Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Nine Days Cooking Conundrum

My family doesn't eat a lot of meat as a rule, so our dinner menus this week look much like they do every week.

Yet, all over the world, Jewish cooks are scouring recipe websites and consulting their friends for 9 Days Ideas. What I find puzzling, is that many people are going out of their way to prepare elaborate and sumptuous dairy treats - many people even borrowing from their Shavuos menus.

I don't know. Maybe it's just me. But doesn't this sort of contrary to the POINT?


Leora said...

No elaborate going on here. And my daughter is duly suffering without her meat.

Hard to argue against your main point - not really meant to be a time of feasting.

Anonymous said...

There are so many aspects of Judaism in which the spirit and the letter of the law conflict, so what's one more?

If the law is no meat, no meat. To me a sandwich made with packaged cold cuts is no match for dairy lasagna, but we don't make a distinction.

If the halacha of no meat derives from the korbanos it makes more sense, anyway... there were no dairy offerings in the Temple.

To my mind... the whole point of religion is shared communal experiences (sorry), so if the whole community is bonding by not eating meat together, that's a religious goal right there.

You can always make a siyum and eat meat every night, like they do at camp.

G6 said...

Anonymous -
I like your point about the "shared communal experience". Truly.
And the "siyum every night" group? Yeah. What's up with that?

ProfK said...

Re the siyum in camp so they can serve meat every night, a camp director once told me that one reason is because it's a practical matter. They have never had a camper allergic to chicken or beef, but have had plenty of campers with milk allergies or lactose intolerance. Easier to make a siyum every day then to have to figure out and prepare alternative meals twice a day for the dairy problem campers.

FBB said...

I would think that this is possibly indicative that the Torah does not see dairy as festive or joyful, no matter how sumptuous we make it, it cannot rise to the level of meat.

From a practical standpoint, sometimes milchting/pareve meals need to be fuller or more sumptuous just so that the masses aren't hungry a few hours later. Though yummy, a piece of salmon doesn't "stick" to you like a good piece of..well...anything flieshting.

dolly lama said...

you'll get no argument from me. i'm equally confounded by all the pleas for ideas of "kosher fun" things to do at this time and the way milchig restaurants are jam packed SRO. definitely a matter of grasping the letter of the law and discarding its spirit IMO.

Maya Resnikoff said...

We're in the process of moving, and therefore keeping smaller-than-usual amounts of food in the house. I think we're managing the 9-days mind-set with our eating pretty well: a lot of salad and a lot of lentils. But we eat fairly simply during the week normally- and almost always dairy during the week anyways, too (we're on a student sort of budget still, and fleish is pricy).