May 4, 2007

KitchenAid Aid

I just want to share something that made me smile from head to toe.

An acquaintance of my sister- someone who I have never met- was reading my blog and came accross the section in which I describe myself stroking my KitchenAid mixer, worrying about whether or not I would be able to keep it.

This incredibly sweet and generous woman offered to give me her KitchenAid mixer!

This was a very touching gesture. It also exemplifies to me how Jews can support each other.

Shabbat Shalom.

Postscript: I asked and it turns out I can kasher my old mixer and keep it.

May 3, 2007

Goodbye Toaster Oven

Giving all that stuff up was a little difficult, but also strangely cleansing. I had to pare my kitchen down to a much meaner machine. Having to accommodate not one can-opener, but two- and who knows, possibly three had me reconsidering many of my kitchen appliances. Those baby corn holders- they occupy expensive real estate in the tiny kosher kitchen. Retooling my kitchen gave me the opportunity to pare down to the essentials- and get some new things I have wanted for awhile, too. I decided to reward myself with some Le Crueset cookware when the time came- high quality ceramic coated casseroles and such. Knowing I was going to get these made parting with the older stuff much easier.

I gave it a lot of my cookware to my cleaning lady and to a close non-Jewish friend. I gave the big box of food to my friend. Shortly after taking the box of food, she called me wanting directions on how to use my squid sauce. She also wanted to know what Hoisin sauce was and what to do with it... SIGH. "It's like a strong, plum-based barbecue sauce" I told her, my mouth watering. Then I wrote down "Get Kosher Hoisin sauce ASAP" on a notepad. I have since acquired my Kosher Hoisin sauce, and made peace with there being no more squid sauce in our lives. I can imagine enhancing Worcestershire with more anchovies might work just as well anyway.

The cleaning lady and non-Jewish friend would come over and I would give stuff to them. They would eye me suspiciously, or perhaps it was concern. They would ask questions about keeping kosher. I am not qualified to answer. It made me nervous. I would start to answer something cautiously, offering a million disclaimers. Or it would be something straightforward, and I would answer emphatically, and feeling for a moment I did know something! And then a simple follow-up question would unravel me and send me flying to get more information.

I found my knowledge of the ins and outs of cud-chewing, fins, scales and cloven hooves to be lacking. When asked about anything deeper, I would stammer "There are probably many different opinions on this... I interest you in any of my non-stick muffin tins?"... It was a bit awkward. They watched me giving all this stuff up and not really understanding the rules of this new endeavor I seemed to have signed myself up for completely. I can imagine how it looks to them. "Where should this roasting pan go?" My cleaning lady might ask. "Hmmm... I'm not sure if I can to keep it... The office." She would kind of double blink and bring it upstairs.
But this was a good precursor to when I really outted myself and all the questions that would follow. But that is a post for another day.

I still am donating and giving things away, but these things are in our storage area and ready to go. A friend of a friend needed the toaster oven, and this made me really happy. Giving the stuff up wasn't as hard with the knowledge that the person getting it really wanted or needed it. It took the sting out. It helps me to think that the toaster oven is still making toast. Hey, I could even call to check on it or visit it if I really missed it. I imagine calling up my cleaning lady to see if I could come and visit my muffin tins. I can see this completing her understanding that I am perhaps, loco. Embracing her having that opinion and not fighting it - somehow that helps me, too.

May 2, 2007

Welcome Kosherblog readers


Thank you
Jonathan Abbett at for mentioning my new project on your site. I must say, your site has been incredibly useful, and has provided me with much hope and excitement about not having to give up ALL the foods we love... My husband would send me links to your site whenever I felt the good foods slipping away. Is it a coincidence that you linked to me the day my hechschered Miso paste arrived?

To my new readers - Welcome!
I hope you continue to come back here.

(I am new to this and saw that a few my posts didn't allow comments- that has been fixed.)


So far a lot of these posts *seemed* to plop out of my head out of order.

Did I mention I am new to this blog stuff too?

I just noticed while re-reading my posts thus far that I really haven’t acknowledged the huge contributions made my sister. Certain ideas are *not* just plopping out of my head *alone* but plopping out of many hours of phone calls made to my sister, CLKL.

She actually was the person that pushed me to answer the "design spec" question- she prodded me to come up with this, because I was floundering on many household policies.

She has coined many terms- some yet not to have even been posted yet ("K-day") and key phrases ("pig juice") and ideas, so many ideas I can't even list them all. But I will hope to credit her more going forward. Without her I would not be writing this blog, either (her idea).

So this really should have been my first post, but unfortunately, my brain doesn't work that way...I am sort of dyslexic in a big picture way... just like how I checked for hechshered soap *after* I kashered the kitchen... The soap thing worked out, and I hope this acknowledgement doesn't come too late, either.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Part of the reason she wasn't mentioned so much was because I am not doing things entirely as she does them, as she is orthodox, and runs a strictly modern orthodox kosher home. So I don't want anything I decide or say here to seen as representing (tarnishing) her in any way. But a lot of the game plan for kashering came from her. She got me going when I was stalled, and helped lead me to the first finish line- kashering the kitchen. She was on call for 48 hours. She even sent us flowers that arrived at 3pm that afternoon - just before our first kosher Shabbos in our home.

Did I mention she sent me "Meat/Dairy/Pareve" labels? Or that she *made* me a Passover organization binder? I could go on and on, but let's just say we would probably still be sorting through Tupperware and scratching our heads if weren't for her (I am not exaggerating).

CLKL-Thank you SOOOOOO much for the hours of support and the incredible helpful, tactful, respectful and kind way in which you delivered all your advice. Thank you for having such a great mind and sharing your thinking with me.