Sunday, July 01, 2007

A Question for the Ages

It has been a long time since I blogged at A Whispering Soul, and even longer since I last guest posted at the Muqata (which also, oddly enough, coincided with an @ the Muqata bar mitzvah), so you will have to forgive me if I am a little rusty.

Though I did experience severe Treppenwitz withdrawal the first few weeks sans blogging, it was a lot easier to step away from the blog world than I had initially imagined. Among other things, my non-blog writing flourished, my eyes were able to move from side to side, and my productivity level shot up gastronomically – with the hour and a half each night it took me to read through a day’s worth of Jack’s posts freed up, I took up Ten Li Chow, an advanced form of martial arts wherein the worthy adversary is a pair of chopsticks.

While I had intended to quit the blogosphere in its entirety, I will admit to occasionally sneaking a peak at Ezzie’s blog, but not to read (though there's good reading to be had)– only to check to see if there are any new Elianna pictures. I realize it may border on addiction, but have you seen this demonstration of sheer adorableness?!?

While I do miss certain blogs, the one thing I have missed even more is interacting (in meaningful ways) with people who are different from me, either denominationally, nationally, or religiously, which blogging facilitated. One of the classic questions I remember my friends and I asking each other in school was what one thing do you feel you are missing out on by being Orthodox. For me, it was never lobster or shrimp or a bar-and-nightclub-filled life – it was a sense of real relationship with those who were not like me.

Not so anyone else.

Every other Orthodox Jewish person I have asked that question to has responded “lobster.” Now granted, I have no credibility in the Orthodox food world, seeing as how herring and seltzer, staples of the Orthodox shul kiddush, are part of a quintet of Jewish food nightmares for me (along with chopped liver and lox and an unmentionable fifth) – but lobster? What is the appeal of a giant sea bug which is boiled alive?

Rock lobster, I could understand, as it is a catchy and kitschy B-52’s song. But non-rock lobster? Hell to the no!

It’s not as if I am just anti-lobster. I am anti-crustacean in general. Anything that crawls on the seabed and sports protruding sensors is not something I want on my plate, in my mouth, or even in my entertainment. That little crab Sebastian from The Little Mermaid (which my youngest sister made me watch with her over and over until she could recite the entire film verbatim)? Not cute. Not even remotely cute. Crab.

The only thing less appealing to me than crustaceans is fake crustaceans. And the only thing less appealing than fake crustaceans is kosher fake crustaceans. In case anyone has forgotten from a few lines ago, crustaceans are GIANT SEA BUGS!! Fake crustaceans are simulated GIANT SEA BUGS!! Kosher fake crustaceans are certified kosher simulated GIANT SEA BUGS!!

Can someone please explain the appeal?

In the meantime, I will reminisce over the wonderful meal I had with a visiting ‘laizer this past week at Darna - tomato mint soup, grilled chicken kabobs, rosemary potatoes, sautéed spinach….and not a pincer in sight….

Mazal tov to the entire @ the Muqata clan on the bar mitzvah!

Shavua Tov…

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael and away from crustaceans

17 comments:

Ezzie said...

LOL! I wonder here and there how you're doing... didn't realize that you're still following. :) And she IS cute, isn't she? :D

I've never said lobster, fwiw. Cheeseburgers and shrimp are the only two things that have looked remotely tempting...

treppenwitz said...

I have to point out that you were as prolific a commenter as Jack was/is a blogger. I used to look forward to your comments for their insight and sensitivity, and your departure from the blogosphere was a loss to us all.

As to Lobster. Let's just say that my wife knows that it wouod be a dangerous thing to leave me alone in the state of Maine. :-)

~ Sarah ~ said...

"Anything that crawls on the seabed and sports protruding sensors is not something I want on my plate" --> I agree with you fully there. I'll leave it to someone else to explain the appeal of such creatures as food.

Hope you guest blog more often!

Jack's Shack said...

I agree with David. You were a valuable part of the blogosphere and I have missed your input.

And I also must agree with you, shell fish is just unappealing. Why would I want to eat the seafood version of a cockroach.

tafka PP said...

Not going to say how happy I am to see you back, even fleetingly, because you just insulted Sebastian out of The Little Mermaid. He is absolutely the opposite of "not cute" and furthermore has all the best songs. (Yes, I know I am too old to know such things)

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

Uh, Ezzie... shrimp are also sea bugs.

All i'm interested in is chicken quesadillas... «insert Homer Simpson hungry tongue-hanging-out ע sound here», and i've had some pretty good fake ones.

oh and Ten Li Chow, lol :-)

Stacey said...

I have missed you, MC. Very, very much. But I also reduced my blogging and found that I have much more free time to be productive with things that matter a great deal more. (This is not to say I don't value the friends I have made, it's just that it's easy to lose track of precious time while blogging).

You and I are far apart religiously. And for the record, I do love lobster -- esp. w/garlic butter. But even so, it's got nothing on lox or creamed herring.

I am glad you have stayed in touch. I hope we can meet someday.

A Simple Jew said...

Great to hear from you again!

Fern said...

Shrimp and lobster are not that good, FFBs are not missing anything there. If I were FFB and I was picking on thing I wish I could try, it would probably be a cheeseburger. Everything else you can either do and still be frum or isn't worth it in the first place.

Actually, the things I miss the most aren't treif per se, I just have yet to find a kosher version. So what I think FFBs are missing out on food-wise is the really unusual, gourmet stuff that just hasn't been manufactured by a kosher food producer yet.

Ezzie said...

Steg - It's not as gross looking, though!

MC Aryeh said...

Ezzie - Doing well. Thanks for thinking of me. I am definitely a fan of Elianna's, no question about it. Completely forgot about cheeseburgers! That was the runner-up to lobster among most popular answers...

David - Thanks for your kind words. I don't think I was that prolific a commenter in general. Your blog was a different story, however...I spent part of a summer on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine about 9 years ago, where it seemed like the entire diet of the island-folk consisted of lobster...lobster everywhere...was enough to make me never want to look at another...

Sarah - Thanks. I seem to guest blog only when Jameel has a son who is about to be bar mitzvahed, so future guest posts may depend on how many Muqata boys are yet to come of age...

Jack - Thank you, Jack. Very kind of you to say. I was hoping for a gratuitous Cleveland insult....good times....

TAFKAPP - If it is any consolation, Sebastian is my favorite crab as well (though that may be by default, as I can't really think of any others off the top of my head). Certainly, he is my favorite singing crab, at the very least...

MC Aryeh said...

Steg - Fake chicken quesadillas? I can't imagine...

Stacey- I have missed you too, and I am sure we will arrange to meet one day, on whichever coast. Blogging is its own wonderful world - but it is amazing the amount of time it takes away from the rest of life...lox and creamed herring? That is two out of my five!

ASJ- Good to see you!

Fern- Thanks for putting my mind at ease that I am not, in fact, missing out by having no desire for lobster. I would not actually be surprised if they did have kosher fake cheeseburgers! I have seen a lot of exotic gourmet items come out in the last couple years, too. Somehow, the idea that we will soon not be missing out on anything doesn't bring me much joy. Kind of like how you can get almost anything on Pesach now...takes a little bit away from the chag...

Ezzie - Actually, I think they might be even worse!

'laizer said...

Lookit that. I don't believe it... MCA returns...

Jack's Shack said...

I was hoping for a gratuitous Cleveland insult

There is a gemara that says that periodically one should refrain from reminding the weak and infirm of their handicap.

Shoshana said...

Really, come on, lobster isn't that great. Never did it for me. Shrimp is ok, but really, what you're missing out on is crab. That's way yum.

Jack's Shack said...

Shellfish- feh- just no interest.

miriam said...

Lobster? Cheeseburgers? No, no, the answer to what am I missing out on by being Orthodox is... umm, is... wait, there must be something!

Nope, nothing. (Oh, wait, I'm a BT... I actually got to choose. maybe that has something to do with it?)

And BT or not, I've never had a cheeseburger, or shrimp, or lobster. Not that I've never eaten anything that was technically treif, but I did grow up nominally Kosher.

Oh, I thought of something I actually miss! There's some good secular music out there that I gave up for the sake of my kids. But judging by your music mondays or whatever they were called, you do listen to secular music, so you might not understand that.

The secular world had nothing worth staying in it, which is probably why I left.

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