Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Breaking the Fast

Our congregation breaks the Yom Kippur fast together after the conclusion of the final service. Jewish law forbids eating or drinking anything from sundown to sundown on Yom Kippur and most Jews I know take this very seriously. It makes for a long and intense day and when we all descend upon the tables, we are ravenous.

I start, always, with a few glasses of water because my body feels that lack even more than the lack of food. The next need is for protein: cheese, egg salad, tuna, and hummous are always available with fresh challah and downing bit of this makes me feel considerably calmer. A bit of fruit, more protein, and then at last, the sweets tables.

I always volunteer to bake something. Honey cakes abound at this time of year so I stay away from those. We have a lot of fine bakers of cookies and brownies in our congregation and one lady who specializes in baklava, lucky us! In the rush of getting a pre-fast meal together, I hadn't really checked my baking supplies and ended up casting about online for a recipe using ingredients I had on hand. When the recipe for Sour Cream Chocolate Chip Cake appeared, I knew I was good to go. It has that perfect combination of chocolate and cinnamon which always makes me think of my great-grandmother even though, honestly, I'm not sure she mixed the two. I used toasted hazelnuts in place of the walnuts and pecans and never missed them. This is not a fussy recipe, you don't dirty too many bowls, but the result is delicious. With that first cup of coffee after the long fast, it's just about perfect.

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