Challah Recipe | Christianity’s Jewish Roots



One of my favorite breads to make is Challah, Jewish Sabbath Loaf. I found this recipe in the La Leche League cookbook that I received as a wedding present in 1979. Can you tell that it’s been used a couple of times by the stains on the page? I was quite the wild child, but soon after we were married, I started seeking God and this recipe really spoke to me. Now, I understand that Challah is braided with all sorts of fancy 4 and 6 strand loaves as well, but this recipe only showed a 3 strand braid. When I saw it, a revelation exploded inside of me! This is a picture of the Trinity! Each of the 3 strands makes up a part of the whole loaf, but when it’s baked and cut apart, you can’t tell where one strand ends and the other begins. This is how God is! He is One God, made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so united that it is impossible to separate one from the other. They are all made up of the same things, love, justice, truth, and mercy. To the person who doesn’t understand braids, it looks like there are only 2 strands, which is why we as Christians tend to focus only on the Father and the Son … so many comparisons …

Now, I understand that Challah is braided with all sorts of fancy 4 and 6 strand loaves as well, but this recipe only showed a 3 strand braid. When I saw it, a revelation exploded inside of me! This is a picture of the Trinity! Each of the 3 strands makes up a part of the whole loaf, but when it’s baked and cut apart, you can’t tell where one strand ends and the other begins. This is how God is! He is One God, made up of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit so united that it is impossible to separate one from the other. They are all made up of the same things, love, justice, truth, and mercy. To the person who doesn’t understand braids, it looks like there are only 2 strands, which is why we as Christians tend to focus only on the Father and the Son … so many comparisons …

The red head and I made some just before I left for Iowa, so I thought I would share it with you!


We mixed all the ingredients but left out about 1/2 the flour so it made a soft sponge and left it for about an hour to raise.

Then we added enough flour to make a soft dough and cut it in two. One of the things I like about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a great deal of kneading. It actually recommends adding as little flour as you can … just past the terribly sticky point.

Then we rolled one half out.

We cut it into roughly 3 equal strips.

And then rolled them into dough snakes so we could braid them. (Don’t forget to call them snakes. The kids love that!)

Then we placed it on a cookie sheet.

This recipe makes 2 large loaves of Challah but I was needing some dinner rolls for Grampa Tom’s lunches so we rolled the other loaf into rolls.

Then we set them aside to raise until double. I always start checking on them at about the 1/2 hour mark because if you let a braided loaf rise too much it tends to flatten out and look lame.

They go into the oven at 350 degrees. The rolls were done after about 15 minutes and the Challah took about 35. I check them often as they are baking. Whole wheat is difficult to tell if it’s done just by looking because of the color of the flour. I take it out and tap with my fingernail. If it’s done the crust will be firm, but it’s easy to get it too crusty. Part of it is a matter of experience, the other is your family’s tastes. I like it softer than crunchier. One tip I’ve discovered for a soft crust is to put the bread in a plastic sack while it is still slightly warm.

Challah ignited a life long interest in the Jewish roots of Christianity for me which I’m passing on to my children and grandchildren. May it ignite and/or fuel that fire in you too!

God Bless You All!

~ Grama Sue

Chicken Math | Real Life Math


De-boning chicken today! A while back I ran across a deal! $0.34/lb for chicken leg quarters! Can’t beat that. Anyway, I’m needing room in the freezer, so I’m putting 20 lbs of frozen chicken in the roaster at night at 200 degrees. In the morning, I turn it up for a little while just to get them good and done. Then I de-bone them and put them in the freezer again along with their broth.

There’s a real life math problem here for you! Which is the better buy boneless chicken breasts or chicken leg quarters if you look solely at meat yield?

I looked it up and found that leg quarters have an approximately 62% meat yield as compared to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. To figure out what the price of the actual meat is, divide the price by 0.62.  

$0.34/0.62=$0.548/lb. Chicken breasts were on sale that day for $1.99/lb. The breasts usually cost $2.99/lb. Yep, I got a great deal!

What is the last bargian you came across?

Keeping Food Hot


Was talking with another cook last night about getting meals to the fields hot. A big cooler works well! I wrap towels around the hot food to keep the pans from damaging the interior.


Stuck this thermometer down into the pan after more than 3 hours last night. It wasn’t in the food, just in the air around it. Even after sitting out while the guys were eating for at least 45 minutes, the air in the cooler wasn’t too far into that 45-135 degree danger zone. It hadn’t been there long. She suggested a baking stone. That would keep my cooler even warmer 🙂 Do you have any ideas?

Beet Sugar


So, I finally, got around to making beet sugar out of some of my beets. I dug them back in November just before it got really cold.


Got about a bushel full out of my little patch. I was amazed at the size of most of them! I didn’t get out and thin them like I had hoped too, but there were still many good sized beets!


The chickens really enjoyed the greens.


Long ago, I learned that if you leave some dirt on root veggies, put them in a plastic bag with a little splash of water in them and stick them in the fridge, they will keep indefinitely. The dirt and the water make them think they are still in the ground so they continue to grow at a very slow rate.

Yesterday. I brought 1/2 of them in. There were a few bad spots, but not many. I soaked them in a vinegar/water bath in my sink and then scrubbed them up.


In the posts that I read, I didn’t see anything about peeling them, but I did peel them at the top where the leaves had once been because i didn’t feel like I could scrub the dirt out of them enough

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Then I put them in the food processor to shred them.


It made a lot of shredded beets!


I put them in a big pot and simmered them for a few hours. The directions I read said I only needed to do this for about an hour, but it was keeping my house warm 😉

Before I went to bed, I strained them by lining a colander and poured every thing through it and put all of it in the fridge to continue draining.

This m0rning, I fed the beet pulp to the chickens and put the liquid on the stove to simmer and warm up my house.

It boiled down for several hours. Then, I brought it to a boil and kept stirring it down as I prepared supper.


When it thickened to a syrup consistency, I put it in a jar.


Just 1/2 a spaghetti sauce jar, but it tastes like heaven!

Watermelon Cubes

Grampa Tom and I love watermelon, but let’s face it, unless you get one that’s really tiny, it’s hard for a two person household to devour one before it gets bad. We’ve had one in the fridge that I’ve been avoiding cutting into for just that reason, but today was a rainy day. Since I can’t do much outside, I thought we’d enjoy some watermelon and make the rest into watermelon cubes to give the kids for treats this winter when the only watermelons available are those tasteless, mushy things from Mexico.

I like nice big juicy seeded watermelons. You could choose an unseeded one, but seeded watermelons are so much sweeter and I think you’d probably want to remove the white seeds anyway because they probably wouldn’t puree very well.


To remove the seeds, I cut very thin slices and used a fork to poke them out.
I removed the rind and pureed the meat of the melon. I used a wand, but you could use a blender or a food processor.
You could use popcicle forms or small paper cups, but the grandkids that  frequent here most are pretty little and probably wouldn’t finish anything much bigger so I poured it into ice cube trays and froze it. (In some of these pictures, the melon looks kinda orange, but I assure you, it was a beautiful red!)
Once frozen, pop them out and put into baggies!
It’s a little bit of work, but the smiles I get paid for it will be well worth it!
God Bless You All!
~Grama Sue


It’s been a long hard winter folks! Our chickens are so happy today! They are finally able to get out of the building.

It’s muddy and they aren’t straying far from the coop, but they will. We’ve been bringing them goodies to eat in the building. The weather has been so crazy that we didn’t think they should be outside. We hang suet for them to pick at and take them kitchen scraps, pumpkins we have stored, alfalfa and produce that the local grocery store gives us that is good, but can’t be sold because it is past it’s prime.

In the last haul from the grocery store, there were 3 boxes and one of them was almost all red grapes. They were good, just not the freshest. Since raisins are basically super past their prime grapes, I decided to make raisins out of them.

I soaked them in a sink full of vinegar water for about 15 minutes. Then I destemmed them and took out any that showed any signs of mold while loading them on to the dehydrator. I put them on a medium heat and waited. It took a couple of days before any of them were dry, but I tried a high heat the last time I did this and wound up with a whole lot of burnt grapes. Live and learn!

Even after 2 days many of them weren’t dry, so I picked through them and put those that weren’t ready on for another day. There were still a few that needed another half a day.

I got a little over a quart of raisins out of the deal 🙂 It was a lot of work and the electricity alone probably cost me more than what I could buy the same amount of raisins at the store. That’s the way it is with pretty much everything I process at home. But, the satisfaction of knowing that I can make my own raisins is well worth the cost!

Now if I could only grow my own grapes and have a solar food dryer …

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

Been keeping my crock pot busy lately 🙂
During the summer, I wash my excess tomatoes in a vinegar bath. Then I cut the stems and bad spots out of and throw them in the freezer. I used to blanch and skin them before putting them in the freezer, but a few years ago I found out that if you put them in the freezer without skinning them, the skins come right off when they start to thaw. Why should you put all that heat in your house in the summer?
Anyway, during the winter I pull them out and make all sorts of goodies. This winter, I found a crock pot tomato sauce recipe, but since I rarely start with just a plain tomato sauce, I decided I might as well go ahead and add the ingredients to make spaghetti sauce. I’ve also been making ketchup … but that’s another post.
To begin with, I fill the crock pot with tomatoes and let it cook overnight so the volume is about half what I started with.
The next day I add:
one chopped onion
two handfuls of dried sweet peppers
2 tsp salt
2 cap fulls of lemon juice
a tablespoon of minced garlic
2 tbs of dried basil
one tbs dried oregano
and enough tomatoes to fill the crock pot again.
I let this cook overnight again and then puree it with my stick wand.
I hot pack the sauce in pint jars and give them a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
This makes about 4 pints of sauce I think, but we always have to have spaghetti or pizza or something the day it is finished, so I’m not quite sure 🙂
Yum, yum!
God Bless You All!
~Grama Sue

Apple Peel Jelly

Woohoo! I seem to be among the living today 🙂 Woke up at 10:30 this morning. Can’t remember the last time I slept that late. Really needed it! Did a sleeping around job last weekend. I’m not used to it anymore and it has taken all week to recover from the jet lag.

(For those who may be new to this blog, I spend nights with elderly people who need help from time to time and I like to mess with people’s minds.)

Was planning to post on apple peel jelly last weekend, but I’ve been in a bad brain fog. Better late than never huh? It’s only been 3 weeks since I started drying apples and told you all I was planning to make apple peel jelly so here goes:

To start with I saved the peels and cores from my dried apple project.
I boiled them for about an hour and then strained them through a tea towel.
The red from the apple peels made the towel look yucky, but it made the prettiest juice!
Then I measured out 4 cups of juice and 2 cups of honey. The recipe I found called for equal parts of juice and sugar, but honey is about twice as sweet as sugar so I reduced the 1:1 ratio to 2:1.
I cooked the juice/honey mixture down for about an hour because honey doesn’t set up as easily as sugar. Then I brought the mixture up to 220 degrees by bringing it to a rolling boil for several minutes while stirring constantly.
 Then I poured it in jars.
And put hot lids and rims on. Yes! Those are Tattler lids there 🙂 I finally took the plunge. This was my first time trying them out. They didn’t seal with the first batch. I think I may have tipped them bringing them out of the canner so some of the jelly got under the lid, but the second batch did fine. I’m so excited to have reusable lids for my personal stash! They cost too much to use if I may not get them back, so for gifts and markets, I’ll continue to use the metal one-time lids.
After a 5 minute boiling water bath, I started hearing pop, pop, pop! What a beautiful sound! 
Guess what people are getting for Christmas this year?
God Bless You All!
~Grama Sue

Goose Eggs and Garden

Spring is springing! At least for a few days! The robins have invaded our yard in earnest and the temps have been above freezing for a few days. That will probably change of course. It’s the Midwest you know!

Grampa has been busy planting lettuce, onions, kale, spinach, peas and radishes. Our gardens are set up so we can put a green house over each one, but we are missing the tubing we need to do this so we just put plastic on the soil for now.

Our biggest problem is keeping the chickens from scratching up all the seed. They love to scratch around in the loose dirt and find all the goodies we don’t want them to find. We are trying to figure out how to fence the gardens in this year since we haven’t had much luck fencing the chickens in the pasture.

We were discussing the noise the guinea fowl make the other day. Grampa hates it. I pointed out that the sheep are actually louder. He told me the sheep make money. He doesn’t know how to make money with guineas. He was telling me he didn’t want to listen to anything that didn’t make him money. “Shoot,” he exclaimed (with a great big mischievous grin), “I wouldn’t even keep you around if I didn’t think you were worth something. You make me dinner every now and then (and then he said some other things that can’t be repeated in polite company)” Don’t worry, I did hit him! Good thing I know he loves me. I just have to apologize to my daughters-in-love. Devan and Tristina, it’s genetic. When your husbands are stupid, just take into account where they come from 😉

So … guinea fowl anyone? Grampa says he will sell them at the Burlington Pigeon Swap if we’ve still got them by then.

I have nearly 50 hand-blown goose eggs ready to decorate and available for Easter. We have been getting 2 ever other day so I will have a few more by Easter. They have just one small hole on the large end. There are several simple crafts you can do with your kids that are really pretty.

Of course you’ve seen my golden goose eggs – very simple, just spray paint them gold and put them in a basket! I have golden goose eggs and smaller “nest eggs” in this basket.

Last night I used a glue gun to attach some sparkly cording to these eggs and then spray painted them with glitter spray. I’ve also rolled eggs in glue and then in glitter for a stronger sparkle effect.

Some sites that look interesting are:

I’ve got some chicken eggs that I’ve blown too. Here’s a picture of them with a goose egg.

I don’t have to many chicken eggs blown and on hand, but it wouldn’t take long to get a batch together! Thought I’d take the biggest and the littlest chicken egg in this picture and put them beside a tape measure so you can get an idea of their sizes. The little one is a pullet egg ( from a hen that has just started laying). We should be getting lots of these in browns, blues and greens soon. The large one was a double yolker. They are fairly rare.

This next picture is of a typical sized chicken egg next to a goose egg.

Goose eggs are not only bigger than chicken eggs, they are also much thicker. They still break, but not as easily. This makes them easier to work with for crafts.

If you are interested they are 75 cents each plus shipping. Call or e-mail to order.

I’m taking a goose egg pie to a sick friend this afternoon.


2 goose eggs (or 4 chicken eggs)
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp natural sea salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced ham or bacon
1/8 tsp garlic
1/8 tsp chili pepper
1 cup grated cheese

Whip eggs and milk until well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients except 1/2 cup cheese.
Pour into oiled pie plate. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Then cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until firm. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cheese to the top about 5 minutes before it is done.

This recipe freezes well. Just put the uncooked mixture on a level place in the freezer. Then thaw in refrigerator before cooking.

God Bless You All! ~Grama Sue


HA! I bet some of you thought I was never going to post again! September was one booger of a month. We were busy enough with the garden, chicken’s and farmer’s markets. Then in August, we finally got the stuff we needed to finish up the assessing job for this year so I was trying to find some time to stuff that in my schedule. Just as I was about to ask to be cut down to 1 day a week with my sleeping around job so I could get the assessing finished, one of the other girls announced she would be gone for most of the month. So, instead of only one day a week at Maxine’s, I wound up working 3. Around the middle of the month, we found out that an old friend, who had come out to my MIL’s when she was sick before, was wanting to come out again but was afraid to ask. So, I offered to stay with her while Mom was at Maxine’s. I really thought she would wait till the first of the month when Kathy was back. Instead, she came out right away. So, it’s been 3 days at Maxine’s and 4 days at Mom’s. Whew! My life has been a little bit crazy! Kathy is back now and I’ve been on the premises for almost a week now (for those of you who don’t know, Tom’s parents live on the same property as us). Things ought to be slowing down a bit – I hope!

Grampa Tom says he’s done with farmer’s markets for the year. He’ll soon be in the fields helping Lane get the crop out. He’s trying to get things cleaned up a little. We have a huge bon fire going tonight. I’m so thankful that we have markets for our eggs for the winter!

I’m working on a chicken page for our egg business. I’ll be using a mini-blog service called Squiddo. Will give the link when I’ve got it somewhat completed.


Did another experiment the other day that worked. I browned strips of chicken breasts along with onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Then I added ranch dressing and broccoli and simmered for about 30 minutes. Mmmmm …. Good!

God Bless You All!