Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Blah! But Kosher!

Back to the kashrus interrogation thing again. We're got a reciprocal invitation for dinner tonight to people we don't know all that well.

Thinking long and hard about the Lubavitcher who told me he and his family solved the problem by never eating at anybody's home (except other Lubavitchers, but they didn't say that part). That is definitely one solution; guess it's not ours.

Is there any nice way to ask someone if their home is completely kosher? I generally just try apologizing and adding that we take this very seriously, and that it's NOT because I question their committment. More like making sure we're on the same page.

If only I could assume! But assuming has led to meals of meat served with dairy margarine. Kosher meat cooked in goodness-knows-what kind of pots. Side dishes from Daiters (well, it's Jewish...), bread from Open Window or Harbord. And one hodge-podge meal from a well-meaning friend that simply was NOT kosher, period.

Assuming at one point included the absolute assurance of the rabbi of a Reform congregation that of course this particular congregant kept "strictly kosher." Translated, that apparently means non-kosher items galore in the cupboards, only a single set of dishes and pots and... well, the aforementioned dairy margarine.

("Oh, really? That's what the 'D' means in the kosher symbol?")

Outside of the restaurant context ("Moishey's Strictly Glatt Kosher Dairy Café"), I have come to the conclusion that "strictly kosher" belongs right up there with "very Orthodox" in the realm of fantastical fiction that non-religious Jews concoct about those who are only slightly observant.

Anyway, in tonight's case, you'll be relieved to know that the answers all seem to be YES.

The dishwasher is reserved for dairy. They have two sets of... well, everything. As it turns out, they actually have two kitchens: upstairs for dairy, downstairs for meat.

Actually, I'm surprised they ate by us, come to think of it. Two kitchens! What must they have thought of our squalid little single-sink kashrus nightmare of a kitchen? Still, we manage.

And, hey, tonight we're going out for supper!

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