Happy September and New Year! It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to an end, but the sudden dip in New York City temperatures has me believing more and more that fall is on it’s way. In honor of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, I am making challah for the first time. Challah is a delicious egg-based Jewish celebration bread, which is usually seen braided, and can be topped with various seeds or made with raisins mixed into the dough. I decided to roll mine into spirals; not only because I though this might make my first challah-baking experience a bit easier (I’m being honest!), but also because the spiral symbolizes “no end and no beginning,” and is a traditional shape for the Jewish New Year. In addition to going perfectly with any meal, this bread also shines in French toast, which is ultimately how I enjoyed my finished bread today.
The ultimate compliment to spiral challah is Spiral Jetty, an earthwork sculpture created by Robert Smithson in April 1970. The sculpture is located near Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah, and is composed of mud, precipitated salt crystals and rocks, along with a 1500-foot long, 15-foot wide water coil. Not long after it was built, the sculpture was covered up by the rising waters of the nearby Great Salt Lake, and remained submerged until the early 2000s. The constantly changing conditions of the surrounding landscape were one of the reasons (along with the beautiful reddish hue of the water) why Smithson chose this site. Smithson and his contemporaries endeavored towards creating art outside the confining studio walls, thus further explaining an art piece that is truly dependent on its environmental backdrop.
Recipe from: The World of Jewish Cooking by Gil Marks
Featured art: Robert Smithson, Spiral Getty, Great Salt Lake, Utah, 1970