Posted on: July 10, 2012
This weekend I’ll be traveling to Maine with my lovely partner and a couple of friends. I’m looking forward to getting out of the city, feeling very Dixie Chicks and hoping to look for miles and not see any tall buildings. I’m looking forward to dipping my toes in a cool lake, looking forward to sleeping in and snuggling with a good book. I’m looking forward to eating lobster. Lots of lobster and maybe some crab legs and maybe some oysters or mussels or shrimp.
Don’t worry-I keep Kosher, sort of. Here’s a list of things I do:
I eat kosher meat
I have separate mixing bowls and cutting boards (though they’re useless now that I’m off dairy)
I don’t eat treif
I have meat Pesach dishes
I don’t mix red meat with dairy (anymore)
I kashered my home for Pesach
I kashered my oven for Pesach
I kashered my microwave for Pesach
I eat halal meat
Here’s a list of things I don’t do:
I don’t buy kosher meat
I don’t have separate plates for meat, dairy and parve meals
I don’t have separate utensils
I don’t have separate pots and pans
For me keeping kosher is more about connecting to this particular mitzvot on a personal level rather than following a list of arbitrary rules for the sake of following rules. I decided that it was more important to eat locally, sustainably or organically than it is for me to eat meat that happens to have a little K on it. So the meat that I do eat in my home is either local or sustainable or organic, but not kosher certified. When I eat out, I try to eat at restaurants that source organic or local meat-sometimes it doesn’t work and then I eat vegetables sometimes it does. I steer clear of bacon (I miss you bacon) and other treif. I’ve even watched my girlfriend eat really delicious food I used to enjoy without as much as a taste-though I will smell it quite intensely.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t slip and have a cheeseburger since I declared myself Erika Kosher last Rosh Hashanah-I think I’ve had about four (okay maybe five) but now that I’ve been off dairy for almost two months those days are over. The rule about mixing meat and dairy made sense back in Biblical times, but today when you can have an angus burger with goat cheese, the mother and kid scenario don’t come into play, because it’s two different animals. Not to mention the fact that mixing chicken and dairy never bothered me because chickens don’t produce milk, but that’s another post.
Now that I’m an Erika-kosher, non-dairy, gluten-free person I do my best to keep all of my food issues in check. If I’m at a friend’s house and my only option is to eat meat I’ll eat the meat. If someone puts a burger in front of me they’ve purchased and cooked on my behalf, who am I to say no? Instead of being the person who can’t eat that or that or that so I suppose I’ll just eat my bag of almonds I’ve got in my bag and drink some water, I gladly find the foods I can eat and enjoy them and if my only options are foods that are treif, I’ll eat those too.
Which brings me to Maine. When in Rome, I’ll get bloated and gassy on cheese and pasta. When in Maine this weekend, I’ll eat lobster.
It’s not so much of a Kosher Cheating Curve as it is an appreciation for the wonderful possibilities that Halal has to offer.