading

Miniatures for Rosh Hashanah (Lego and Playmobil): not a how-to, but a Why

Playmobil Rosh Hashanah: clay Yemenite kudu shofar,  ram shofar, round raisin challah, apple slices

Playmobil Rosh Hashanah: clay Yemenite kudu shofar, ram shofar, round raisin challah, apple slices

This site is about kids and parents spending Jewish time together making stuff that is fun, cute (kitschy counts as cute), cheap, and most of the time, functional.  I aim for kid-centric.  I like to help even toddlers participate in holiday prep.

But making Jewish holiday accoutrements for Lego and Playmobil figures out of polymer clay, I admit, comes close to crossing a line. My preschooler can do little more than make freeform shapes and blobby ovoids, and when presented with more than one color of clay will gleefully end up with gradations of grey.  Still, because scale and verisimilitude have not really occurred to him yet, he has a great time “making useful things” for his figurines.

Relativity: Playmobil, Duplo and Lego

Scale and verisimilitude is my dealie. Whilst the child next to me has fun rolling and smashing and pinching and blending, I get to make miniature accessories to outfit three communities of toys in our home: Duplo, Lego and Playmobil. And of course, they all celebrate the Jewish holidays.

One more note in my defense: this stuff is fun for older kids, too. Even surly preteens Continue reading

Mini Shofar, Challah and Apples for Rosh Hashanah (polymer clay)

polymer clay apples, challah, shofars

polymer clay apples, challah, shofars

Twee, yes, but groovy: the Duplo Rosh Hashanah.  This is what happens when I find a baggie of clay at a yard sale—random Fimo and Sculpey packs already opened, slightly hairy, and obviously from the Year Gimmel—right around the time when we determine that our Duplo people just don’t have what for Rosh Hashanah.  Now they have what. Continue reading

Rosh Hashanah Craft: the Pantyhose Challah

pantyhose challah / real honey

pantyhose challah / real honey

Not much could prompt me to create anything, much less photograph and post it, after a rainy, three-day weekend at home with an “energetic” 4 year-old and a migraine, but Homeshuling‘s post just did.

In her Craft Projects for Rosh Hashana roundup, she generously mentions two of mine: the edible honey bowl and the blessings placemat. Then, she issues a challenge. Could someone please create and send a pic of a round stuffed challah made from pantyhose,  as per the directions at Akhlah.com?  Well, since I already have a pantyhose challah on display in the dining room (made 13 years ago by my older kid), and since I already have a packet of “suntan” Legg’s knee-hi’s leftover from a Purim project (more on this later), and since I am willing to sacrifice an ancient bedpillow to harvest the still virginal polyfill, I accepted the challenge.  (And, I did this knowing how much the craft resembles something Amy Sedaris should include in a sequel to Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People.)

Heads-Up: stuffing knee-hi pantyhose  with polyfill is not the easiest task for anyone with fine-motor challenges.  My preschooler  thought it was as much fun as putting on his own socks. I thought it Continue reading

Jewish Mommy Meme

On May 23rd, blogger HomeShuling tagged me for her meme: a word I had to look up and still don’t know what it means.  Basically, HomeShuling sent six Shabbat-related questions out to several Jewish Mom Bloggers and the world at large, with a view to the construction of a virtual Shabbat.  To me, the method constitutes an online chain letter, which I normally shun (having been raised to think they are always suspect in some insidious way) but this time happily answered.  No secret agenda here, just community.  

My answers are below.  Feel free to add your own in a comment.  They really are good questions, and I’d love to know the answers from many a mom.


1. Challah – home baked or bought?

    “Challah is taken” here in Nashville, but the bakeries churn out loaves lacking that certain Jewish something. We actually have one certified kosher challah source, but I never remember to get over to the Ortho shul in time to nab one. So we bake. If I run out of frozen extras, I bake cornbread in an iron skillet (and pretend it qualifies for a motzi).….

2. Favorite shabbat meal:

        Fried chicken, mashed potatoes (not whipped), overcooked spinach, fresh Bradley tomato slices, iced tea.

3. Any creative shabbat rituals?

        We sing the kiddush super loud and bang on the table during the latter part. Having dinner together is the real ritual, as it doesn’t happen every day. We wear our special kippot and use the kid-generated challah covers (on a rotating schedule).

4. Shul? With or without the kids? (yes, I know some of you are rabbis)

    Never on Fridays unless there is a special kid service. On Saturdays we go if one of us is reading Torah or if we are feeling particularly guilty about the Toddler missing shul. He loves synagogue and would go all day every day. I am allergic to sermons.

5. Traditionally shomer shabbat? If not, what’s your definition/style?

        Our style is always changing, but our ideal is a proper Shabbes dinner, sticking with the family and keeping the computer OFF for 24 hrs.

6. Favorite shabbat story/book

        Friday nights get Shalom Aleichem (the song, not the pseudonym) and Jewish books….even holiday books half a year off schedule. I would LOVE to have a toddler-friendly Shabbat book. A real story. Like Mrs. Moskowitz (by Amy Schwartz), but for shorter attention spans. As it is, we make do with things like DK’s My First Shabbat Book, the old See Smell and Touch Shabbat (so old it no longer smells), and the aforementioned holiday books.

His First Challah


My Shabbes dinner may have failed, but one of its many mishaps led to an unexpected success. Remember the challah dough that refused to rise? I couldn’t bear to throw it away, so I put it in the fridge, thinking it might rise slowly anyway. It did. On Sunday morning, when reaching in for the organic margarine, I noticed that the rubbery lump had puffed into a convincing mound. Continue reading