by rosanna's eldest daughter, alessandra wollner
When people invite you to their home for dinner, don’t come to their doorstep empty handed.
My mother never told me this lesson in so many words, but she did raise me well. Countless times before we went over to someone’s house, I watched her wrap up a pair of taper candles, stop to pick up the prettiest bouquet from the market, select a bottle of wine before leaving the house, or present a host with a set of Rosanna mugs.
Fresh out of college, the prettiest bouquets are the ones I filch from someone else’s backyard. The bottles of wine are, more often than not, two buck Chuck. Because I live in California, I can’t avail myself of free Rosanna product from my mother’s Seattle warehouse, much to my chagrin.
Besides the challenge to find cost effective gifts for my hosts, I want them to know how much I appreciate and value their hospitality. This is why I have started making bread.
I’ve discovered that bread is an ideal item to bring to dinner. Presenting your hosts with something homemade is a heartfelt way to say thank you. And the best part about bread is that it doesn’t disturb anyone’s menu planning. Bread is a food that is incredibly beautiful and tremendously comforting. There’s such variation to this food that you can almost always find a recipe to suit the occasion and will mean something to the people who are feeding you. Lately, I’ve been going to a lot of dinners celebrating the day of rest, and so I’m making and bringing along hallah, a Jewish egg-bread similar to brioche.
Not all of us have time to make bread. I didn’t either until just recently. Not only that, all manner of dough used to deeply intimidate me. Now, I’m working through that fear. Making bread works for me. It might not work for you, but who knows?
Maybe it will.
p.s. Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for this bomb hallah recipe!