Friday, August 28, 2009

Meat or Dairy?

Keeping the kitchen kosher seemed easy at first; all we have to do is keep the dairy dishes separate from the meat dishes, and that’s fairly simple. The dairy dishes are white. The meat dishes are grey. They go in separate cupboards and are labeled.

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Once we really got into things, though, we realized that we don’t understand all the ins and outs of what kashrut entails. At best we have a very limited understanding of what kosher means.

Patrick even wondered aloud what you’re supposed to do if you want meat and cheese on the same sandwich. What plate would you use then? The answer I gave him was that they wouldn’t because they don’t mix meat and dairy. Ever.

Not mixing meat and dairy is fairly simple for us, but what about the rest of our food? What about eggs? What about bread?

The manager pointed out a drawer full of plastic plates and utensils left by previous tenants and said we were free to use those as well. We’ve been using those as much as possible so that we don’t contaminate the meat or dairy dishes accidentally.

Plus we can throw those away if we don’t feel like washing dishes, like we didn’t tonight. It’s Shabbat, anyway, so I don’t think we’re supposed to work after sundown, right?


  1. My friends lived in Jerusalem for 2 years and when we visited them they ordered pizza. Easy, right? Nope, we could either have a cheese pizza and some veg on it, fine. But if you wanted meat, there was no cheese on the pizzas. Just the sauce and meats. She just grilled some pepperoni up for us to put on the cheesy ones! ;)

  2. Diana, Jewish dietary laws don't let you mix dairy and meat, so you have to have two sets of dishes in kosher kitchens, like the one we have here.

  3. Some Jewish homes actually have completely separate kitchens for meat and dairy. Most of the dietary laws stem from passages in scripture. Wikipedia gives a good rundown of the rules but we still find it confusing.

  4. I had no idea people did that...

  5. Wow, I always learn something from reading your notes. Very interesting.

  6. Yesterday, we tried to explain to the kids what kosher is. Should show them your post