The fact that I am an agnostic carnivore did NOT prevent my friend S, in a fit of giggles, from signing me up to join her daughter at the local synagogue for a kosher vegetarian cooking class. In the process of signing me up my email address was repeatedly auto corrected to read "gentiles" - it may have been the I Phones way of trying to warn the synagogue that a heathen was soon to be in their midst!
Tonight was the night!
Would it be alarmingly ironic if there were thirteen in the class? I seriously think there were... (plus the teacher/chef and her partner)
I was being REALLY good until the onions.
There was a fellow there who was asking questions phrased in very odd ways... "Would you like to tell us something about the onions?" he asked. I'm thinking, 'Like what? That they were abandoned on a doorstep at birth? That they cost $3 a kilo? That they prefer their martini shaken, not stirred?' Clearly the chef was also wondering what he wanted to know but she bravely launched into an explanation that those were the nicest ones in the store. Then she leaned across the room with an onion in her outstretched hand and said. "Go on, feel how firm they are." I watched him hesitate, his hands almost reaching out but pausing tentatively, heading towards the onion but not making much progress, a pregnant pause hung over the room as he seemed to teeter on the horns of this great conundrum... I couldn't stand the tension...
"Go on mate, it's not every day a woman wants you to feel her onion!" I said.
His next comment related to the herbs and he asked her "How long does thyme keep?" I managed to leave that one alone... I also managed to resist when the chef was warning us very seriously NOT to let the orange zest sit in the water in which it was boiled and I successfully refrained from saying "It just isn't kosher".
Seriously though they were really nice people and I had a great time. The feast at the end of the meal was delicious, fresh and nutritious. I'd never been to a synagogue before, as chance would have it, but I'm pretty sure by the end of the 5 week course I will have spent more time in the synagogue than in any other house of worship, and that's just fine with me!
BTW thyme keeps for a week if it is in water.