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.