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Old 10-02-2006, 02:27 AM   #21
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Oh my goodness, Hades! Ever so well-intentioned, but please stop!

My very dearest friend is an Israeli Jew. She would no more expect me to know the detailed in's and out's of her religion than I would expect her to know those of mine. She also would not DREAM of putting me out in a way such as you're describing, and I daresay your future guests, both, would be terribly embarrassed to think you're burning the midnight oil a full week ahead of time trying to get your entire meal in alignment with Kashrut laws, which as GB points out, are very complex.

Put yourself in their shoes: would you wish to know you were causing your hostess such anxiety? I wouldn't, nor would anyone even moderately well bred. If your colleague's wife so strictly observes Kashrut, she has no business accepting your invitation. Why, to make you feel bad for not being fully up to speed on the laws of her religion?!

So please, stop, take a deep breath, and start again, approaching this upcoming dinner as you would most any other, trying to get through it without having to call the little men in white coats for yourself, and making a reasonable attempt to please your guests with well-prepared and tasty food. Any number of Jews have to learn to adapt to situations where they cannot eat as they'd like and she's no exception. The onus is upon her, not upon you!

Besides, you haven't got a prayer of getting it right, so please hear me! (Should you feel I'm being too harsh saying that, try this link http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm which will point out that if you were to really go for getting it right, you'd have to change your saucepan, potholders, dishwasher ... why, even your spoon rest for heaven's sake!)

Alternatively, if you wish, please have a frank conversation with the hubby in this scenario and ask him to please advise you on a menu.

Again, however, since I'm almost yelling at you here to stop the madness, let me say again that I think your desire to do this says endlessly nice things about you!
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Chopstix
I, along with many people I'm sure, would be very interested to know the reasons why. Instead of confining it to PMs, can this be an open discussion?
Because the reason has to do with religious discussions I can't write about it here in the open forums as it is against our community policies. That is the only reason why I need to confine it to PM's. I am more than happy to discuss it with anyone that way though. I will send you a PM in a sec Chopstix. And anyone else who is curious (I have already had a few takers) please feel free to send me a PM and I will happily explain what I have been taught.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:52 AM   #23
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There are lots of 'rules'...some people are more lenient than others. The fact that you are even trying is commendable.

You cannot mix meat and dairy in the same course. In other words, no butter on the table for the bread. No butter in the mashed potatoes if served with meat.

If you made a noodle kugel, you'd have to serve it as a seperate course, on seperate plates.

A home that is kept kosher would have seperate pots and pans for cooking meat and dairy dishes.

Any guest who would expect you to go to that extreme would be unreasonable. Your guests accepted your invitation without giving you guidelines so I suspect they will enjoy your meal, regardless of what you prepare.

If I were you, I'd find a kosher butcher for the meat. I'd also look up holiday menu ideas and include those. I would keep dairy and meat seperate throughout the meal.

Good luck.
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:55 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ayrton
Oh my goodness, Hades! Ever so well-intentioned, but please stop!

My very dearest friend is an Israeli Jew. She would no more expect me to know the detailed in's and out's of her religion than I would expect her to know those of mine. She also would not DREAM of putting me out in a way such as you're describing, and I daresay your future guests, both, would be terribly embarrassed to think you're burning the midnight oil a full week ahead of time trying to get your entire meal in alignment with Kashrut laws, which as GB points out, are very complex.

Put yourself in their shoes: would you wish to know you were causing your hostess such anxiety? I wouldn't, nor would anyone even moderately well bred. If your colleague's wife so strictly observes Kashrut, she has no business accepting your invitation. Why, to make you feel bad for not being fully up to speed on the laws of her religion?!

So please, stop, take a deep breath, and start again, approaching this upcoming dinner as you would most any other, trying to get through it without having to call the little men in white coats for yourself, and making a reasonable attempt to please your guests with well-prepared and tasty food. Any number of Jews have to learn to adapt to situations where they cannot eat as they'd like and she's no exception. The onus is upon her, not upon you!

Besides, you haven't got a prayer of getting it right, so please hear me! (Should you feel I'm being too harsh saying that, try this link http://www.jewfaq.org/kashrut.htm which will point out that if you were to really go for getting it right, you'd have to change your saucepan, potholders, dishwasher ... why, even your spoon rest for heaven's sake!)

Alternatively, if you wish, please have a frank conversation with the hubby in this scenario and ask him to please advise you on a menu.

Again, however, since I'm almost yelling at you here to stop the madness, let me say again that I think your desire to do this says endlessly nice things about you!
While this is all true, the other side of the coin is that your guest, I am sure, would be flattered and very appreciative that you went through the effort to respect her dietary restrictions as best as you could. I do not think that Hades is going overboard in trying to do these things. No matter what, the meal will not be kosher and his guest already knows that. She will, I am sure, be honored that you tried though.

It would be just like if you were having a vegitarian over for a meal. Most people would try to at least serve things they know their guest would eat. Most people would not serve hamburgers with a side of meatballs.

The Kashrut laws are so vast and complex that I doubt that there is a single person who has ever kept 100% kosher. The goal is to just do the best you can and always move towards doing better. If you have a guest over who keeps kosher then they will just look to do the best they can while being your guest. If they do not feel comfortable breaking the rules then they already know that they can not accept your invitation. Very few people take it to that extreme (some do though of course).
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Old 10-02-2006, 08:58 AM   #25
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A safe way to go if you are really worried would be a vegetarian meal. As far as the food restrictions, vegetarian meals are kosher. Of course since your kitchen, pots and pans, utensils, etc. are not kosher then nothing you make or serve will technically be kosher, but I am sure your guess will be fine with that since she has accepted your invitation.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:05 AM   #26
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Maybe the easiest would be to serve a vegetarian meal?

Maybe a nice eggplant parm or veggie lasagna?
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:06 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
While this is all true, the other side of the coin is that your guest, I am sure, would be flattered and very appreciative that you went through the effort to respect her dietary restrictions as best as you could. I do not think that Hades is going overboard in trying to do these things. No matter what, the meal will not be kosher and his guest already knows that. She will, I am sure, be honored that you tried though.
I do completely agree with what GB says above, Hades -- there isn't any doubt that it would be flattering to have you try to please your guests in this way. I just wished to encourage you to find that fine line of yes, trying not to offend their religious sensibilities, but still trying to have a good time yourself and have it be a fairly "normal" bit of entertaining.

I hope it's a fun dinner after all. It would be lovely to hear back from you how it went.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:09 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Ayrton
I just wished to encourage you to find that fine line of yes, trying not to offend their religious sensibilities, but still trying to have a good time yourself and have it be a fairly "normal" bit of entertaining.
A very good point indeed!
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:08 AM   #29
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Here's the menu and recipes for a Jewish-inspired dinner the Contessa made for her husband Jeffrey. It sounds delicious to me.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show..._38395,00.html
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Old 10-02-2006, 10:24 AM   #30
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Something to keep in mind is that Kosher and Jewish do not mean the same thing. The Contessa's meal is not kosher because she is serving meat, but the spinich dish is made with butter.
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