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Sisterschmooze

• Marcia Stark Meth • Emmy Stark Zitter • Miriam Stark Zakon •

Jews not only like eating, we like talking about food, thinking about food, writing about food. We can make metaphors out of meat, take mussar from minestrone, find meaning in macaroni. In fact, it’s possible that the only thing that’s better than eating a good kosher meal is… schmoozing about one. So put the tablecloth on, lay out the silverware, place a napkin in your lap, and join us for some culinary tales. Bon appétit!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Marcia squawks about… The Chicken that Got Away   Chicken Kashering Day in Home Ec. The high point of junior year at BYA. Certainly more fun than Chemistry or Trig. True confessions — even more fun than Chumash or Navi. We were going to learn a new life skill! After all, you never know: Someday we might end up on a desert island where chickens aren’t available pre-cleaned, pre-cut, and shrink-wrapped in the refrigerator aisle. After davening, we proceeded to our chickens, who were waiting patiently on long folding tables spread out in the “multipurpose gym room” — actually an unfinished basement with exposed pipes, concrete floor, and poor ventilation — in the prehistoric, one-level, bug-infested building we called a school back in the late ’60s. We broke into groups of two. Each pair was given a chicken (yes, it was pre-plucked) and a bucket. First step: inspect the chickens. My partner, Alida, and I immediately realized we were embarked on a unique adventure: Apparently our chicken (we called her Hennie), before her demise, had enjoyed eating feathers! Little feather tips were protruding throughout her gullet. Yay — a sh’eilah! We were instructed to take our chicken to the Chisda Rav, who lived in the neighborhood, to determine whether or not it was kosher. So Alida and I bundled up and stepped into the bleak, snowy landscape of Ninth Avenue, carrying Hennie in her bucket. A scene from the alte heim of prewar Europe. We pictured our grandmothers trudging through the snow, just like us. With so much poverty back then, surely a feather-eating chicken would have merited a sh’eilah — not like in rich America, where it would normally just be discarded. On an impulse, Alida and I took our silk scarves — fashionable neckwear of the day — wrapped them around our heads, and tied them under our chins. Voilà! Instant “babushkas.” Our fantasy was complete. Or so we thought… 

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