Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trouble Finding Spiral-Cut Gefilte Fish


I heard from my mom.

This has become increasingly difficult as of late with my phone issues.

As an update on that, the phone still gets uncomfortably hot and shuts itself off. It receives Voicemail notifications but not calls. It receives text messages but cannot reply to them. Outbound calls are laughed off electronically without being dialed.

In short, I have a PDA in which to store the phone numbers I've replaced but have no way to access them outside the sealed and incommunicative interface of my stylish red old lady phone.

But anyway. About my mom.

Every Christmas Eve since I was an extremely little pretty geek, I've gone to Louisiana to see family. This has never been an occasion mixed in any tangible way with religion, but a sincere effort on the part of everyone involved to get together at least once a year on my mom's side of the family.

This year is different for a few reasons. While I consider the most significant difference the absence of my Grandfather, I'm touched that my family has decided to make special efforts to ensure my own comfort at the gathering.

This year, in deference to my conversion, there will be no spiral cut ham at the festivities. It has always been my policy to not eat what I don't want. Avoiding non-kosher food is something I do every day and not eating from a giant sliced ham is a pretty easy move to make, but it is really nice that no one wanted to somehow offend me.

I appreciate that pork products will be entirely absent from this year's Christmas Eve, but I must confess that I have no memory of ever having seen a ham at one of these gatherings before.

It is possible that they have always been there and I've blocked the memory somehow. Spiral cut hams have always disturbed me a little, with the wavy unnatural slices and the inviting facade with meat that looks ready to simply lift onto the holly-emblazoned Chinet -- Except that when that ham is tugged one discovers that the "slice" of meat is part of a series of still-connected pork disks which must be torn free, either too large or too small, and then flapped down between the turkey and the mashed potatoes. Overlap of food items is a big deal with my people. And by "my people" in this case I mean the Obsessive Compulsive.

We like a little more control in our food deployment and disposition on eating surface. Food must not touch, lest it be made inedible.

Someday (hopefully soon) all foods will be available in tidy pill form so that a person can get all the nutrients they need with no chance of getting any on their hands at all.

In fact, in an ideal world, these pills will be delivered by our benevolent robot kitchen helpers -- Perhaps while we sleep so that our days can be more completely filled with the activities which make the world a better place. Like paying $9 per gallon to fill our SUVs and abusing the shipping specials on the Home Shopping Network until the operators (possibly also robots) know our voices when we call. And sometimes they will call us just to say "hello".

As long as the robot Home Shopping Network operators aren't running up long-distance charges calling our robotic kitchen help just to chat I think these developments represent true progress for us as a society.

Or, equally possibly, they will be calling to discuss the ideal dosage of whatever it is the kitchen robots are using to make us sleep so much while they harvest our tissue a scrap at a time to gestate their semi-organic robo-larvae.

The important thing is this: I don't like getting stuff on my hands. It freaks me out.

Oh yeah. And I appreciate having a family that hasn't decided I'm going to hell for being Jewish.

That isn't to say they don't think I'm going to hell, it's just nice that those opinions would be based on my behavior rather than my religious preference.

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