Here’s how to do the challah social-distance handoff

Roberta Sandrin receives a fresh challah from her granddaughter, Hannah Roach.
Photo courtesy of Jill Roach

Hannah Roach of Germantown had never baked a challah. But then again, she never had to social distance herself from her beloved grandparents before either.

But last week, the 20-year-old Lehigh University student baked two loaves of rosemary challah with garlic, then drove one to her grandparents’ apartment in Gaithersburg to drop it off.

“She called and said, ‘Come downstairs. I have a treat for you,’” said Roach’s grandmother, Roberta Sandrin.

Sandrin wore a mask as she came outside and found Roach, masked as well, waiting in the car. Roach passed the loaf through the open window.

“We called it Hannah’s homemade challah handoff!” Sandrin told a family friend. “It was the highlight of my week.”

She said her granddaughter’s challah was “perfect, absolutely perfect. Even the braiding.”

In this family, food goes both ways. Since the stay at home order was issued, Sandrin, has made matzah ball soup several times and had it delivered to the Roachs.

“We just brought it in a big plastic container. At their house, we have driveway gatherings,” Sandrin said.

“We visit for a few minutes,” said Jill Roach, Sandrin’s daughter and Hannah’s mother. “My mom bakes, and my daughter bakes. It skipped a generation,” Jill Roach said of her baking skills.

On Mother’s Day, the family gathered in the Roachs’ backyard for a social distancing celebration.

The share shopping as well, using Instacart to buy what they need and then handing off some of the items they purchased jointly.

“It’s a new way of life. We have to get used to it,” Sandrin said.

Suzanne Pollak is a Washington-area writer.

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