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kashering pots

a
Alexandra Jan 26, 2004 07:06 PM

My son is kosher, I am not, although I do not have pork or shellfish in my house. He is coming home for a visit and said that I can boil water in my pots to make them acceptable. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to the easiest way to make some of my things usable so I can provide for my son and not have to feel like I have lost my role in his life. Thank you.
Alexandra

  1. d
    DiscoStu Jan 26, 2004 10:51 PM

    Now please correct me if I'm wrong. I don't have to much experience in doing it, as I am a Man. When I worked in a kosher food store, before we used any utensil, pot, pan, knive, etc.. We had a women take it to a Mikvah (sp?). I may be a little uncomfortable talking about what a Mikvah is, but if any one would like to chime in, feel free.

    3 Replies
    1. re: DiscoStu
      a
      amy t. Jan 26, 2004 11:15 PM

      As I've mentioned before, I have become acquainted with an especially helpful Rabbi (Rabbi Naftali Horowitz) who runs the Manhattan Midrash. I've forwarded Alexandra's question to him and let her know to "be on the lookout" for his response. He is knowledgeable on variety of topics (though I know him because I pose all of my kashrus questions to him) and he is particularly adept at "keeping the peace" when the topic might somehow effect family relationships.

      1. re: DiscoStu
        l
        Levial Jan 27, 2004 10:43 AM

        A Mikveh is a ritual pool. Most mikvot have a separate place for koshering dishes, and many since they have other more personal uses for men and women, do not allow koshering dishes. You would need to call ahead. The best option, is to call a Chabad or Orthodox rabbi in your area. Your son is right*, a completely metal pan can be boiled, your stovetop can be "burned" at a top heat, and then taken to a mikveh for the final process. *But as you can imagine, there are many different stringencies- for example- what material your stove is might render the stove unfit for use, if the pot has a particular handle that is plastic...and it can't be kashered. The person who recommended a cheap investment in a few utensils is on the right track...even new utensils are for the most part to be taken to a mikveh, immersed, blessed. You will need some guidance. Now if you could only talk to my mom! I commend your support and your willingness to be accomodating. Kol ha kavod!
        When starting out as a new married couple, we didn't have funds to pay for multiple Passover pans, etc. and we ended up buying some aluminum pans for the oven, one cheap saucepan and small pot for both dairy and meat. Then we only had to take them to the mikveh. Plastic forks, knives, dishes and you are set to go!

        1. re: DiscoStu
          l
          Levial Jan 27, 2004 10:43 AM

          A Mikveh is a ritual pool. Most mikvot have a separate place for koshering dishes, and many since they have other more personal uses for men and women, do not allow koshering dishes. You would need to call ahead. The best option, is to call a Chabad or Orthodox rabbi in your area. Your son is right*, a completely metal pan can be boiled, your stovetop can be "burned" at a top heat, and then taken to a mikveh for the final process. *But as you can imagine, there are many different stringencies- for example- what material your stove is might render the stove unfit for use, if the pot has a particular handle that is plastic...and it can't be kashered. The person who recommended a cheap investment in a few utensils is on the right track...even new utensils are for the most part to be taken to a mikveh, immersed, blessed. You will need some guidance. Now if you could only talk to my mom! I commend your support and your willingness to be accomodating. Kol ha kavod!
          When starting out as a new married couple, we didn't have funds to pay for multiple Passover pans, etc. and we ended up buying some aluminum pans for the oven, one cheap saucepan and small pot for both dairy and meat. Then we only had to take them to the mikveh. Plastic forks, knives, dishes and you are set to go!

        2. t
          texasmensch Jan 27, 2004 09:11 AM

          You might find out if you can call the Kashrut authority in your area and they can help. It is fairly simple to kasher an oven, stovetop, burners, and microwave. Also, you can either put many of your pots and pans into boiling water or take them to the mikvah. But again, you'll want to talk to someone, because not everything can be kashered this way.

          More important, talk to your son and tell him that you want to be accomodating. Ask him what you can do to meet his needs. He will probably be relieved that you can talk about this and this way you are sure he can be comfortable.

          Finally, if you need help kashering your kitchen, utensils, or whatever you can always call the Chabad house closest to you. They should be helpful and for a small donation (or fee) would help you with these questions.

          1. b
            Bride of the juggler Jan 27, 2004 09:55 AM

            It might be easiest to buy some new things at a dollar store, rather than kasher a bunch of serving utensils, silverware, etc.

            Good luck. Thank you for going out of your way to respect your son's religious choices - you are a real mensch.

            1. e
              Emet Jan 28, 2004 09:46 AM

              Alexandra, I wanted to tell you that I am impressed and very happy that you are willing to help and understand your son; and to remind you that you havent lost your role in his life, trust me.

              As a Baal Teshuvah, your son will need a lot of understanding and patience from you, your relationship will change, sometimes tougher, but also sweeter. My parents are not religious either but I am.

              They live a few hours away from me, so when I go and visit for a few days, I bring my own pots and pans, and use plastic dishes there. However, if you could financially afford it, you could buy some less expensive items, such as pots and pans, dishes, and ustensils and have him bring them to the mikvah, or better, go along with him if you can.

              And these items will be for him to use only when he is at your home.

              I am sure it is very overwhelming, I know it was for us, and many of my friends, who want through the same. Do the best you can, and I am sure your son will appreciate very much.

              1. b
                Benny Vidimangi Mar 9, 2004 01:02 PM

                If he becomes a vegan as well you are entitled to tell him without guilt to cook for himself .

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