A Cooking Surprise ……

…… well, kind of.
Not really a cooking surprise so much as a cooking class surprise.

I found this class via one of my NY emails. I receive emails from a few sites that tell me all about all of the exciting things going on in the city. Well, not all of them, but quite a few.
So I saw this cooking class and signed up. The site gave me the address of the location and I added it to my calendar. It wasn’t all that far from my apartment …… less than 2 miles.

So last night I hopped on the subway and headed north. I only had to walk a few blocks until I found the address.
The address of the Jewish Community Center. I didn’t think too much about that, other than it was interesting, and I headed inside.
You have to go through security, like at the airport, to get into the building. Another interesting feature, but not hugely surprising here.
You’ll be happy to know that I breezed through.
Well, I breezed through after one of the guards had to unwind my scarf from around my neck and underneath my hood. A bit embarrassing, but what are you going to do? It was stuck.

I headed downstairs and, after searching for at least 5 minutes, finally found the cooking class. It was in a large room with more than a full-sized kitchen. There were several women there, all around a large island, chatting. I signed in, found a seat, and an apron, and sat down with them. I was the last to arrive (of course).
Everyone introduced themselves and then the instructor asked a very interesting question:
“Does anyone here keep kosher?”
I then looked at each of the 5 other women and it was suddenly very evident that, out of the six women in that room, there was only one who was not Jewish.
And guess who that was?

As one of the women raised her hand to indicate that she did indeed keep kosher, my right hand slowly raised to my neck. And I started to oh-so-slowly-yet-hopefully-VERY-inconspicuously button the top two buttons of my blouse.
I tried to appear as if I was intent on what was being said, instead of buttoning my buttons. I have no idea if I succeeded, but after what seemed an eternity, I finally got them done.

You see, I really didn’t give this much thought upon entering the building, but once she asked that question and I realized that I was the only non-Jewish person in the room, I suddenly became very award of my silver and diamond cross necklace.
And no, I didn’t button up my blouse for the reason Daughter #3 exclaimed when I told her this story: “Jesus knows that you were ashamed of him!!”
It wasn’t that at all. I was suddenly aware of my necklace and didn’t want to offend anyone. Not one bit. And I felt that my very sparkly silver cross might do just that.
As I was trying to nonchalantly button my buttons I was also trying to remember the web site that had sent me the email. It seemed like the instructor assumed that we all were Jewish, so I wondered if had made some kind of mistake. Had I received an email in Hebrew? No, last time I checked I couldn’t read Hebrew so that wasn’t it.
Had I received an email from the JCC by mistake? No, I certainly would have noticed if that had happened, wouldn’t I?
I’m still not sure where that email came from, but I’m glad it did.

I had a great time. Those women were hilarious and sometimes very Jewish-sounding. For instance, one woman asked the instructor what all of the stuff left behind in a can of beans was (?!) and she replied, “Schmaltz”. They used a few more Yiddish words/terms during the evening and every time they did, I smiled. I loved it. The only thing that would’ve made it better was if one of them exclaimed, “Oy vey!”
Sadly, they did not.

I really didn’t learn anything new, other than a fabulously easy and fast way to make applesauce, but I had a great time.
And I took home a large catalogue containing all of the winter/spring classes they’re offering at the JCC.
I still don’t know for certain if they’re open to the non-Jewish persuasion, but I’m just going with it.
Maybe I’ll meet a nice Jewish doctor!


4 thoughts on “A Cooking Surprise ……

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