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MaineKosher's Profile

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Kosher, and Organic, and Free Range, and......... ??

Have any of you tried the meats from the free range, natural, organic, ethical, etc. kosher vendors? I am talking about places like
www.growandbehold.com or www.kolfoods.com
or similar (there are others).

My family tries very hard to reduce our environmental footprint and walk-the-walk instead of just talking the talk, but I have yet to take the leap into these vendors. Kosher meat is very expensive, but these vendors are at least 25%-35% more, and that has kept me from patronizing them so far. But as I get ready to purchase for the chagim, I am wondering if they are worth it.

There are many ways to evaluate this purchase: taste, costs, ethics, environmental impact, buy local, kashrut issues, etc. I know that the values part of the equation is very personal. And the kashrut agencies are the same: OU, Star-K, etc.

But what about the quality of the meat? Are these meats noticeably better tasting? less fatty? Or is the value and enjoyment simply that you bought it instead of feedlot cruelty beef?

And, is there really a difference in the way these animal are treated? I can read the claims on the websites, but, the skeptic in me wonders if these animals really live (and die) in a gentler way.

Sep 02, 2012
MaineKosher in Kosher

yom tov/shabbat friendly ovens

We made the mistake of buying a Bosch HBL8650UC oven, without looking into just what they meant by Sabbath mode. It is a beautiful oven, but the Sabbath mode is useless. It is for 1 oven only, and you cannot change or adjust the temperature. What a waste!

Other ovens out there have Sabbath mode for both ovens, and you can set the temp where you want it. What we used to do was, for yom tov, set one oven at a warming temp, like 190, and another at cooking temp, like 375. So for the second day we could put something in the oven and have it cook fresh. The Sabbath mode kept the lights, fans, and displays off, and delayed element start when the door was open.

Bosch really ought to rethink its Sabbath mode, and I encourage all of us to look into competitors' products.

Jul 30, 2012
MaineKosher in Kosher

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

I have not found any CY starter, so I have been using yogurt, either some of the last batch, or mostly, from store-bought. The yogurt is very good but the life of the starter (and of store-bought yogurt) is limited.

My favorite brand to use is Mehadrin yogurt from Canada. It is a different brand, different company, different yogurt from the Mehadrin brand found in NY and other parts of the USA.

It's not hard to find kosher parve probiotics. But I have never tried opening a capsule and dumping that in milk. The probiotics are different strains, so I am not sure what the results would be. If I really needed yogurt and had no other source it might be worth a try, unless any of y'all have tried it.

Jul 27, 2011
MaineKosher in Kosher

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

No one has heard of kosher starter?

Jan 28, 2010
MaineKosher in Kosher

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

Thanks for those suggestions, but I am hoping someone might know of some starter.

Using yogurt works, but only for a while. For good quality, you need to rejuvenate the colonies with more active bacteria. The yogurt itself tends to get contaminated with outside bacteria, not as fastidious as the Lactobacillus or other strains in the original yogurt.

I have tried a variety of on-line and brick-and-mortar resources, and there does not seem to be heckshered or chalav Yisroel starter out there. And according to the calls I made to Star-K and OU, the started must have a hecksher.

Jan 27, 2010
MaineKosher in Kosher

Washington DC

We thought Eli's was quite good. Not fancy, but good service, nice variety to the menu. Not a steakhouse, for sure, but also more than a simple deli.

Jan 27, 2010
MaineKosher in Kosher

Kosher meat at Trader Joes Ardmore PA

Many people do not accept the Triangle-K. You might consider asking your rabbi before you purchase it.

Jan 27, 2010
MaineKosher in Kosher

Yogurt Starter - Any pareve or chalav Yisroel out there?

I'm trying to make kosher chalav Yisroel yogurt at home. My little one, and us, love it. We stock up whenever in NY or Boston or Montreal but it's so easy to make at home.

Problem is, the only starters I can find are not certified kosher or, made on chalav stam (not chalav Yisroel) media. You can use a store-bought yogurt with active cultures, but those batches fade out relatively quickly.

Does anyone know of a source for pareve or chalav Yisroel starter?

Has anyone tried to open and use probiotic capsules with active cultures?

I found an industrial source of starter out of New Jersey but they sell barrels of it at a time, and not to consumers.

Any ideas appreciated.

Jan 27, 2010
MaineKosher in Kosher