3 Sivan 5774
The prayers went reasonably well, although my ebook reader closed the page with the prayers just after I’d said the candle-lighting blessing. I did, however, get through them and felt accomplished just for getting through the transliterated version. I’ll work on reading directly from the Hebrew later on.
After that I was very, very busy, making all the dinner things. But I’m pleased to report that the dinner went off splendidly, and our guest was impressed. Yay!
The challah was not light-and-fluffy, but it was still recognizably bread, and it tore just like I’m told challah is supposed to tear. It tasted a bit more foccacia-like than eggy, but that’s probably the olive oil. Slathered with butter it was REALLY good. Next time I’m going to try using sugar instead of honey and see if that makes a difference in the proofing of the yeast and the rising of the dough (this didn’t rise much and the yeast didn’t bubble much, either). I’ve also ordered whisks and the smaller pan for next weekend’s Shabbat.
The soup was very well-received and tasted better than I’d hoped for (I am so glad I have a stick blender). The chicken was pretty good and there was enough left over for my partner to take some today for lunch, but I think I want to make it sweeter – the combination of lemon juice AND olive brine made it very, very sour even with the golden raisins added, unfortunately. The rice, although I didn’t try it, was apparently very good. I need to let the green beans cook a little longer, next time.
And one of my candlesticks broke when the flame got near the rim. 😦 So I have to find a replacement for it, somewhere.
My partner paid me a compliment when he got home: “Wow, people will think you’re Jewish with all this food!” We had LOTS of leftovers, but everyone was very full when we got up from the table. So it was a successful Shabbat dinner – yay!
My breakfast this morning was the last bit of leftover challah, some cheese, and some cashews. It was wonderfully filling.
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About my kids. I have two daughters – sixteen and fifteen – and they’re both incredible young women. They live with my Catholic ex and my ex’s Jewish-by-birth partner, and I mainly get to see them every few weekends for an overnight or two. We have gone about three months without visits due to our schedules not working out, so I was anxious to tell them about my conversion plans. They’ve both been to many Temple services and Shabbats, so I was hoping that neither of them would be too fazed.
Happily, they weren’t. Not only that, my younger one said “If I could choose a religion, I’d probably be Jewish. They let you ask questions and they don’t care if you don’t agree with them.” This means that I can probably look forward to some Shabbat dinners with my kids, now, if they want. I don’t have to hide it from them. It was a lot lower-key than I was worried about, and I’m glad.
When I explained that I wasn’t going to keep kosher, my younger child said “Eh. Not many Jews do. R and N” (her stepmom and one of her stepmom’s daughters) “only keep it because her parents would be upset if they didn’t.” So that won’t be a hurdle either.