Monday night at my house was a disaster. I tried to cook Suzie a special dinner and nearly unkoshered our entire house. My mistake? I had bought an ethical but unkosher chicken. As I boiled and bleached my mistake away, I burst into tears and yelled, “F*%& KASHRUT! DON’T I GET CREDIT FOR TRYING?!”

I don’t understand how to be strictly kosher. My family hasn’t kept strict kosher since my great grandparents died, and according to my 96 year old grandma, “the whole thing’s a racket.” It’s not that we’re NOT kosher–the only “thing with eyes” I routinely eat is salmon, and I have never in my life ingested pork or shellfish. My sister waits hours in between eating meat and dairy. But separate sets of dishes and boiling everything? Completely different kind of kosher.

Honestly, this new strict type of kashrut does not work for me. Not yet. I don’t see the point. I fast on Yom Kippur, I give up all my favorite foods for Passover, and I never eat pork. I eat Jewish! Not only that, I’m one of those good people who makes sure that I buy the expensive eggs just so I can imagine hens frolicking in a field somewhere in Massachusetts rather than being tortured in Kansas. I eat ethical! So what the hell is the point of strict kashrut? It’s not more ethical–and for me, it’s not more traditionally Jewish. Why am I doing this?

I don’t just want to think about this as something I do for Suzie. I want to get into this. I want to find a way that this is meaningful for me.
So, I’m going to start thinking of keeping kosher as a type of kink.

My safe word is going to be “take out.”
When I feel constricted by the rules, I’ll just think of corsetry.
When I do everything right, I’ll call the kitchen my B*&%#.
When I mess up, I’ll reframe it as “naughty.” (“Naughty” is waaaay more fun than “treyf.”)
Maybe I’ll put leather straps on my apron?

We’ll see how it turns out. But I’m excited to reframe being strictly kosher as being the fun kind of strict. Here’s to kink and kosher cooking, together at last!

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