Friday, November 28, 2014

The Picky Eater – Kosher – Traditional Thanksgiving Day Feast

  When I was a kid, you ate what was on your plate or you went hungry. (Of course, at my house there was also the “eat it or wear it” option, but that may have been because my Dad had a wicked sense of humor.) Holidays, with their spread big enough to feed an army, were the one time a year there was at least one thing on the table that everyone would eat.

  Then I had to grow up and have my own rebellious, little minions and all the rules went out the window.

  For starters Cousin Oliver is the picky eater that puts all other picky eaters to shame. The one time I tried the he’ll eat when he’s hungry enough approach, it became a battle of wills and, after four days of him refusing to eat a single thing, I broke.

  Then The Girl began her personal journey to convert to the Jewish faith and, as of August 1st, began *eating Kosher. (If you’re like I was and clueless as to what this means, the basics in a nutshell are no meat and dairy together. If you eat meat, you have to wait three to six hours before eating dairy.) (Also, no pork.)

  With these two variables figured into the mix, our menu planning was doomed before we ever began.
Me: “OK, so turkey’s a given. Wait, Cousin Oliver won’t eat turkey, but he’ll eat ham.”

Hubby: “OK, so ham it is.”

Me: “Wait, The Girl can’t eat pork, but turkey’s fine…We’ll just make a small turkey AND a small ham. Leftover sandwiches for a week, baby!”
  Turkey (and ham), noodles, gravy, mashed potatoes…
Me: “Wait, The Girl can’t eat mashed potatoes. Or gravy. I know, she can eat roasted potatoes!”

The Boy: “No mashed potatoes? Sissy’s ruining Thanksgiving!”

Me: “FINE! I’ll make mashed AND roasted, OK?”

The Boy: “Better.”
  Turkey (and ham), roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, noodles, cranberry salad…
Me: “Wait, what the hell has dairy and what doesn’t? Will Cousin Oliver eat anything we’re making besides ham? THE GIRL CAN’T EAT ANY OF THE PIES IF SHE EATS TURKEY!!!
*cue beginning of eye twitch*
Me: “GIRL! It’s two hours until lunch, eat a piece of pie NOW, damnit!”

The Girl: “Watch me not argue!”

Me: “Pie…PIES! Cousin Oliver won’t eat any of the THREE different kinds of pies I baked! Wait, I think I have another pie pan somewhere. Maybe enough butter to make one more batch of pie dough?”
*climbs on chair and frantically digs through cabinet for forgotten box of pudding which is held over head as sunbeam dramatically shines through window* That moment when finding a box of chocolate pudding is the Thanksgiving equivalent of finding the holy grail.

  Hubby and I spent half the morning scheduling oven time around each other. Sadly, his time slot for the green bean casserole and ham was first pushed back half an hour so I could bake one last pie crust for a chocolate pudding pie. Then another hour when the entire kitchen came to a standstill as we realized no one had thought about dinner rolls and I began digging for yeast to make a last-minute batch from scratch.

  In the end, it was a beautiful lunch eaten with half of us still in our jammies. We laughed, we threw food, we all forgot and offered The Girl dinner rolls made with milk and butter, but the important thing was that we were all together.

  I’m thinking I’m gonna start planning next year’s menu now. That way we’ll have a full twelve months to figure out who’s making what, schedule oven time, and remember to buy the damn dinner rolls. I mean, those things can freeze indefinitely, right?

If you’re curious or would like more info on what it means to keep Kosher with your diet, Judaism 101 Kashrut: Jewish Dietary Laws is a great resource.


  1. Wow…that sounds pretty impossible. Rules in my house – if it's on your plate you eat it end of story.

  2. Hubby and I constantly joke that it's a good thing we were both cooks in restaurants. It was excellent training for cooking for our herd. *grin*
    Hope you had a wonderful Holiday!

  3. Holidays have become more difficult for me since I've altered my diet (for health reasons – it has helped with the Fibro). My take is that I will always eat turkey and other than that I just plan to bring it myself. I hate missing out on so many great things, but it is what it is. In the end, I chose this diet, so it's up to me to make sure there is food I will eat.

    1. Hubby and I have been discussing a few diet changes for the coming year too. I'm with you though – I'll not even worry about trying to explain things, I'll just take my own dish. (If it wasn't for the fact all the Offspring are currently living at home and our kitchen is the size of a postage stamp, they would have been bringing their own too!)