Making your kitchen kosher can be easy and fun.
When we left off in the previous post, we had finished torching or boiling all the utensils we could keep from our before-kosher days. We were pretty happy that we had invested in good cooking pots and pans, which were easily koshered through one of the two methods. Our Rabbi walked us through all the stages and steps and, as you may remember from the last post, was on hand to put the final “firing” touches on our kosher kitchen. Once my wife recovered from the thought of the possibility of burning down our specially designed gourmet kitchen, she quickly jumped into the swing of reorganizing and buying the new utensils and supplies we needed to become fully kosher.
No mixing meat and dairy
One of the cornerstones of the kosher diet is the separation between meat and dairy. Not only do we not eat meat and dairy together, but we use separate pots, dishes and silverware and if possible, separate sinks. When you are newly kosher, or even if you have been at it for a while, but have frequent guests, especially maybe parents who are not yet keeping kosher, it is a good idea to organize your kitchen into two separate areas and label all your cabinets and drawers. There are also lots of creative stickers that you can affix to your pots, pans, and containers that mark them dairy, meat, or parve so even if one escapes from its designated place in the kitchen, you will still know which is which.
What about cleanup?
We were very lucky to have two sinks in our kitchen, which is pretty much standard in Jewish neighborhoods. But, if you have one sink and it is stainless steel, then you can simply pour boiling water all over it, followed by cold water, and then a second round. Afterwards, designate it for either meat or dairy, perhaps the one that you eat the most, and use a plastic tub for the other utensils. If the sink is not stainless steel, then it cannot be koshered and you will need to use plastic tubs for both meat and dairy utensils.
Oy vey! I used the meat spoon to stir my latte
Chances are you will make a mistake or family or friends who are not yet into the kosher groove will mistakenly use the wrong utensil. If this happens, don’t panic and don’t throw it out! Save all the utensils you accidentally treif for the week before Pesach when your local shul or kashrut va’ad will host large koshering services. At this point, you can re-kasher the utensil and return it to its original designation.
Once we finished everything, we make a huge meal and invited all our friends. It was a great way to top off all the work and I highly recommend it as the ideal way to celebrate.
By Oren Laurent