Last year for this parasha, the girls pretended to be Yehoshua Bin Nun and Calev Ben Yefuneh. They made a packing list, decorated binoculars, and went to spy out the zoo.
Although we did go to the aquarium this week, my goal is to change things up.
My objectives this go round:
1) Always review last year's undertaking.
2) Include reading (and memorizing) a passuk.
3) Make the projects focus on something different.
4) Include a video (Gabi's request).
The girls remembered a great deal about last year's adventures. They were keen to tell me about the spies and the big fruit, as well as all about our trip to the zoo.
Figuring out what part of the text to learn this week was simple because the last aliyah contains the third paragraph of Shema. Cohava learned it last year in school. We read it together and now recite it each night (after the first paragraph- we will get to the second paragraph in due time).
Finding a different project was also straightforward, as parashat Shelach contains the mitzvah of 'taking challah'. When I told the girls of the project they were a little disappointed.
"But we make challah all the time," Cohava complained. "It isn't special."
"And you always take a piece off for the Kohanim, even though they don't really get it," Gabi chimed in.
"True, true. But do I usually make a bracha?" I asked. The girls were stumped.
I explained how you have to make a certain amount of dough to make the bracha.
"We are going to double the recipe, make everything times two, this week," I explained. They compared the one and two kilo bags of flour, marveling at the 'double.' Ruti helped me get the other ingredients and then we set to work.
Doubling the recipe was a great math lesson for the girls. We talked about fractions and multiplication.
"We usually use 6 cups of flour. What does two sixes make?"
"Eighteen?" Cohava suggested with a furrowed brow.
"Close, but that is three sixes."
Gabi shocked me by nonchalantly muttering, "Twelve."
Our challah recipe is the olive oil flat-bread dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes with some modifications. It is an easy recipe.
Doubling challah always reminds me of a story a friend told me of her former Stern roommate's first attempt at challah making as a newlywed. She was at someone's house for a meal and the challah was delicious. After Shabbat she called and got the recipe and decided she would impress her husband and surprise him with homemade challah. She looked at the recipe and thought, "Those two loaves were delicious. I should double the recipe so we have enough for all of Shabbat. Diligently she measured out the 24 cups of flour required for this double recipe. She left for class, leaving the dough to rise on the kitchen counter of their kollel apartment. When her husband came home first, he could not open the door to the kitchen because the "dough monster" had taken the entire room hostage. He was indeed surprised!
Tomorrow, we will take the challah AND make a bracha.
I almost forgot about Gabi's video request.
I thought she would really like it, but Cohava and Gabi were befuddled by it. They couldn't understand (and didn't ask until they had watched it twice) who 'Moses', 'Joshua', and 'Caleb' were. Lost in translation. And they were confused by the ninjas.
I wonder if they would have preferred this video. Gabi loves lego stories. I like the accents :).