Saturday, January 9, 2010

The challahs that never made it

After being sick for nearly a week, we awoke yesterday morning well enough to make challahs for Shabbat and to shower, all in time to make it up the street from the marina in La Cruz to the Banderas Bay Chavurah. Yes, that's right. There are a group of Jews, mostly American and Canadian, as well as a few Mexicans, living in the Puerto Vallarta area, who meet to celebrate Jewish holidays and the occasional Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming the Sabbath on Friday evening). I came across the group through Mel and Barbara Bornstein (pictured with us in the second photo above, with our host Sally Martin in between them), who were noted in a Pheonix Jewish newspaper as the ones who coordinate ordering kosher meat from Mexico City to the PV area. The wonderful things you can learn about through Google... While I haven't yet successfully ordered any kosher meat (although I'm getting closer), Mel invited me to join the group in La Cruz for the first ever meeting of the Chavurah in the 'north'. For those not familiar with the word, 'chavurah' comes from the Hebrew root word 'chaver', which means friend, and tends to refer to a group of friends who meet for activities, celebrations, etc.

You can see from the photo that it was a lovely group, which met in the gorgeous 'outdoor living' home of Sally Martin's brother and sister-in-law. Sally, a fascinating woman, hails from the Bay Area with her son, Jacob, and is spending the year living in Mexico. There was an Israeli couple from Ottawa, another from Chicago with their granddaughter visiting over break, Rosie and her mom from Tepic now living in Nuevo Vallarta, and several others. We had a fabulous time and loved that we were able to hook up with such a warm and welcoming group - a fabulous benefit of being part of the Jewish community, regardless of where we are, and certainly adding to the wonderful experiences of this year.

Now for the challahs. I offered to bake the usual two challahs that I bake every Friday for Shabbat. These particular challahs were beautiful - one with tons of raisins and cinnamon. And not over-kneaded which many of them are, due to the fact I'm usually making them with other 'boat kids'. In any case, I braided them and left them to make their second rise, turned the oven on to heat up, and left to a meeting at the marina. Danielle was to put the challahs in the oven at the given time, and take them out when done. This she did dutifully. However, at some point right before I left, I must have turned off the oven - the valves for the oven are adjacent to the ones for the stove - but because the oven was still warm, Danielle did not realize this. Just before heading back to the boat to pick up the kids and the challahs to head out to the Chavurah, Danielle realized that the challahs had never baked. We arrived at the Chavurah wholly embarrassed as there was only one small one awaiting our two large ones. Oy.

Everyone was very kind about it, we survived the embarrassment, and I've sworn to bake more for everyone at a future date.

Signing off from the La Cruz anchorage just outside of La Cruz marina,
20 degrees North, 44.919 minutes; 105 degress West, 22.832 minutes

p.s. I have a lot of blog catching up to do, but as mentioned, have had a cold. Will post more soon.


  1. The beauty of being Jewish that others just can't understand! What a great story. Wish the pics were bigger...can't see too much in detail, but everyone looks happy and healthy.

    Hope you had some great French Toast today with those leftover challahs!

    It is very cold here today. Sammy is out with my mom seeing Sound of Music for the SECOND time! He is a junkie! It is closing tomorrow and she surprised him with tickets for today. Hannah has a playdate over and I haven't heard from them in a couple of nice!

    We are off to a friend's house tonight for dinner and swimming (in their indoor swimming pool).'s now the next day. had a great time at our friend's last night. Today the kids had a ski lesson ...the weather was outstanding and they did great. I was so proud of them. Then they both fell asleep on the way home. Sammy even missed a bday party he was supposed to go to.

    Tessie has gone to the Phillipines for 5 weeks because her dad is very sick. I am happy she went, but our house will definately feel less organized for a while!

    Sammy has a hernia again, so I am just waiting to hear back from the doctor regarding a referral to a surgeon...I think that will end up being our February break!

    Jeff and i are off to Florida for a conference next Sunday. It has been very cold in Florida for quite a while...I hope it warms up a bit for when we get there. We have reserved a convertible, so we may have to bundle up cuz we are driving with the top down no matter what! :-)

    Anyway...keep having fun. Keep blogging!


  2. Found a way to enlarge the photo...Danielle..your hair looks so long and gorgeous! Are you 16 years old yet??

  3. Dear WYGD Crew,

    Thanks again for our wonderful time together. It is still our dinner table conversation and I suspect it will be for quite a while.

    Danielle, I loved your description of our close encounter with the whale, although I recall you father saying something rather stronger at the time. Barb, I hope you are feeling well and staying well. We look forward to your future blogs.


  4. So glad to hear you are all feeling better and sorry to hear about the challah. I like the addition of the fancy slideshow at the top of the page...nice touch.

    Loved reading Harrison and Danielle's recent posts about the surfing and whales. Since we were in chilly Colorado over New Years, it was hardly close to anything we did!

    Hope all is well and hugs to you all,

  5. Did you finally bake those challas?
    The pics are great; glad you're meeting nice people which always add a bonus to a trip. Hope you are all back in good health.
    We started getting our things ready to travel to you (just 4 days away)- 1 bag for Mexico and 1 for Florida ... trying to keep amount down until I see something else that I might use ... but all very exciting! My to-do list is getting smaller each day, so until Thursday, keep well and having fun. Love you lots...

  6. Hi all Leave it to Barb to find a Jewish community no matter where in the world!--Love it!
    What a great story. Hope you are enjoying the challah or sharing it with the other boaters-- they probably think they have gone to heaven enjoying FRESH challah!
    Not so cold today. Going skiing again on Wed-supposed to be a beautiful day-can't wait.
    I'll be at the Ginsbergs next week while B & J are away-went for instuctions this A.M. I'm sure we will survive!!
    Have fun with Freda & Allen-can't wait for my turn!!
    Love you all Hugs & kisses Fagel Bubie Mom