Welcome back to “How Should I Know?” – the advice column that, more often than not, is about food.

Dear Mordechai,

I was making something, and I dropped an eggshell into the batter.  How do I fish it out?   

Y.J.

Dear Y.,

Yeah, eggshells are annoying.  No matter what you do, the piece keeps avoiding your hand.  It’s like, “Nope!  Try again!” and you have to chase it around the bowl…

Maybe it’s like catching an insect, where you have to move really fast.  Maybe catch it by surprise.  Like sneak up behind it. 

Okay, so that doesn’t work.  If you drop a small piece of eggshell into a bowl, you cannot get it out, until you just give up and cook it into something, and then it will be in the very first bite. And every bite thereafter. 

So yeah, that’s my advice: Just leave it in there, and then the first bite of the food will have it.  It doesn’t matter who takes that first bite.  Actually, I suggest you do, even though you’re the person serving it.  No matter how impolite that looks.  You’re rescuing everyone!  Tell them you’re making sure it’s not poisoned.  Then quietly spit it into a napkin, with no further explanation.  You do not want to mention it, because in general, when you serve a food, as soon as someone says they found an eggshell, suddenly everyone at the table is finding eggshells, even though you know for a fact that you cannot possibly have dropped that many eggshells.

Also, I know it’s too late, but some people say that if you want to decrease your chance of this happening, you should crack your egg on a flat surface.  But they never say what that flat surface should be.  What do you have in your kitchen that’s a flat surface?  Because if I crack it on the counter, the whole egg is on the counter.  I specifically like cracking it on the side of the bowl, because it cuts the shell in half, and because I want the egg in the bowl anyway.  What is this flat surface they speak of?  Should I turn the bowl over? 

So I suggest the front of the wall cabinets. Directly over the bowl.  That kills two birds with one—Okay, I need a better pun.

Dear Mordechai,

We’ve been invited out for the Friday night seudah, so all I’m making for Shabbos is the lunch seudah.  I’m all thrown off now.  What should I make? 

S.C.

Dear S.,

Good question.  Usually, for the lunch seudah you make cholent, and then you put the cold chicken and meat on the table next to it, and everyone just eats the cholent.  Unless you have guests.  Guests will try the cold chicken.  So I would say, if you’re invited out for the first seudah, it’s really important to have guests for that second seudah. 

If it’s too late to call anyone, though, try inviting your Friday night hosts.  This would be a great thing to bring up at the Friday night seudah if you’ve run out of anything else to talk about.  (“So…”  “So…”  “So… Would you like to come for tomorrow’s seudah?”)  And avoid your spouse’s eye contact when you ask this. 

But if your hosts say, “Yeah, we can come, but we already cooked for tomorrow, so we’re bringing all our food along,” you didn’t really accomplish anything.  Though if they say that, you should just eat all their food on the spot so this is no longer true.  Good luck, though, because it is physically impossible to eat everything a person made for a seudah for which they were expecting guests.  You might not want any food tomorrow.

But if it’s just you and your family for the one seudah, you can do what I do in this situation: Put everything in the crock pot.

I love the idea of having the entire seudah in the crock pot – more than I actually like the meal when I’m eating it.  My wife is getting ready to take things out of the crock pot, and she’s like, “What is all this stuff in here?”  There’s just like a sea of bags.  And I’m like, “Alright, that one’s the kishke, that’s the sausages, that’s the other sausages, that’s the potato kugel, that one’s the apple kugel, that one’s the eggs…  Hey, what happened to the shells?...  That one’s the salad…  Is it the cole slaw?  No, it’s the salad…  Be careful with that one, it’s the dessert.  Where’s the challah?  Oh, it sank to the bottom for some reason.” 

And every bag has a potato that managed to work its way in there.

I don’t do that with the chicken soup on Friday night, though. 

“Okay, that’s the kneidlach, there’s the lukshen, those are the croutons – I decided to boil them in… there’s the chicken…  that’s the salad…  Deli roll…  Careful, that’s the dessert.  It’s lava cake!”

Dear Mordechai,

Why does no one really do anything for Purim Katan?  At least on Pesach Sheni we try to have a piece of matzah. 

MK

Dear M,

Because we know ourselves.  There’s no way people will do a smaller version of Purim and leave it at that without blowing it out of proportion.  Purim itself is supposed to be a smaller version of Purim, but we just can’t help ourselves.  Put it this way: We’re supposed to give two minim to one person. 

So what should we do on Purim Katan?  Give one min?  A half a person?  Give people things that aren’t nosh, such as foods they need anyway?  “Okay, I picked up some groceries for you.” 

Or how about if we all just give our neighbors back the food that we borrowed from them?  “Here is that egg and a stick of margarine.”

Can we tell people to just drink a little bit? 

Right. 

At least with Pesach Sheni, no one’s going to go overboard.  No one is going to gorge on the matzah.  People eat one piece of matzah, but there’s no one who says, “This doesn’t feel like enough.  I’m going to clean the entire house again!  Let’s make the entire meal out of potatoes!  Why is my kittel still at the cleaners?”

As far as I know, nothing actually happened on Purim Katan.  It’s not a real day.  It’s more like, “Oops; it’s too early in the year for Purim.  It’s ten degrees outside!  Purim is postponed until the weather’s nicer.”

But nothing happened.  It’s not like we had a minor victory, like Haman’s plans got postponed for a month: 

“Oh wait, there are two Adars this year?  I can’t believe this!  I messed up the whole pur!  No one’s going to know what date to kill the Jews!  This whole thing is going to be a disaster!  Okay, I hope everyone just decides it’s too cold.” 

And anyway, we do celebrate it in some ways, according to halacha.  For example, according to many poskim, we’re not supposed to fast!  Woo hoo!  I don’t actually fast on most days, though.  I suppose in the old days, when people didn’t always have something to eat, Purim Katan was one of those days where the rabbis said, “Well, at least try to eat.  Let’s put it this way: Don’t fast on purpose.”  But I guess for me, every day is Purim Katan.

I also found a Mishna in Megillah that says there is no difference between Purim and Purim Katan except for kriyas megillah and matanos l’evyonim.  So what I get from that is that we can totally wear costumes.  To work, obviously, because I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the vacation days for a second Purim.

And yes, there are some who say that we should have a little bit more of a seudah.  But that’s not really something that’s specific to Purim.  It’s not like matzah on Pesach Sheni or fruit on Tu B’Shvat.  I can eat a little more food ANY day.  No one’s going to see me helping myself to a second piece of cake and go, “Whoa!  It must be Purim Katan!”

Also, does it count if no one really knows to do it?  We don’t even do as much as we do for George Washington’s birthday.  I don’t do much for George Washington’s birthday, but the stores have sales, so that’s something.  There are no Purim Katan sales.  That’s how I know no one does anything.  There are even Tu B’Shvat sales.

At least on Tu B’Shvat we eat fruit, and we’re not even trees.  (I had something called dry watermelon.  Do you know what percentage of watermelon is water?  There was nothing in the package!  But at least it was seedless.)

The only other holiday that has no sales is Pesach Sheni, and you’d think there would be, because they have all that extra Pesach food to get rid of.  Who’s still buying that shmurah matzah that you can’t lower the price a little? 

Got a question for “How Should I Know?”  Maybe wait ‘til I’m sober.

Mordechai Schmutter is a weekly humor columnist for Hamodia, a monthly humor columnist, and has written six books, all published by Israel Book Shop.  He also does freelance writing for hire.  You can send any questions, comments, or ideas to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Most Read