Tuesday, September 23, 2014 Elul 28, 5774

Dear Miriam,

There are so many potlucks in Philadelphia, and I'm worried about gaining weight as a result. What are some strategies for eating at potluck meals without outgrowing all my Shabbat clothes?

Signed,
Potluck Pounds

Dear Pounds,

The best strategy for eating at a potluck is the same as at any other meal: Eat until you're satisfied, but not stuffed. Moderation is more difficult when you're faced with six different kinds of pasta and three different trays of brownies. Just remember, even though all these foods are in front of you, you don'...

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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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