Monday, March 28, 2016

Pre-Passover Pause and Spring Cleaning

I will be baking bread, just taking a break from the 108 Bread project. Tradition stands in the way, though only for a few weeks. My personal ritual is to start cleaning the minute that the Jewish holiday of Purim is over, which is now, which means angst, planning, scrubbing, and dusting until the holiday of Passover begins. Oh and shopping for items we only eat during Passover or which are bread related, such as mayonnaise, and, in my house, require a crappy mass-produced kosher supermarket replacement that often gets tossed after the holiday.

Not enough time for maintaining a chametz-related - Hebrew word meaning leavened - blog.

Zero bread - but just for a week

Now the central culinary aspect of the week-long festival is the absence of bread, any bread-like product, and, for many Jews, a whole list of other foods. I won't go into details; otherwise this post would become a PhD thesis. All leavened products and crumbs - hence the spring cleaning - are out, unless I have banished them to a sealed closet or cabinet. 

As bread #89 will be a matzo and I do not eat matzo between Purim and the start of Passover, I will delay this next venture. I want the first taste of matzo during the first Passover seder to taste special; it's not law, it's mishegas (a Yiddish word for a kind pf personal craziness). Also, I would like to use my very chametz-related baking stone, which would render the home-baked matzo so unkosher for Passover that even the dog would refuse to eat it on the holiday and cause him to scream out about a complete sacrilege being committed. He would probably scream with a Yiddish accent, a la any older Brooklyn person or Bernie Sanders. 

Curiously enough, this respite also allows me to procrastinate a bit more for the last 18 breads of the 108 bread project, the challah quest. I promise to complete this and get onto other possibilities, like selling bread, or teaching bread baking, or writing a book about bread baking from the perspective of someone who lives a normal life, fantasizes about bakeries, but really is not fit for the uber-organized requirements of the baker life, such as getting up before 7 a.m.

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