Today I decided to bake my favorite whole wheat challah. What motivated me? Not sure. Maybe it was the act of creating something yummy and healthy with my hands. Or maybe my motive was that wholesome wheaty smell that would permeate my home. Maybe I simply wanted to bake a food item to give to my various hosts. Probably, it was all those reasons.

The process was calming – there was a predictable plan with set ingredients and tools. Kneading the dough was actually relaxing.

Then there was the creative side: How would I form the bread? Rolls? Loaves? Would I form circular loaves or rectangles? Usually, I chose rolls. They are easy to form and are a convenient size. This time I chose different shapes. (Daring, I know!) So I have rolls, a round loaf and two standard rectangle loaves.

On one hand, it was a bit lonely, knowing that I could no longer share this bread with Herschel (who preferred white challah, anyway; yes, I made that, too!). On the other had, I’m looking forward – to sharing this wholesome, warm treat with others.

Baking the challah bread showed me that I’m learning to balance the past as I move into the future. I wonder what form the future will take? Circular? Rectangle? Or some different, unusual shape?

♦ ♦ ♦

A practical note. For a great challah bread guide – great photos and recipes – check out A Taste of Challah by Tamar Ansh.

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