The pandemic has made it difficult and sometimes scary for family and friends to gather around the same table to enjoy not just a delicious meal together, but the nourishment of one another's company. In this beautiful essay, Benjamin Dubow reflects on the process of baking challah each week for his Friday evening Shabbat meal using a sourdough starter lovingly called "Orlando," a living, breathing being that evolves as Dubow experiments with his recipe. Come for the bread, stay for the story, and revel in the fellowship and community.
Orlando and I have been working on this challah recipe since we moved to Ames two summers ago. I started with other recipes, including my sister’s and Joan Nathan’s, and tasted what they were about. Then, we tinkered.
To make the bread more tender, I’ve added more oil, a bit more sugar, a couple more eggs — and good ones at that. I try to use the best eggs I can find, eggs befitting a holy bread. The ones I get from Ron & Kristine up in Hubbard from chickens raised on Central Iowan pasture beam with sunlight transmuted into liquid gold. The yolks are nearly orange (the product of their foraged, insect-heavy diet) and color the dough so bright a yellow it looks as though I’ve added turmeric. Now, when I make challah with other eggs — even the nice ones I sometimes get from the co-op when my poultry people are out — the dough looks sad and wan by comparison. Unilluminated.
Then, of course, there is the added component of Orlando, whose presence in this Sabbath bread brings home for me the concept of shalom, though I can’t tell you exactly why that is the case. (Shalom means peace, shalom means welfare.) Only that the feeling I get when we bake together, and especially when we bake challah together, is the same sort of feeling I get when I’m home with my family for Shabbos. (Shalom means wholeness, means harmony.) This, too, I cannot quite describe. Just that I feel a particular warmth in my heart and stomach, cheeks and toes. (Shalom is also used as a salutation — on the Sabbath, for instance, we say: Shabbat shalom.)
I think we’re pretty darn close to where it wants to be. In distinction to our usual sourdough loaf, our challah has a soft crust (though it still could be even softer) and a finer, closer crumb, the lattice of strands more braided pillow than agglutinated web.
You can trigger chain reactions to make anything you want happen. You want your annoying neighbors to leave their house? Just think about it while launching a paper plane out the window, and fate will work things out.
Your last "wish" was a week ago and the chain reaction is still going on.
Is the character of the month initiative a tumblr exclusive? Because I follow the official accounts on all social media and I didn't notice this anywhere else. Why just tumblr? Anyways, I love it
Thank you for your question and the nice words!
We wanted to respond to your question publicly since we've seen more people with this question.
In short: Yes, this initiative is a Tumblr exclusive and is not run on our other official social media channels. Why? We love it here and we think it fits this platform very well to do more long-form content. The team that runs this account kept seeing the love for the characters, romances & story lines and wanted to do something small to pay homage to that.
my favourite thing about the Abed Leaves timeline in Remedial Chaos Theory is that when he comes back he's completely unaware of the emotional tension in the apartment, but he fully heard Troy call Pierce a "sick, sad old man, and I hope you die alone." like. he walks into someone calling Pierce a terrible person and he's just like "yeah ok. whats new" fkskfn
May 13, 2021 - Immigration cops tried to arrest two men in Glasgow, Scotland, on the day of Eid. A huge crowd of locals in the area of Pollokshields, chanting “these are our neighbours, let them go!”, turned up and boxed the police van in for seven hours, withstanding attempts by police to break through the crowd, until the cops were forced to let the two men go. [video]/[article]
c.s. lewis / my best friend by the coral / @slugspoon (alivia horsley) / @billypotts / hanya yanagihara / ‘after party ll’ salman toor / the kids aren’t alright by fall out boy / a summer’s tale / lorde / hanya yanagihara / abed and troy (community) with a winnie the pooh quote @weelezzer / isabel norton
As I've previously mentioned, my grandmother grew up on a farm in Småland.
Her father had hired a farmhand to help with the cattle and the farm work. The farmhand had a disabled brother named Gunnar.
This was back in the 1930s, so Gunnar didn't have any diagnosis or anything. But his body simply didn't allow him to do heavy lifting and physically demanding jobs. He also seems to have had a poor immune system. And so he struggled to make a living. Working as a farmhand was one of very few career opportunities for a man with no (formal) education back then. (At least in that area.)
So the able-bodied brother asked if Gunnar could come and work on the farm, despite not being able to do hard manual labor. And my great-grandfather agreed to this.
Gunnar started helping my great-grandmother around the house. He was physically unable to do "a man's job", but he turned out to be incredibly good at "women's" work. My great-grandmother had been feeling lonely, working alone in a big farmhouse all day. Gunnar didn't just help lessen the burden of running a household. Him and my great-grandmother became close friends. They talked and sang and drank coffee in the comfortable silence between people who truly know, trust and love eachother.
My grandmother was an only child for most of her childhood, and Gunnar was her best friend. He always had time to tell her a story, or to play with her, or to just let her sit in his lap while he drank his coffee. And she loved him to bits.
According to my grandmother, nobody could tell as good stories and fairy tales as Gunnar. He had a way of bringing any story to life, to make you feel like you were there, with the prince in the enchanted castle. (He also accidentally put her off eating liquorice for an entire lifetime, but that's a story for another day.)
I never got to meet Gunnar. He died when I was just a child. (My grandmother actually brought me along to the funeral.) But despite never having met him, I still feel like I know him, because my grandmother has told me so much about him.
The only thing she didn't tell me about until very recently was his disability.
Because it simply didn't matter. Not to her, and not to the rest of the family. He wasn't "the disabled one" - he was just Gunnar. And if Gunnar couldn't do heavy lifting, someone else could do it so what did it matter?
Gunnar had his own responsibilities on the farm. He was allowed to work and contribute to the survival of the farm pretty much on his own terms. He wasn't forced (or expected) to do things that hurt his body. He was allowed to focus on the things that he could do, and he was respected for doing them.
Gunnar was not a burden. Gunnar was a skilled and diligent worker. He was also a good friend and a loving member of the family.
I wanted to share this story with y'all because I feel like this is a perspective on disability that's almost never brought up.