Friday, August 22, 2014 Av 26, 5774

Dear Miriam,

I like to make substitutions so that my baking is less fattening, but is it "dishonest" to bring a healthy version of a popular dish to a potluck? I've done yogurt brownies, pie with Splenda, cakes with applesauce instead of butter, etc. Will people be disappointed to bite into something and realize it's not "the real thing"?

Signed,
Substituting Splenda

Dear Substituting,

I happen to think that potlucks are the best possible excuse to try out the most fattening, decadent dish that you'd never make for yourself at home because at the most,...

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Dear Miriam,

I want to have a kosher kitchen, but I don't know if this is the best option for me. One major issue is that my culturally Jewish boyfriend grew up with a non-kosher kitchen and is intent on keeping all things religious at bay. He already agreed to have separate pots, pans, dishes and cutlery for meat and dairy, but things are a bit more ambiguous in terms of other utensils. Even under our current system, he mixes up the pans and cutlery all the time. Also, all the meat things are his, since I am "Jewish vegetarian" and eat only dairy, pareve and fish. We've had this...

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Dear Miriam,

Another Miriam, writing in Slate's column, "You're Doing it Wrong: Charoset," says that the Hillel sandwich (korech) during the seder is matzah, maror, and charoset. In my family, we always just put horseradish and matzah together. Who's doing it wrong?

Signed,
Konfused by Korech

Dear Konfused,

This is indeed one of the more confusing steps in the seder, both in terms of what to do and why we do it, but let me start by saying to all my readers that wherever you come down on this debate, the presence or absence of charoset in...

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