Snow and daffodils: the turning of the year.
The name of our local bakery is Les Délices de la Vallée, and I can’t conceive of one more suitable. This bakery is the heart of the village: warm and welcoming, with smiling friendly faces behind the counter, filled with golden light and the scent of bread in the rainy cold predawn hours, and on certain occasions the line runs out the door. And unlike other lines (say, the one at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles), this one is permeated with a sense of happy anticipation. It’s also a place to meet people, chat, and hear news.
This year my daughter is in 9th grade, and at her school it is, according to custom, the 9th grade girls who, garbed in long gowns and flower crowns, will tame the fierce dragon at the school’s Michaelmas festival this week. In honor of this event, I made for the first time a bread maiden to accompany our dragon bread. Perhaps it will become a new household tradition.
If you would like to make your own, here is the recipe I use (on last September’s post). I used 1-1/2 times the recipe for the two figures, which are about 14″ high. Happy Michaelmas, everyone!
Our household isn’t Jewish, but who can resist the triple attraction of challah, honey-dipped apples, and the seasonal call to work hard at becoming a better person? This year I attempted to follow Smitten Kitchen’s nice clear instructions for braiding the lovely six-strand loaf; however, mine still turned out disappointingly non-round…But my family ate it anyway. L’Shanah Tovah!