Challah

You would make challah
A slice from a block of yeast
Mixed with sugar and lukewarm water
Left in a warm place
Until it bubbled and fizzed
Then adding flour, eggs, sugar, salt, more water
You made a loose dough, sticky, wet
You proofed it twice
Before forming it into plaits
When it had risen for the third time
You would glaze it with egg
Drench it with mohn
And bake it until it was dark

The challah was for Erev Shabbos
After the candles and the kiddish wine
You would sing the bracha
Hamotze lechem min ha’aretz
Slice the challah
Deal out to each of us
A slice presented on the point of the bread knife
We would sprinkle salt on it
Mumble the bracha
And eat it

At other times
You would serve challah
With cream cheese and smoked salmon
The challah was dense, moist, sweet
Between cake and bread
Only you made it that way

During the shiva we found a couple of loaves
In the freezer
So for one last time
We could eat your challah
With smoked salmon
And cream cheese