Monday, August 9, 2010

Keeping Kosher, Wedding Style

Mike and I keep a Kosher kitchen.  Broken down to the simplest form, this means we never mix milk and meat, have separate milk and meat dishes, along with separate utensils, pans, pots, spatulas, etc. We also only purchase Kosher meat. As a vegetarian this effects me less than Mike.  All in all, the discipline is easy to maintain.

Kosher symbols, heckshers, ensure the food is Kosher, and identify the certifying organization.

When it comes to our wedding we considered having a Kosher caterer provide the food.  However, there are two main reasons we decided to go with a "Kosher style" from a normal caterer.

Reason one: Price.  Kosher meat costs more.  Having a mashgiach to oversee the Kosher kitchen and preparations raises the cost of the product, too. Overall, our budget does not allow for a Kosher meal provided by a Kosher caterer.

Reason two:  The cake.  When you serve meat as an entree, or anytime you eat meat, strict observers wait 3 hours after to consume milk products.  This means serving a parve, or non-dairy/non-meat wedding cake. (Parve is like Switzerland: neutral territory. Of course most cakes never have meat)  A non-dairy cake does not taste as good as a buttercreme lathered milk included cake.  There are companies that specialize in parve cakes who do amazing things with substitutes.  You pay dearly for that talent, too.

So "Kosher style" it is.  You will not find cheese burgers, milk laden slabs of meat, or pork-wrapped-shrimp. However the meals served are tasty just the same!  Also if you are someone who keeps strict Kosher and attends our wedding, we allow you to choose to eat the milk based hors d'oeuvres since milk before meat is OK.  Although, I'll gladly eat your extra brie. and cake.  What these guests do get are their very own, outsourced, Kosher certified meals in their own saran-wrapped packages.  100% Kosher = happy guests and bride and groom.

This wasn't all without craziness though.
First we offered observant family members the vegetarian entree.  No dice.  Because it's not prepared in a Kosher kitchen they will not eat it.  Ok, so fish? No, not that either?  Thankfully every caterer we are in "talks with" gladly picks up these 12 outsourced meals for us from a local organization. You probably saw it as one of the options during the catering tastings.  We don't get to taste them ahead of time, though.  We trust it will be fine.
Watch them cost $300...
 (some money saving efforts, huh?)

We want our family to attend and eat, so we do what we can with what we have.
And we'll have our cake and eat it too!


  1. Okay soooo... you're vegetarian so since you won't be eating meat, you're good to eat all the cake you could want! Right?

    And Mike, since he isn't a strict observer,... he'll get to eat cake after his entree,... right? RIGHT?!?!

    But then there are guests who are strict and they won't get any cake,...? And... they're okay with this?

    Or will they get cake because they'll be eating special kosher meals that don't have any meat but that aren't the same as your vegetarian dish because your vegetarian dish isn't made in a kosher kitchen...?

    I think I need a flow chart. Something visual. I have no idea how you're managing this. You're my hero.

  2. Wait a minute. Milk before meat is OK, and you don't have to wait 3 hours and not the other way around? Someone writing the Bible liked to eat cake before dinner.....


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