Tag Archives: Durham

Babkha and challah class

I recently enrolled in a babkha and challah baking class at the Levin Jewish Community Center in Durham, North Carolina (https://shalomdch.org/explore-federation/about-us/who-we-are/jcc/).

It was much easier that I thought it would be. The baker had already mixed and proofed the dough so half the work was done. The dough is enriched with eggs, oil, and some sugar. We used the same dough for both breads.

The first step for challah is to divide the dough and make two long ribbons about 18 inches in length.

Than we made a two stranded braid: the detailed instructions can be found anywhere on the internet. There are many good recipes out there with detailed instructions. My ends did not want to stay tucked!

They were placed in a warm oven to proof or rise before baking.

Babkha is made with the same dough but it is rolled flat in a trapezoid shape. The shmear (cinnamon and butter filling) is spread over the dough and then the dough is rolled to make a log. This log is folded into an “S” shape and baked in a loaf pan after a streusel is sprinkled over the top.

The instructor, John Trimpli, sent us all home with dough and extra shmear and streusel.

The student’s babkha loaves cooling.

The Fiat was smelling so good on my half-an-hour drive home.

After a 15-hour day, I am looking forward to munching on the challah and braiding and baking on my own but it is late ….so tomorrow.

On a social note: The JCC had gender neutral single-use bathrooms.

More pictures to come as I try baking these at home.


Filed under cooking

I love tiger lilies but why did somebody attack my fruiting Basjoo banana ?

Tiger Lilies are my favorite lily! I love how they quickly forms colonies thanks to their habits of forming bulblets along the stems which drop around the mother plants and grow into new bulbs.
The bulblets grow through out the Summer and drop off when they begin to grow a root.

The Basjoo Banana was blooming beautifully until…..


Until one morning I noticed it was leaning. When I attempted to straighten it this is what I found!


Something had chewed the stem off at ground level! Oh well. At least I had a few months of enjoying the bloom!


Over the holiday weekend we took a day trip to Durham, North Carolina and to one of my favorite gardens.

Sarah P. Duke Gardens


The gardens have a large lake and a several small lakes with plenty of water lilies. A few swans, geese, and ducks inhabit the larger pond. The Black-Neck Swan from South America are beautiful. The one below was photographed near the Japanese style bridge.


The red Japanese Bridge


The lily pond near the Doris Duke Center.


A native azalea


The terraced gardens leading down to a koi and lily pond.


The Blomquist Garden of native plants.


I love this stone bench built into the hill.


Durham Bulls

We also attended a Durham Bulls minor league baseball game while we were in Durham.

This is the mascot: Woll E Bull


A little break where Woll E Bull drove a go-cart around shooting t-shirts out of a cannon!


Our seats were perfect! On the left field side of home plate until the cover!


The Durham Athletic Park is surrounded by office buildings in rehabbed old tobacco processing campus.


When a home run was hit the bull sign would blow smoke out of his nostrils, his eyes would light up red, and his tail would wag!


The team roster had players recruited from all over the world!


It was a busy day!


Filed under General Gardening