Life been as twisty as a ram’s horn lately as I recover from another trip out West (Dad’s rehab is going well) and continue to find the groove at the new gig (I launched The Civil Society Column last week. Hope my Marxist feminist dialectic brings all the Southerners to the yard, yo.)
What this means is that the house has been lacking its hausfrau, the me who’s usually whistling around the kitchen on Erev Rosh Hashanah getting honey in my hair and burning things. It doesn’t feel particularly fantastic to be starting a new year with nothing but stale tortillas in the fridge and a battalion of dustbunnies threatening to suffocate the houseplants, but geez, even a balabusta can only do so much. El Yenta Man’s valiant efforts to keep it going last month waned once he realized the endless cycle of laundry and dishes and chicken tending and Whinese interpretation does not automatically result in sex.
Fortunately, we’re Reform, which means services are short and I’m allowed to use the oven tomorrow.
Instead of baking up my usual Coca-Cola honeycake, I’ma gonna do go for an updated spice cake with a tarty kick to celebrate the new year, my new job and my new updated me. (My dear mom insisted on treating me to a salon haircut while I was in Scottsdale so I had my long hair lopped off into a sassy chop since I’m turning 40…on Kol Nidre. More about not eating cake on your birthday next week.)
Here’s what’ll be baking tomorrow (or maybe on Friday if I choose, because I’m almost 40 and I’m pretty much going to do what I damn please for the rest of my life.) It’s a variation of Streaming Gourmet’s Apple Pomegranate Spice Bread recipe, except I added a whole lotta honey ’cause that’s how we balabustas do it, nu?
Yo, Yenta’s Rosh Hashanah AppyPommyHunny Cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 generous pinch fresh ground nutmeg
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup honey
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) melted unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup finely diced apples
1 cup pomegranate arils (no, I didn’t know they were called “arils” either; new Scrabble word!)
A glass of your favorite wine
1. Preheat the oven to at 350˚F. Mix all of the dry ingredients. Drink a sip of wine, just ’cause.
2. Melt the butter by placing it in a microwave-safe ramekin and microwaving it for about 30-40 seconds. Mix the melted butter with the applesauce to cool it down. Beat eggs and milk. Beat the applesauce/butter mixture into the egg/milk mixture. No matter how much they whine, do not beat the children; drink another sip of wine.
3. Pour the wet mixture, the apples and the pomegranate arils into the dry ingredients and stir until just blended. Once all of the dry ingredients are wet, stop mixing, even if there are a few clumps left. If you overmix the dough, the bread will come out tough like your Aunt Flo’s matzah balls and no one wants to relive that. Another sip of wine.
4. Pour into two 9×5 greased bread tins. Bake for 50 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and bread is springy to the touch. You can finish your glass of wine, but don’t call your BFF to gab about your new haircut and forget about the cakes and burn the house down.
5. Good-naturedly fight off children who don’t want to wait while the loaves cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.
6. Eat. Enjoy. Relax. It’s gonna be a sweet, sweet year.
L’Shana Tovah Umetukah to you all!