Monday, October 30, 2017

Challah for Abraham (cont`d)

I embroidered the name of our forefather, `Avraham`on my first Challah Cover!
The swirls of red bean inside the challah remind us of Abraham`s journey!! The seeds sprinkled on top recall the promise to Abraham, that his seed would bless all nations!!

The Challah Cover says `Avraham`.
You can see the swirls of red bean in the bread.

The rainbow remains. (see last week posts from Noah!)

The wonderful thing about reading on the Torah cycle is to see how everything connects and goes back to the beginning.  I like to make the `physical` representations that express what we are reading in the Torah.  It helps me to see how everything connects, and how it connects to me and to life.

By keeping the rainbow on the table from one Shabbat--when we were studying about Noah---to the next, where we meet Abram, it reminds us that Abram came from the generations of Shem, son of Noah, and when we eat the bread and give thanks to the LORD for bringing forth bread from the earth, we give thanks for Messiah Yeshua who is the Bread of Life.  We see directly the connection to Abraham, as He is the seed of Abraham, as well is He who was before Abraham.

Yeshua answered, "Amen, amen I tell you, before Abraham was, I am!"

---John 8:58

I made this challah cover at this time of the cycle last year, and it is exciting to be able to take it out again as we are back to the beginning and reading the Parshiot about Abraham.  It is also a way to share the Torah with my daughter and guests at the Shabbat Table---including you!! Thank you for sharing the Shabbat and the challah.

I hope you might try to follow the tutorial in the post below to make a  red bean challah !! and if you do, please let me know if the steps are easy to follow , and if you learned anything new about the Parsha!! or any insights about how it connects with your life today or anything else about where you are in your journey...

Blessings and Shalom!!

These are the steps from braiding to completion:
(photos to follow)





Sunday, October 29, 2017

Abraham`s Journey, and a Challah Tutorial!

The Parsha this week  is Lech Lecha! which is where God tells Abraham (whose name is Abram when he sets out), to Go from his father`s house and leave everything behind.

I wanted to make a special challah to mark the occasion.

The Challah is a Red Bean Challah!
(an Original Challah, begun here @Challah and Cherry Blossoms!See posts HERE!An-Pan Challah and Lech Lecha Parsha, and HERE! A Challah for Abraham for why a Red Bean Challah!)

So in this post I would like to attempt to put the two take you through the steps of making the challah, while relating it to the Parsha this week.  Any questions?!

Are you Ready?   Set , GO!!!
The LORD said to Abram,
"Go forth from your native land and from your father`s house to the land that I will show you."
--Genesis 12:1

1.  God tells Abraham to Go!  Lech Lecha!  Go forth!  Abraham leaves his father`s house with no specifics about where he is going, but in complete faith set out in obedience.  Abraham came from a family of idol worshippers (his father had a business of selling idols) and  found for himself the truth of the One true God. And as such he becomes the first `believer`, the one who we model our faith on!

At this point in the challah making, you start out with preparing the yeast and water, and wait a few minutes for it to become foamy so you know it is activated.

These are some of the ingredients I gathered --- the flours (white and whole wheat), eggs, salt, and the red beans.  The red beans are a product of Hokkaido, the north of Japan.  The oil I use is Grapeseed oil, it makes a smooth texture and dough that is easy to work with.
This sugar is called `tensai-to`. It says `sugar that is kind to the stomach`.  I like this kind of natural sugar, made from Daikon radish.  I don`t know if you can find it outside of Japan, but if you can, I highly recommend it! Or you can find the sugar that is local to where you are!
The yeast is starting to get foamy
Like me, this ingredient is from America. Oatmeal.  I was able to find it at a local food shop.  Am I stretching the Abraham comparison to say that like Abraham, I too set out to a land far from my father`s house!  Though to be honest, when I set out I didn`t know the LORD so I didn`t yet know the meaning of Faith and obedience.  Thus the only part of the comparison that sticks is that of leaving my home country for another land!!

Mixing in the flours (local from Japan) and making a dough
Knead until it looks smooth and arrange into a ball like this. Now we introduce the red beans!

  While the dough is in it`s first rise,

2.  Prepare the Red Beans
When I look into the bowl of red beans, I see all the beans, I can barely count them.
I think of God`s promise to Abraham that his offspring will be as countless as the stars in the sky.

I will make of you a great nation,
And I will bless you:
I will make your name great,
And you shall be a blessing.       ---Genesis 12:2

He took him outside and said,
"Look toward heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them. "  And He added, "So shall your offspring be."  And because he put his trust in the LORD, He reckoned it to his merit.
---Genesis 15:5~6

And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham`s seed--
heirs according to the promise.   
--Galatians 3:29

This recipe is an oral tradition passed `up` by my daughter!! When she was very young, maybe around six years old, she loved to cook, and she asked my husband`s sister how to make red bean paste!!

3.  The dough has doubled

Abrahams descendants will be multiplied.
Now when God made His promise to Abraham---since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you, and surely I will multiply you." ---Hebrews 6:13~14

Now we will make the bean paste and fill it,  roll it into the strands, and begin the journey of making.
From one , make it into 6 parts.

 God changed Abram`s name from Avram to Avraham.
From one, a multitude, a Father of nations..

In Japan, red beans are used for celebratory `Red bean rice` on special occasions like weddings, graduations, etc.  Today`s Red Bean Challah is made in Japan, and is a celebration of our forefather Abraham who went forth in obedience to God, and the Faith with which he set forth ! 

notes on the Challah:
The recipe I used for the dough is this WHOLE WHEAT CHALLAH
Follow the recipe,  up to the second rise, with the substitutions or your own variations.
The substitutions I made are as per the post, instead of butter>Grapeseed oil, and for brown sugar>Japanese Tensai-To (sugar made from daikon radish)
After the second rise, divide the dough for your strands, and then roll them and put in the filling.
Add about 5 or 10 minutes to the baking time, as the filled strands might need the extra time.
Tent with foil as needed during baking if the outside gets done quickly.

To be continued....

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Bring Shalom home!

A little story before Shabbat...

Bring Shalom home.  

 Speak it.  Seek it.

Seek Shalom and pursue it.
--Psalm 34:14

Blessings and ... Shalom!  ♡

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Parsha Noah on a rainy Day

 `Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make it an ark with compartments, and cover it inside and out with pitch.` --Genesis 6:14

Put the entrance to the ark in its side; make it with bottom, second, and third decks. ---Genesis 1:16

Listening to the waters days upon days pouring down from the heavens, and the winds today blowing the rains around from the typhoon. Sometimes the `Parsha` and the world outside and inside, seem to come near each other.  Outside were all those umbrellas, they even seemed to be going into a building by twos and twos 。。。

I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.  When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living creature among all flesh, so that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.  When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures, all flesh that is on the earth.  "That," God said to Noah, "shall be the sign of the covenant that I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth."    

Genesis 9:13~17

With all the rain and inspired by this week`s `Parsha` (Torah reading portion of Noah) , I set out to make a rainbow on our Shabbat table, cutting the colors quickly to have the table set up by sundown.
To make a rainbow on your table, just cut the strips out of felt,  the secret to keeping them together:  place a clear table cloth on top, and it also takes all the spills so your rainbow stays bright!

Making filling for a Fig and Olive oil and Flaky salt Challah.  The recipe calls for orange zest and orange juice to cook with the figs for filling.   I substituted with a Kabosu that I received from a neighbor,  this green `lime-like` citrus fruit native to where we live in Oita.

When rolling the dough and getting ready for Shabbat, I thought of the instructions for making the ark, the wood, and everything lined up in twos...

Fig paste rolled in, and preparing the salt....

Sprinkle the flaky salt on top, and already a rainbow starts to appear

 Be the Salt, and be the Light, as we are commanded to be!!   

Shabbat Shalom!!!



challah note:  The Challah recipe is HERE.  (You must try making it to see how the fig swirls in  rolling patterns inside,  related post HERE).

Shabbat Table, A Rainbow for Parsha Noach

The red apples and green `kabosu` (lime like citrus) were given to us by neighbors this Shabbat, so perfectly fitting the rainbow of God`s promise and blessing!

I have always seen `Rainbow Cake` in Jewish bakeries and delis when I lived in New York, who knew I would be making it for Shabbat for my daughter one day in Japan!!

There is no doubt, meals on Shabbat become more colorful.

For Parsha Noah,wouldn`t you know,

 the table is spread with a rainbow

setting it up  like making the ark

gotta get done before it gets dark

Today as there were rain showers

 let`s choose seven colors for the flowers

Red orange yellow green

enjoying the colors with my grown teen

there is even a Rainbow cake

and challah to bake

oh what a delight on Shabbat to make

 then there comes blue

indigo and vio-let

honoring you LORD in the table we set 

S  h  a  b  t     S  a  o  m  !

*rainbow cakes recipe HERE*

Thursday, October 19, 2017

In the Beginning

In the Beginning was the Word.
The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.    --John 1:1

In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.   ---Genesis 1:1

Then God said,  "Let there be light!"
and there was light.    ---Genesis 1:3

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.   ---John 1: 4

The Torah scrolls have been scrolled back to the beginning!
It is my second time setting out on the Torah cycle!
This time even as we are already starting out,  I saw Yeshua,  there,  from the Beginning.

He was there in Genesis and before everything.  He was with God in the Beginning!  Just as the Torah is one continuous scroll and goes back to the beginning after each cycle of reading, so too is the entire Word of God one continuous Word,  from the beginning, in Genesis, to the last, or Revelation.   Beginning, Revelation.  Revelation from the Beginning!

Reading from the beginning this time I am struck with how exquisite God`s planning is.  How He spoke and everything came into being.  And He sets each one into His plan. Orderly. Lovingly.

Out of all that darkness and chaos, Light!   He created the  Heavens and the Earth, and each `day` brings something else into being.  People on the sixth day, and  already they (we!)  are banished from the garden for sin and by the end of this first section, God is already planning to wipe everything and everyone away with the flood with the exception of Noah.

(post edited here)..., of staying afloat in the `ark` or `tevah`, which also means `word`,
 May the word of God and your time spent with Him and in His Love bless you and  keep you afloat in the season ahead!
Blessings and Shalom!


*Related posts on this blog,
HERE and  

Note:  If you would like to start along on the weekly Parashiot Readings, please see the link to the list of readings, which is always there at the right side bar, or click  HERE! 
We are already entering the second week and the Parsha is `Noach` (Noah).