Going Kosher: Eating Day 1

Breakfast: Two Boiled Eggs, Bread & Butter, and Coffee.

My day began with breakfast at the kitchen table with my boyfriend.  We had hard boiled eggs, which he hates; and coffee, which I hate.  I smeared a slice of bread with butter; my boyfriend paused, looked at me and said: “Is that butter kosher?”

I sighed. “I don’t…it’s fine…arrrgh, let me check.”

I grabbed the Breakstone’s box out of the fridge.  We had spent a better part of the previous evening in the grocery store, having to scrutinize every box for the Kosher symbol.  Breakstone’s made my day:

Usually, the kosher symbol is not so obvious.

I left my boyfriend with a list of what to eat and headed into work.  At lunch, I dazzled my coworkers with my multiple Tupperwares, my bialy from Kossar’s and my bag of pickled vegetables from The Pickles Guys: cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and celery.  The Pickle Guys are the last pickle purveyors on the Lower East Side, a community that long ago had a barrel of pickles for sale on every street corner.  The day I went, I saw another ghost from the past: a horseradish grinder, filling orders for the upcoming Passover holiday.  I had heard a story (from Jane Ziegelman) that the horseradish grinders of the last century were easily recognizable even after their daily toil was done: the fumes from the pungent root would cause their eyes to inflame and water all day.  This modern-day grinder donned a gas mask to avoid that unpleasant side affect.

The horseradish grinder.

The potato soup was perfect, the sweet-and-sour goulash was delicious.  Lunch was filling and satisfying.

Hungarian goulash, served with noodles; how I remember it from my childhood.

Dinner was late: at the end of the long day, I sat at the kitchen table again.  I split a buttered bialy with my man and we cracked open a take-out container from Russ & Daughters, one of those unstoppable Lower East Side institutions that started as a pushcart a century ago.  The first store to use “& Daughters,” it’s motto is “Appetizing since 1914.”

When I stopped in the other day, their candy counter was stocked with tempting towers of nuts and macaroons for Passover.  I needed pickled herring for dinner and I choose one with a modern twist: a herring done up in a delicious curry sauce, topped off with a stack of pickled onions.

Neither my boyfriend or I eat much fish,  but we both agreed that this herring was probably really good herring.  Mostly, we piled our bread high with onions and delicious curry sauce.  We finished with a few pieces of fresh fruit and cups of hot, black tea.

Pickled herring in curry sauce, from Russ & Daughters; a bialy from Kossar’s.

2 Responses to “Going Kosher: Eating Day 1”

  • Sounds like a fun albeit challenging adventure! Must have just missed you at Pickle Guys — I was there Wednesday morning picking up some fresh horseradish and pickles before hopping on a plane to Ohio. (Which, unfortunately, leaked all over my luggage.) Have you tried their pickled pineapple? Really to die for.

  • Yes!I was their in the afternoon, and sampled the horseradish which was delicious. I was eyeing up the pickled pineapple. I’ll have to sample it next time.

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