As you might imagine, my vision quickly fell apart. Ten minutes before my guests were due to arrive, I was sweating profusely from the A philly special Christmas shirt it is in the first place but exertion of trying to put together three main courses simultaneously, my makeup running off my face from the heat of the frying oil for the latkes, and my hands bleeding in three separate places from a failed attempt to shred onion on a box grater. If I had only had to braid the challah six times, dayenu. (Yes, I know, wrong Jewish holiday.) Ultimately, it took a total of seven tries before I shoved the braided behemoth into the oven, feeling totally certain that something would go wrong in the baking process. I had to 86 the matzo ball soup at the last minute when the matzo balls disintegrated in the broth, feeling very much like Carmy from The Bear—if Carmy were terrible at his job and a failure of Jewish womanhood, that is.
A philly special Christmas shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
As my friends Hannah and Marshall filed in, drank wine, and let their curious dog Merle sniff around the A philly special Christmas shirt it is in the first place but living room before settling next to me on the couch, I began to relax. Maybe it was my friend Amalie’s generous hostess gift of a bottle of my favorite Hendrick’s gin, or maybe it was the tantalizing smell of the latkes topped with sour cream, dill, and lox, or maybe just the comforting knowledge that even I hadn’t managed to fuck up potato pancakes—but I started to get into something approximating a festive spirit. (Even though Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement, so, as usual, I was off-script.) The thing that really clinched the success of the evening, though, was the challah. I’d proofed and mixed and braided and prayed and swore and cried over it all afternoon, sure I wouldn’t be able to pull it off, and yet, when I opened the oven door, there was a gorgeously burnished loaf winking up at me, covered in poppy seeds and ready to be torn into. I supported it like a newborn baby while making the delicate transition from pan to plate, and indeed, there was something charmingly infantile about the loaf. It was warm, it was mine, somehow of me; and then all of a sudden, it was everyone’s.