Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If at first you don't succeed... eat matza

Okay, okay, I admit it.  This week was not my first attempt to get all of my Shabbos preparations done by mid-day on Friday.  I tried last week.  Let's just say, the results were not stellar.

All of the ladies on the Chatzos Google Group say that the best way to get this done is to start early and have a plan.  Made sense to me.  My plan last week: get the challah done on Tuesday, menu and list done on Wednesday, shopping Thursday morning, cooking during afternoon naps on Thursday, set the table after everyone is in bed Thursday night.  That meant that Friday would only have some tidying up around the house and baths.  Totally doable.

I started with challah because (1) it takes the most time and (2) it is my biggest procrastination problem
(the mess… the kneading… the baby crying JUST as I am elbow deep in dough… best to put it off until 3 am Friday morning, right?).  I dropped my almost two year old at school, got home, fed the baby, got her down for her nap, and headed straight to the kitchen.  Do not pass go.  Do not collect $200.  Do not open the computer to check Facebook "only for a minute!".

Everything was going just dandy.  Got the yeast proofing, sugar, oil, salt, water… all ready to go!  Cracked the eggs.  Oh no!  I was 2 eggs short.  Normally, this is not that big of a deal.  I would just go knock on the door of my downstairs neighbor and borrow two.  But she had a baby just three days before.  How nice would that be?  "Hi!  Welcome home!  Mazel tov!  Can I borrow two eggs?" I weighed waking my baby up to take her to get eggs v. being that neighbor.  And down I went to borrow the eggs.  Glad that her sister-in-law was there and I didn't wake anyone post-partum.

Once back upstairs, I looked at my yeast.  Looked a little not-so-bubbly.  But it was a little bubbly.  It should be fine, right?!?  I mean, my yeast had to work!  I am making extra efforts to be ready for Shabbos early!  Hashem will see that and make sure that everything goes so smoothly!  Nope.  Dough didn't rise.  At all.  Not even a little bit.  Yep.  The oven was on to make the kitchen warm.  The dough was on top of the oven.  Everything was exactly as I always do it (only it was the middle of the day on Tuesday, not the middle of the night on Thursday). 

I cried, wondered if I could make the 5 lbs of flat dough into matza, cried some more, ate some chocolate babka, and contemplated the meaning of it all.  Maybe I am not cut out for this whole chatzos thing?  Maybe this was Hashem's way of telling me to quit it?  I resolved that, no, this was a minor set back!  I could do this!  "Tomorrow," I told myself, "I will start again with the challah!" 

And then I set my kitchen on fire.

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