Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is my favorite American holiday. I love turkey with all the trimmings, love watching football, love drinking plenty of wine, and love to have the family and friends gather together without any religious rituals outside of basic kosher dietary laws. In fact, the most fun for me is figuring out how I make wonderful traditional dairy delicacies like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole pareve without it losing any of that sumptuous flavor.

I take tremendous pleasure at shocking people at how well I can somehow make these traditional dairy foods taste so much like the original without compromising koshrus. My inlaws always mock me for my "goyesha" menus, as they never grew up eating mashed potatoes with gravy as a side to their turkey. They never, ever had green bean casserole with poultry. When I make sausage stuffing they are simply baffled that a kosher Jew would actually make this kind of food.

Ahhh...but they eat it, and love it, and are stunned that it can actually be done so well. It's my passion, actually, to strive to not only make kosher versions of traditionally non-kosher foods, but make them taste as good or better than the treif original. Sometimes it can be done, sometimes it can't, but I make the best possible run at it every time.

Even better is when I have over people who don't keep kosher at all compliment me on the foods without knowing at all that they are pareve or kosher. They just eat it, enjoy it, praise it, and I thank them, but only afterward do I inform them that it was a pareve substitute they were eating.

In a small way, I feel as if I'm performing the mitzvah of Jewish outreach. Secular Jews are always under the impression that kosher means "tastes like crap". These negative impressions often cause Jews who don't know any better to never even consider leading a more Jewish life because they couldn't tolerate the limitations on what they can eat, or the poor taste of he food that they can.

When they eat my foods, and really, really like it, they are often stunned that kosher can be good, and it sometimes opens their minds up a just a little bit regarding the whole kosher thing. If they lose that anti-kosher prejudice, than maybe, just maybe, they will be more open minded at some point to considering some level of kosher themselves.

Anyway, it's one way for a small, simple Jew like myself to try and make a difference, and while I'm at it enjoy the delicious results of my labor of love at the same time.

Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. Hi, nice blog!
    I love Thanksgiving day very much. I found a site with a lot of things about Thanksgiving. Maybe this will interest you: All about Thanskgiving Day!!! :)

  2. So, what's the kosher version of a bacon double cheeseburger?

    Stumped ya, didn't I?


    Have a happy Thanksgiving, MZ!

  3. Well, well, well. Seems we share at least one passion: cooking! I'll have to post some recipes here for you to kosherise... ;)

  4. hope you had a great one!

    btw - HOW do you make sausage stuffing? mine has pork in it - and apples.

    beamish - i want to know what the kosher version is!

  5. snap out of it - there's work to be done.

    may Hashem grant you the wisdom to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.

    no whining.


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