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You can feel the Frumness in that kitchen... The bowl of dough rising, the braiding of the Challah, possibly in the hair, cooking in long sleeves with the chicken soup ingredients in the background, oil just to add fat, a water pouring device over the stove that will never be used, a huge other side to the kitchen for dairy... The only thing missing is stickers saying 'Meat.' (photo credit northjersey.com)
Your kitchen is kosher, but is it Frum?
Many new people to Yiddishkeit, Jewish living, try to make their kitchen religious. It's not easy. You can put a Kippah on the microwave. That's cute. But that doesn't make your kitchen Frum. A Frum, religious, kosher kitchen needs a good reputation. That doesn't happen with one sink. That doesn't happen with one oven. That doesn't happen with a microwave; unless if you have a different cover for every type of food you need to heat up.
You want people eating over? Here are some key rules for running a Frum kitchen.
Never Have Your Fridge Light On
Fridge lights must be off for Shabbat. That means 'never turn it on.' As a Frum Jew you are always in a state of Shabbat ready. This is why many Frum Jews wear black suits all week.
You should never be able to see into your fridge. If anybody can find the vegetable bin, it's a definite sign that you're not keeping kosher.
A lot of tin. Cook in tins. Bake in tins. Brisket in tin. Shabbat, holidays, Simchas, decked in tin. After tin, use tinfoil. Tinfoil everything. If you use a pot for cooking, cover it with tinfoil.
Paper plates. Plastic table cloths. Use plastic forks and knives. Anything that shows that you do not care about the environment will work.
After any holiday, your curb should have upwards of thirty 40-gallon garbage bags on it.
A Little Shabbat Parable: One great Shabbat I witnessed an amazing miracle. I didn't believe it could ever happen. Yet, I experienced it. I got through a whole piece of chicken without the fork breaking. I finished the leg and all the teeth were still there.
Always Have A Sponge Cake Out
Make sure you always have a sponge cake out. Leave it out for as long as you want. You don't have to make a fresh one. Nobody will eat it anyways.
Your cake should be edible with herring. Don't worry about having out a babka. That gets too expensive, as people eat it.
Your cake should taste good with herring and schnapps.
When Pesach Comes, Use More Tinfoil
Cover your kitchen fully in tin. Your kitchen should blind guests. It helps for hiding Chametz. Seeing leavened bread is a sin. If there's enough tinfoil, you won't be able to see anything.
Dough Should Always Be Rising
Even if you're not making bread, have the bowl. A huge industrial size bowl. This way it looks like you're making Challah. A tiny bowl just looks bad. You should also have no small tins. Only the double rectangle that takes up the full oven shelf. Anything less makes it look like you're not even cooking for the minimum number of Frum people dinner attendees.
Eighteen. That's the minimum you should always be cooking for. If it's just you and your husband you cook for eighteen. Every Frum kitchen should have tins in the fridge, with leftovers. Frum people should always be eating leftovers during the week. Make sure to note that- Leftovers In The Fridge At All Times.
And braid. Always braid. Braiding is the sign of the modern Frum woman. If it's not dough, it's hair. Braid.
One caveat to the bowl is Pesach. Get rid of the bowl for Pesach.
Have At Least Two Sinks
I suggest a sink for every day of the week, and then for Pareve. That will comfort all who question your kosher standing. General rule of thumb: Never use a sink twice.
Better yet, two kitchens. And then another kitchen for Pesach. If you are wealthy enough, two kitchens for Pesach.
Eight Sets of Dishes
You should question using any dish twice. Question everything you do. There is Shabbat, holidays, guests, Pesach. There's dairy, meat, pareve, whatever your mother-in-law cooks.
You should be using paper anyways. It's about faith and not worrying whether the lost fork tooth that broke off fell in the choolante. Having to buy another set of dishes is the cost for not having faith in H' and thinking that disposable hurts the environment. The real question is- Does it hurt Shabbis?
Have a Box of Food With A Kosher Symbol You Don't Trust
Tell people you made a mistake buying it. Not trusting a Hashgacha shows you are better than that product. Frum kitchens should have pride. If that comes with belittling Minute Maid or Mott's, so be it.
For extra shul cred, randomly say 'I don't eat there.' Not eating somewhere is the key to your kitchen being Kosher. Let it be known, 'I don't trust the hashgacha at LongHorn Steakhouse.'
Scream 'You Treifed Up My Kitchen' Every Once in a While
To make Treif is to make something not kosher. Yelling brings out the personality of the religious kitchen. It als shows you have full control of your kosher areas.
Kasher Your Kitchen Regularly
When your guests visit, pull out a blowtorch. The more dangerous your Kashering of your kitchen, the more religious you look.
All Sweet Products Must Say Paskesz on It
It just looks good. The product doesn't even need a Kosher symbol on it. If it has Paskesz, it's Frum.
Just saying Paskesz gives you Frum kitchen status. It even sounds more religious than Lieber's.
Put Stickers on Everything
All dairy areas must have dairy. Meat need meat. Pareve, needs pareve. This shows that you don't trust your family when they're getting cereal.
Don't let your husband in the kitchen ever. He'll treif it up. Husbands should be sitting at the table, because they mess things up. This is why husbands should never help.
I hope this article speaks to the modern Frum woman. That is our target population.
Just remember. The environment is not your worry. Your worry is feeding eighteen people. Weekly. Two times. Plus holidays. All savvy Frum people know that you do that with paper, plastic and tin.
Kitchen help is not going to pass. Clean dishes is a sign your husband went in the kitchen after dinner, and touched the sink that had no sticker on it. And that means it's treif.
So, make your kitchen Frum and be accepted in a way keeping Kosher can't. You deserve friends in your neighborhood. You shouldn't be relegated to eating dinner, alone, with your husband. Nobody should have to suffer Shabbat like that.
One last note: If you don't want to braid, you can purchase Challah. Purchasing is still good enough for the Frum kitchen. Nonetheless, there should still be dough a bowl with dough in it.
If you follow these rules, all will trust your kashrut, and eat in your kitchen, even if you don't invite them.
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I was going to do Kaparos before Yom Kippur, but I chickened out.
You get it? Kaparos is the tradition of placing your sins on something else, the day before Yom Kippur, traditionally a chicken, and waiving it. He chickened out of the chicken. He might've done it with money in the end. But that would still be without a chicken.
Designated stroller parking area. Something every shul needs, so I can get through the entrance on Yom Kippur... Truth is they should have stroller parking all the time. The entrance is always blocked.
Problem: Merv and Bernie will end up parking there. They already take the disabled parking spots and walk just fine. When it comes to parking, every member of our congregation is disabled.
Side Note: Figured out why so many kids come to shul on Yom Kippur. Because they get to eat in shul on Yom Kippur.