My mother z”l hardly ever threw out food. I think she managed this by serving five meat meals during the week. On the three “fleishig” weekdays, she transferred meaty leftovers from one main meal to the next. Whatever leftovers couldn’t go in a main course were recycled in the soup.
With mostly milchig meals, she would have had two sets of leftovers to juggle. I remember that she had a of milchig, cooked rice in the refrigerator at all times because (a) she used it for rice and milk, a comfort food she heated up with a little sugar whenever we got sick, and (b) it was one of the few things I ever saw her throw away.
Frequent meat meals don’t always mean eating large quantities of meat. One friend uses up her Shabbat leftovers gradually, adding more rice and vegetables to the pan each day until the end of the week, when hardly any meat is left. Beans and legumes are a good way to up the nutritional value of meals low in animal protein.
My mother z”l owned few pareve utensils. My mother had two full sets of eating utensils, but a limited number of dairy casseroles and pots. It seems to me that the traditional Jewish kitchen is mostly fleishig, with pareve items cooked in fleishig pots.
At the other extreme I have been to homes with a large selection of pareve pots and serving utensils. I say extreme because by the time I serve the food I already know whether the meal will be milchig or fleishig, and I can match the utensils to whatever dishes and flatware I’m using. It seems that an excess of pareve utensils, like two sinks, is one more example of affluence leading to more stringencies.
Rabbi Dr. Haym Soleveitchik, son of the Rav, once described how his mother went out of town for a few days. While she was away, the family observed kashrut according to the Shulchan Aruch, the standardized code of Jewish law. This included eating cold foods with whatever utensil was available regardless of “gender.” When she returned the rebbetzin accused them of traifing up her kitchen (i.e. making it not kosher). Most Jewish homemakers are more stringent than necessary regarding meat and dairy utensils, but of course this prevents mixups.
My pareve utensils include my food processor; a large pressure cooker, another pot, baking equipment, and a few small things. I use the pressure cooker to make large batches of beans and rice to use in both meat and dairy recipes. Occasionally I’ll use a pareve utensil or the food processor for mixing a cold, milchig food.
For those of you who keep kosher, how do you handle leftovers of meat and dairy?
Definitions: Fleishig: Meaty Milchig: Dairy Pareve: Neutral. Fleishig and milchig foods are never cooked together, with separate pots and eating utensils are required for each. There is leniency regarding cold foods. z”l: zichrona livracha, may her memory be for a blessing. Rebbetzin: Rabbi’s wife.
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