One More Piece to the Puzzle: Yesterday, I bought a blue dishpan. Because I have a new stainless steel sink and have only introduced dairy items to the kitchen, I probably could wash my dishes right in the sink. However, having a separate dishpan for dairy is a must once I add a meat section to my kitchen. I had my eyes peeled for a blue dishpan--blue is the usual kitchen indicator for "dairy"--so when I saw one at Ace Hardware, I jumped on it. When the time comes, I'll get a red dishpan for washing my "meat" dishes and maybe a green one for "parve" things. Schueller House
The Decision: I decided to focus first on putting together a dairy kitchen. I noticed that advisers often recommend that newcomers begin their march to kosher by keeping their meat and dairy dishes separate and worrying about kashering, immersing their utensils in a mikvah, and other issues later. This was good to read because it implied that the rabbis--or whomever--understand that you have to start from ground zero and raise your level of kosher gradually. You start with practice. Well, I've done that by developing a habit of separating my meat and dairy meals. However, I have a different problem than a unified household. With two kitchens now in use, I need to make sure I don't contaminate the kosher kitchen--or the dishes and utensils from the kosher kitchen--with things from upstairs. This will be easier, I figure, if I don't have to worry about mixing my dairy and meat things--or getting the parve items mixed with either. Keep it simple. This business is filled with practical decisions like that. Schueller House
Trying Not to Go to Pot: Once the kitchen was built, I had to get utensils. Okay, I started ahead of time. Or at least tried to. When I first moved to Colorado Springs, in anticipation of setting up a kitchen, I started acquiring utensils, used ones mainly to save money. Did I mention that this effort cost a few dollars? Anyway, I had to toss about half of what I acquired because they can't be kashered. So there went the ceramic plates, the ceramic bowls, the non-stick teflon cooking pans, everything plastic, everything wood. Some of those materials might work when they are new, as long as they never get contaminated. I'm still looking into that. Trying to find decent cookware wasn't easy, still isn't easy, especially used. Aluminum cookware is easy to find, but I don't like it. I've always been suspicious that the aluminum isn't stable and will work its way into my brain, addling me before my time. So far, I've settled for stainless steel with copper bottoms. Kind of okay. I like cast iron, but I believe there are differing opinions on whether it can be kashered. If so, I'll have to buy my skillets new, season them myself, and keep them from becoming contaminated. One good thing: The kitchen is out of the way, unlikely to be used by anyone without my supervision, so keeping items from being contaminated should be reasonably easy. Schueller House.