Ok, so, I lied. This post isn't about Egypt and the Israelites. Instead, I saw Abandoning Eden's blog, where she spoke about food and this led me to post my own food experiences...
I don't keep kosher anymore. Oh, don't get me wrong, I eat kosher food. All the time. In fact, it's pretty much all I have access to, but if I'm hungry, I won't say no to a non-kosher plate of food (except pork and prawns) if I like the look of it.
Why no pork? There's just this huge psychological block for me. My girlfriend wonders why I won't try it if I'm "not Jewish anymore" and I just say it's a 'cultural taboo.'
Why not prawns? On top of them being Not Kosher, I just don't like the look of them.
Now that I recall, the first time I had non-kosher food, was a few months ago at a careers fair. I was wearing my kippa at the time, and I could therefore be identified by all the Jews around - luckily, there was only one other Jew, so I wasn't worried.
I didn't even know what I was about to eat at the time. It was one of those tid-bits that comes on a plate with toothpicks all carried by a waiter, whose usually dressed in white and black and always wearing a jacket. Posh, non? It was a spring roll. My kosher food experiences taught me spring roll was always vegetable based with absolutely no meat in it. Apparently, the non-kosher world doesn't make such distinctions. I was a little taken by surprise as I bit into it, chewing chewing away. This was partly because I hadn't realised there would be what looked like dark meat of some kind, but also because the only other religious Jew present at this place was suddenly next to me and needless to say, saw me eating it.
But I didn't care. I was hungry. It was lovely. I still don't know what meat was inside. The other Jew was on his way out, so still chewing I waved bye-bye, non-kosher tid-bit in hand. By the time I swallowed he was gone - and there were no real Jews in the room anymore.
The next time was several months later but only a short while ago, when I was with my non-Jewish girlfriend and we ordered a Chinese take out. I had shredded beef in chili sauce. I hesitated for only a second before eating it. It wasn't as good as the Kosher stuff, I have to say. But then, girlfriend said her food tasted yucky too, so it's probably the place (everything about it looked really nice, including the food!) rather than the food. In case anyone's wondering though, kosher and non kosher beef taste the same, feels the same, for all I know could be the same.
The next day I met her parents for the first time and was offered lunch, which I agreed to. Either that or starve. There was soup, bread, a variety of cheeses, and together with lox was an unidentified white meat which I assume was ham. I had soup (yummy! just like my mother makes it, actually...) and cheese and bread and was happy with that. Despite my girlfriend offering me ham, I said no (she knows full well I won't touch it...!)
I've also tried non-kosher stuff at the school cafeteria, absolutely gross. I had vegetable quiche (eurgh. It tasted like how I imagine soggy cardboard soaked in muddy water would taste) and lettuce. I had a bite before checking if there were any creepy crawlies in it. I found one. It still haunts me.
As you can see, it's been a bit hit and miss for me so far...