Thursday, September 13, 2012

There are still dragons

My friend, A., is a Targaryen.

Tonight, she and I were part of a challah baking class.  We pounded the dough, broke it into three pieces, made them into strands, and braided them.  A. had a little tiny bit of dough left over, so she made a ball and put it in the middle of the baking tray.  "That's the challah!" someone said.

During Temple times (2000 years ago), the Jews were required to break off a piece of bread and give it to the temple priests (whose meals were gleaned from the various sacrifices, since they had no resources of their own).  Apparently, after the destruction of the Temple the tradition became to tear off a piece of dough and burn it in the oven in memory of the gift to the priests.  This is still a practice for some people.  "Challah" means portion, so technically it describes that piece, not the whole loaf.

When the challah loaves came out of the oven, A. reached over to the tray and picked up the little ball.  She tore it off a piece to taste and then handed the ball to me.

I tried to tear off a piece, but the ball was just too hot for me to hold.  As she took it back from me, she joked about having asbestos hands.  "I take things out of the oven with my bare hands," she said.

She'd only seen a few episodes of Game of Thrones, so she wasn't aware of Daenarys Targaryen's imperviousness to heat and fire.  I explained that fire cannot hurt the dragon, and she said, "Oh, then I'm totally a dragon."

A. has pale blonde hair, blue eyes, and skin so fair you can practically see through it.  Apparently, there are still dragons.

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