Keeping Kosher

So if you’ve been keeping up with me, you know I have one non-denominational son, and one Jewish son.  Well, he identifies himself as Jewish, not sure if he’s cleared it with Rabbi?

In any case, we got a friendly little Yahoo groups reminder last Sunday that Nathaniel was expected to bring only kosher lunches for the entire week to his preschool.  Somehow we hadn’t noticed the flyer outlining all the details and suggested kosher for Passover preschool lunches for dummies, so James began doing some hurried internet research… sending me off to Whole Foods on a wing and a prayer.  And a long string of text messages.

It turns out we adhere to Sephardic kashrut and not the Ashkenazi tradition, which allows for legumes, peanuts, corn and rice…thank goodness.  It turns out the brown rice pasta we always eat is certified kosher, allowing for a nice big helping of Pesach kasurut mac and cheese.  Who knew… ketchup is always kosher.

James told me to look for the special “Kosher for Passover” logo.  He specifically sent me texts directing me to look for Kosher for Passover Ranch dressing.  Hard boiled eggs and hamburger patties are OK.  Get lots of fruit.  No grains, leavened or otherwise.

I was under the misunderstanding that must have been perpetuated by the airline industry in the 80’s that kosher food was specially blessed… apparently not true.  Or not generally true— James did the majority of the research.  It appears kosher for Passover is actually the true source of gluten-free— no wheat, barley, oats, spelt or rye.

So I set off for Whole Foods expecting to find a big, bright display of special kosher for Passover abundance and easy to see logos.  What I find is two little aisle “end caps” with what amounts to ten different forms of matzah.  I get a box of matzah, some “potato crisps” and some panko.  I look everywhere and don’t see one single “Kosher for Passover” logo.  Instead I find foods labeled paleo friendly, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and grain free.  Our go-to chicken tenders are certified Halal.

Fortunately Nate is totally comfortable and casual about matzah and peanut butter… eats it all the time.  Plus he’s a fruitarian, which completely qualifies.  I just re-read the flyer and see that he is never allowed to have any pork or shellfish in his lunches… good thing we’ve avoided packing him any shrimp, crab or lobster… though I may need to double check the ingredients on those mini corn dogs that fit so perfectly in our Christmas thermoses.

The good news is, we made it through the week.  James basically had us all eating kosher… or some version of Internet kosher.  The one thing I do know?

Snack Shack nacho cheese: not kosher.


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