Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 222: Being Neighborly

"You are challah girl?"*
Asks the neighbor who can tell
When we bake our bread

*For the sake of accuracy, read this line in a thick Russian accent.

When I first moved into this apartment 2 1/2 years ago (has it been that long?) I was intimidated by the other residents. Nearly all of them are older Russian folks. I heard a lot of gruff, guttural raised voices behind apartment doors and through windows, leading to an immediate assumption that they were all talking about how much they hated me. However, in the time that I have lived here I've realized that while most of the people in the building are not particularly friendly, they are secretly sweet. There's the lady downstairs who barely speaks English but always gives me a big smile, asks how I'm doing, and looks confused as she puzzles out my answer. There's the man with the little girl from the second floor who invited us to borrow a cup of walnuts the day Intrepid Boyfriend and I were coming back from the grocery store, ready to bake, and I realized that I had forgotten them.

Oh, and just to clarify, I am not actually Challah Girl (sadly). Intrepid Boyfriend is Challah Boy. Check out his recipe here, and you just might find friends and neighbors drifting toward your own kitchen, lured by the delicious aroma of baking perfection.

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