Though long ago, I realized that resolutions don't need to wait for a holiday, it's still nice to be reminded that we should do good deeds without expecting anything in return. I do my best to keep this in mind all year round...
Just recently I ran into a woman who I've known for several years. In her line of work, people don't talk to her much, so I always take a few minutes to ask her about herself and to tell her a little about the work that I do. For the past few years, every time I ran into her I was following the story of her daughter who was TTC. She had a natural pregnancy, an early miscarriage & was then trying to conceive for another 3 years. They're ultra-orthodox & going to get help is a bit taboo. I talked to her (the mom), encouraged her to tell her daughter to get help. She finally did. It took another 18 months or so & she finally conceived. I was so happy for her.
A few months ago she had her baby and everything was looking good. Until she was staying with her mom for a few days & her mom noticed that she was depressed. She told me that she was surprised that after finally giving birth to a healthy baby her daughter could be so down... After a lot of coaxing, the daughter admitted that she was terrified of her husband. I didn't hear the details, but they're now in the process of divorce. I've been through divorce. After infertility. After waiting for too many years. Being in a really bad, abusive, unfixable marriage is "the end of the world". Divorce, in such a situation, is a chance for a new beginning... I felt good being able to tell her this from experience. It reassured me, once again, that G-d has a plan for me & that being able to give some encouragement to people in difficult situations is part of it.
So now for my good blog-deed of the day (week? month?) - a recipe for sweet challah (bread). You can make the dough in a breadmaker, which makes it really simple. It makes the house smell great :-)
Below is the breadmaker version. If you want the hard-work version, email me.
Recipe for 12 rolls or 4 small round loaves.
2/3 cup water or milk or milk substitute
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp yeast
3 cups flour
Once the dough is ready, take it out & knead it on a floured board.
Heat the oven to about 175C or 350F.
Optional: add raisins, roll out to a rectangle, spread with margarine & sprinkle cinnamon sugar. Roll from the long side of the rectangle and then curl the dough around to make a spiral shape.
After shaping it, it needs to rise 30-45 minutes the second time. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Paint with melted margarine or egg; you can also add honey to the margarine :-)
Bakes fast, so check after 8-10 minutes.
Have a sweet new year :-)