Last Shabbos, we counted 20 things that broke in our home this year, totaling some $20,000 in repairs. Ouch.
The latest mishap was when we installed a flood control device in our front yard only to find out that the entire pipe under our home needs replaced. The next day, when the oven broke (for good!) and the fridge started to leak, my husband surmised that once the sewage company jackhammers into our basement, they will find the devil hiding under there.
I’ve remained surprisingly calm throughout all the repairs, thinking that if something has to go wrong in my life, I’d rather it be money than any alternative. Plus, with all that’s happening in Israel, how can I cry about my life otherwise full of blessings?
But $20,000 is a lot of money. It wasn’t until I came home to find the flattened challos from the broken oven that I finally broke down. Earlier in the day, I had kneaded that bread, crying for all the chayalim fighting in Gaza and for the mothers mourning their children. I can’t look at my own kids these days without thinking of all that these mothers poured into their sons only to lose them.
In the end, I pulled it together. When life gives you
lemons flat challos, make lemonade bread crumbs, croutons and, of course, french toast.
HOMEMADE SAUTEED BREADCRUMBS
Process 3-4 pieces of old challah in the food processor. Saute 3 heads of minced garlic in olive oil. Once light brown, add the breadcrumbs. Saute until lightly browned. Serve on top of vegetable dishes or store to use within two days.
HOMEMADE HERB CROUTONS
4 cups diced old challah or bread
3T grape seed oil
1/2 cup assorted freshly chopped herbs (I used basil, rosemary and oregano)
freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375. Combine the herbs, salt, pepper and oil in a cup. Place the challah in a large bowl and pour the herb and oil mixture over it. Stir until the challah is fully coated. Spread the challah out on a baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Let fully cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.