cinnamon sage ellie

The day started earlier than usual. I have not been able to sleep much lately, most likely due to the excitement of getting on a plane in one week. Nine days in Ireland in December, albeit cold and most likely rainy, will be a pleasant experience. Somehow I need to find a way to get more sleep even if it is for a few hours during the day.

I was awake shortly after 4am and decided to crawl out of bed and get a few things done before the children awoke as I simply could not go back to sleep. I put a load of laundry into the machine and made preparations for challah bread. The second time around was not as bad braiding wise.

From yesterday's research, I recalled the braiding technique from a diagram showing the furthermost strand being brought over two strands and then repeating with the opposite side. As I attempted this technique, I noticed something was missing. Somehow the bottom strand was left out. Running upstairs to my computer, I did another search for braiding a four-strand challah. The diagram I found made things much clearer and I realised I needed to twist the middle strands after bringing them over. In time, I'm sure the bread will look prettier but we were all happy with the taste.

saturday challah

Yesterday I research several challah bread recipes, making note of the ingredient similarities. I then wrote my own version using melted butter instead of the typical oil I noticed being used in nearly all of the researched recipes. When I sent my boyfriend a photo of the bread, he asked if it was sweet. The reason for his inquiry was because there is a sweet bread similar to challah - one found in Slovakia and the Czech Republic - called vianočka. Interestingly it also seems similar to the Croatian Easter bread called 'sirnica'. It will be the next recipe I explore.

The children were delighted to have fresh bread from the oven for breakfast. We managed to wait a mere half an hour for the bread to cool before slicing into it. Even half an hour was too long to wait. Sage's preference for a bread topping is the honey almond butter whilst Cinnamon prefers the freshly ground chunky peanut butter. Both children opted for honey on top of the nut butters instead of jam.

We made it out the door before noon to take advantage of the 'day after' Black Friday sales. Friday was not a day I wished to venture out into the streets for any reason. Today we visited only two stores at the mall before leaving - not even making a stop by the Lego store. Toys are best purchased online and something I will have plenty of time to do the week after next.

'I'm hungry' cried Sage. 'I want to eat now' he insisted as we left the mall. The option which came to mind was garlic and Parmesan fries at NXNW. Neither of the two wished to eat a burger. Cinnamon would have eaten half, but Sage was happy simply with the fries. I'm certain it was a more preferable option to leftover split pea soup from last night's dinner.

Upon our return home, I grabbed my camera to photograph the children together. Sage tried hugging his sister but she wanted no part of that and kept running away. Somehow I think it should be the other way around.

no hug one
no hug two

Later, they wished to play outdoors with Sage's rocket ship. I heard Sage doing the countdown from 10 to 0, then 'blastoff!' as the rocket flew up in the air. They played like this just outside our door on the grass until it was dark and I called them indoors albeit they would have preferred playing a bit longer.

rocket ship diptych