Tuesday, September 14, 2004

New Year's Apple Challah

Here is what I am making tonight.


This is the perfect cross between a bread and a cake. What could be more appealing - a rich challah studded with chunks of fresh autumn apples. This is the perfect cross between a bread and a cake. The bottom of the baked bread becomes caramelized with sugar and apple juices. Leftovers make terrific "apple" French Toast.

1 cup warm water

2 tablespoons dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup oil (or unsalted melted butter)

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 1/2 to 5 cups bread flour

Apple mixture

3 cups coarsely chopped apples

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Egg wash and garnish

1 egg - beaten

1 teaspoon sugar

1-2 tablespoons coarse sugar (optional) for sprinkling

non-stick cooking spray

I am trying not to be depressed. There is no rational explanation for the fog I am in or the funk, or why I have been sleeping like a corpse. I am meeting Barbara for lunch today-- she sent me an email this morning that was just what the doctor ordered.I had originally planned to work out today, but I think I need the conversation more. Hell, I have an elliptical trainer. I will just have to use it tonight instead of curling into a little depressed ball between two sweet little boys and going to sleep as I did last night.

I cannot explain to anyone why Mark's behavior has depressed me this way-- not even myself. I suppose because I actually kidded myself into believing he was going to be cool about this. And I can't defend myself or them from his stupidity when they are with him.

I feel the same sense of fear and disgust when Sam tells me that Mark has told him that the only way to be Jewish is racially, as I did when we were still married and he told me he wouldn't want to find out my biological parents were Jewish because he wouldn't want his children to be Jewish. The same sense of fear and disgust as when he told me that there were lots of other world tragedies just as bad or worse than the holocaust (whether or not this is true, he was making the argument in the context of making larger more disturbing comments about Jews) and he was sick of the Jews running Hollywood and making movies about their tragedy, and that some reports of the holocaust were exaggerated.

His father actually told my mother once that the Holocaust hadn't happened. What are you, Mel Gibson's father, too?

The kind of racism that comes out of his family. His sister's use of racial slurs. His father's constant little monologues about how he has been wronged by "coloreds." His brother getting out of a housing deal after finding out that black people lived in the neighborhood. His sister's response that they don't even like the Indians on their street because they don't know "their place."

It just makes me sick. I am so angry that I just want to scream. If I had known the kind of racism present in this family, I would never have married into it, and my only regret about divorcing out of it is that these people actually still have unsupervised access to my children. I really wish there were something I could do about that. I should have tape recorded them.

Mark's mother didn't want us to name Sam Sam because people might think he was Jewish. Can you believe that?

Sorry. Jen's ugly divorce history is coming raging out of the closet.

I will stuff it back in now and get on with my regularly scheduled day.


  1. Oh Jen...I don't even know what to say. I am sorry I didn't read this sooner. I hope you know you have my unflinching support...even if it IS only through the blogosphere. Email me if you'd like...mausness at yahoo dot com.

    Mark isn't being fair and really he is not even being a good father by slamming you. I am sure your lawyer has agreed, you have a right, a basic fundamental constitutional and according to the Bush administration G-d GIVEN right to practise whatever religion you choose. And just because that religion has a cultural kit and caboodle that it brings with it...well, tough noogies to Mark.

    I have to admit I am lucky since my husband loves being a closet Jew so to speak...he'll never convert but he loves the services and community - he's down with it. I feel so sorry for your boys for while you weren't encouraging them one way or the other, because of his bias, they'll lose the window into another world that they had gained...although I am somewhat confident you'll never let THAT happen...will you? :)

    We had decided at first to raise Evan as both...let him see both and choose in the end. He was too young and immature for that so we both picked Judaism. But your kids are older...and are mature enough to experience both and then choose. Sadly, a lot of Xtians see it as a war "for the soul" and by choosing anything OTHER than Xtian, well, that's a battle lost and they can't handle it.

    BUT...that said, you ARE allowed to be what you want to be. MY husband DID pull that "you're searching" crap but stopped and actually supported me 100% post-mikveh. How is THAT coming? Are you close? And tell Mark to bugger off too...there are a LOT of southern Jews. Just go to Memphis or Atlanta for G-d's sake!

    I am rambling. But please know I am here for you. Write me if you want...and have a wonderful New Year. This too shall pass.


  2. apple challah hmmmmm it smells good