With the warm dry summer this year, Northwest gardeners (or the people who buy from our farmers) got to have delicious tomatoes. Short days, cold nights, and wet marine air have shut down further ripening, but the memories are delicious.
One of my flavorite reminisces has to do with the aroma of toasty bagel mixing with smoked salmon. The dance of cool tomato and warm bread on my tongue, of smooth cream cheese and poppy seeds vying to please, makes my mouth feel happy. The religion I was raised with is confusing enough, so figuring out whether mixing fish and cheese is kosher is way beyond my expertise; the fact that all my Jewish friends are fine with lox and bagels does not really convince me, since most of them are all about as devout as my own pagan, shiftless, skeptical self.
Back East, I'd have lox and bagels now and then, but even in the '80s, tomatoes available in delis had begun shedding their flavor, and the lox was a cold damp minislab not so different from the other cold cuts. Here, I've finally been exposed to real smoked salmon, and as luck would have it I received a few jars of primo smoked salmon at a couple of tribal give-aways this Spring. Alder-smoked wild salmon crumbled over local cream cheese is to what I used to get in delis as a Northwest IPA is to a can of Bud...I'll take the latter over an egg mcmuffin or a coors light, but it ain't the same thing.
|Not so Kosher, the Joy of Goy.|
Too much of these good things may not be good for your body, never mind your spiritual health. But to deny yourself these deliciousnesses on the basis of archaic laws is a bit too much sufferation for this heathen, and maybe of other people with taste buds. But if an ancient law forbids you from eating this way, I wish you well, and will help dispose of your share.