Wednesday, December 14, 2011

.. a hosting effort of astonishing generosity and thoughtfulness.

....watching the distinctly non-Jewish White House kitchen turn itself upside down, wrap itself up, and scour, boil and disinfect itself for a one-time event was to witness a hosting effort of astonishing generosity and thoughtfulness. The point, of course, was so an unknown number of its 550 Hanukkah guests who keep kosher would believe they could eat according to their religious observance.

That's Jan Hoffman writing about the kashering of the White House kitchen for the Diner's Journal Blog at the Times. As she (he?) points out, this was a triumph of cooperation. The White House kitchen staff, exhausted having just completed a non-kosher reception for 600 - was entirely supportive. Writes Hoffman:

I never heard a complaint nor saw a rolling of the eyes (and trust me, I was on the lookout; I am the type for whom grumbling is a tonic). The staff was gracious and good-humored; some, including the military personnel who were on loan to the White House during party season, had never seen a kashering, and so were curious and polite about the unknown.
And the four Rabbis who directed the work were also on their best behavior:
...the rabbis, in turn, were exultant, respectful and deeply grateful.... They handled historic White House silver platters with care. They would be inspecting the preparation of the food the next day, but while they were certainly mindful that Jewish law must be observed, they were also deferential to the dignity of the White House protocol for food presentation and general elegance.
Hoffman followed up the post with a full article with more information in it, found here.

No comments: