when you can wake up and brush your teeth. Such a simple thing, yet it's
probably the one thing that makes you human enough in the morning to engage with
other humans. You can wear pajamas all day and stick a baseball cap on your mop
of unwashed hair and you will still have friends. But don't brush your teeth,
and forget it. Nobody will talk to you. So I guess that brushing teeth is really
the first beautiful mitzvah (or good deed) one can do, bein adam
l'chaveiro*, after Yom Kippur.
Sunday was a busy day. By 9am, we had four batches of challah dough rising
on the counter. We should be good for challah until the week after
Succot. I feel good just saying that. And I also feel good because the last dish
that I used to prepare for Yom Kippur was washed by 9:30am which meant that we
were full steam ahead to Succot by 9:35am.
the baking for the teachers. I only baked enough challah for the first three
days of Succot. The rest of the dough was shaped, frozen and slipped into
freezer bags to be baked at a later date. I have never done that before. I
usually bake all the dough and freeze baked challah but it was so hot out
yesterday and I refuse to turn the air conditioner on in October so one batch in
the oven was enough. And besides, there was a lot of cake baking to do and not
that much time.
To bake the frozen challah next week, I believe all I have to do it take
them out of the freezer, let them defrost a little and bake, possibly for a
little longer than usual. I just hope they don't lose their shape while they are
defrosting. I guess we'll find out next week.
I thought it would be a nice idea to bake something for the teachers before Rosh
Hashanah, something like an apple pie. That year there were three teachers. The
following year, with two kids in school, the number of teachers jumped to six,
but still manageable. Last year, we baked before Succot and gave out treats to
nine teachers, making pumpkin bread, a big hit. This year, I have three kids in
school. Care to guess how many teachers there are? You won't be able to and I
know that because I counted the number of teachers seven times before allowing
myself to understand that there are 14 wonderful people who teach my children.
Fourteen. What to do? And what to bake? After agonizing (really, I agonized) I decided to go with an chocolate-chocolate-chip-applesauce cake.
It's a quick and easy recipe and did not involve peeling any apples or opening
any sharp cans of pumpkin as recipes of years past required.
elementary school. We have been out of touch for ages and recently reconnected.
Her mom used to make this all the time and my friend was sweet enough to share
the recipe. I have no idea what the real name of the cake is, so we'll go with
Here it is:
1 stick margarine
1 3/4 c sugar
1 lb applesauce
2 c flour
3 T cocoa
6 oz choc chops
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
Cream the margarine and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
well. If you are baking one cake, pour the batter into a 9x13 inch pan and bake
at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
If you are me and baking 14 cakes, you will make the recipe five times and
divide the batter among 15 pans (the pans came in sets of three). The pans were
rectangles, about 7"x4", possible a drop smaller, but I don't think so. Bake the
pans for 30 minutes each, testing the cake after 25 minutes. Not sure why but
some pans were done faster than others but I'm pretty sure that's a function of
my oven and not a function of the recipe.
Allow the pans to cool, cover them and come back tomorrow to see how we
wrapped them all up.
*Literally, between man and his friend.