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Part 280 - Kosher

Try something new when you can. Stretch your skills to make someone else happy. Just make an effort and see how the smiles spread.

Dena and Mat are observant jewish friends. They are in town for Dena and Kim's 30th high school reunion. I invited them to dinner at our house on Sunday night. Mat said, "We keep kosher. It may be more trouble than you think."

I took that as an opportunity to learn something new. First, I made a kosher-consult call to my pal David. He's also observant and knows the ins and outs of kosher cooking. We devised a plan that was quite simple.

I've been in the market for a new charcoal grill for some time now. Home Depot had a sale on grills. I bought one. Brand new. Kosher as they come.

Next, to the grocery store in search of Parve certified foods. I found kosher bread. I found kosher salmon. I even lucked into some Glatt certified poultry and beef at the local Kroger.

Kim bought new cutlery and a chef's knife. We got paper plates. We bought a new cutting board and disposable pans. Everything working just as I hoped.

Then, I marinated the chicken. I also marinated the beef short ribs. I, not being well versed in the ways of kosher, totally ruined the beef. Did you know Worcestershire sauce has fish sauce in it? I didn't. We'll save that bit for another day.

The chicken was almost a colossal failure as well. I used a spice mix. The individual spices in the mix were all - on their own - kosher. But, when you use a pre-mixed set of spices, the mix is supposed to be certified kosher. A quick kosher-consult with a reading of the ingredients revealed that this particular mix was - in fact - kosher. Close call.

The chicken was amazing.

I had so much fun hunting and gathering the various utensils and ingredients. I had so much fun with Dena and Mat's smiles. The evening stretched on with three bottles of kosher wine and good conversation.

Try something new. Make something special. Make someone smile.