The Koshertarian Diet

Before my kids take another reluctant bite out of mama’s lentil pie, which was good but still needed some savory, mouthwatering sautéed mushrooms nestled inside with speckled sage to counterbalance the borderline al dente lentils stuck between a rock and a fluffy pastry place, I tell my son Jeremiah, “Before I overrule mama’s law of return to eat one more obligatory nibble bite from her lentil pie, tell me one new thing you learned at school today, which you didn’t know before.” Son says, “My teacher learned I’m a vegetarian.” I said, “Don’t you mean Koshertarian?” Son laughs long time. Can I get a holla? For birthing a new A plus catchphrase, which I can exploit for all its worth in the form of a family reality cooking show based around my famous family if I ever become a famous comedian already, titled Keeping Up With The Koshertarians, holla!

So, what is the Koshertarian Diet exactly? It’s not boiling a lobster in the Kosher infused kitchen I grew up in along the Tudor home lined streets of Edgemont, NY, 30 minutes north of Manhattan, before Kevin Durant chose to play for the Brooklyn Nets over the Knicks to exert more control over his social media narrative and give Lena Dunham a good run for her money as the less overtly confessional voice of their Millennial Mouseketeer generation. My wife’s gentile friend actually bought a lobster to boil in my parent’s kitchen one summer with zero hesitative motion without seeking approval from my parents. I can’t demonize my wife’s dear friend completely for doing so, knowing my parents weren’t even half ass Kosher anymore, compared to when our entire family use to eat pork dumplings outside of the house, if we weren’t scarfing down more delectable, heaven sent bites of veal stuffed with prosciutto coated in a white wine mushroom sauce before my younger brother and I moved out of the house for good.

But once famed supermarket chain Stew Leonard’s moved to town in nearby Yonkers, NY, my parents scrapped their in-house kosher obeying diet only because the tastier, lumper servings of shrimp cocktail at Costco prices were impossible to resist. Still, the image of my wife’s friend barging into my parent’s kitchen with crusade possessed fervor with a lobster in hand doesn’t make my blood boil as much anymore because of parents ho hum embrace of me becoming a full time Koshertarian this past year, which has made me more at one with God than ever before while my 3 kids have derived a vicarious sense of pride from embracing my new soul man infused spiritual path along the way. Still, I don’t think my wife’s friend would whole heartedly embrace me barging into her parents kitchen on Good Friday to sell them on trying my Do It All Dad Hero creation from my new book The Great American Jew Novel, which is the 1st ever Kosher cheesesteak, using a plant based cheese wiz either. Especially, if I ate the Kosher cheesesteak in front of them and continued to push with divine powered zeal, “You have try one bite. “It’s holy shit, good.”

I know my wife wants me to not put restrictions on my happiness at times like when she urges me over an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives as I salivate over the Indian spiced Lamb Burger draped in a Paneer cheese and Jalapeno infused mango chutney, to forget eating Kosher, when she says, “ Just eat cruelty free, hormone absent, local meat. Kosher dietary laws are more dated than Yiddish, yada, yada, yada.” Because God forbid, I don’t half ass my Kosher diet like my parents did. Instead, I want to lead by example and stick with my full time Kosher diet because for once in my life, I feel like a less over the place Jew. Plus, by sticking with my Kosher diet come rain or shine, it eliminates my second guessing of ordering at restaurants because I now only have so many options to choose from. So now, whenever I’m out eating, I no longer feel more indecisive than Jared Kushner at the salad bar at the Bellagio.

On a holier, deeper level, I love my commitment to uphold my Kosher diet to repay God’s continued heaven on earth granting favor, for blessing me with the 3 sweetest, funniest kids in the universe, who make me howl with unrivaled laughter like no other. For example, my 3-year old son Samuel, AKA, Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo, developed a new routine which kills me, so he performs it for me all time now, where he walks away from me for a couple of feet, only for him to stop in his tracks and say “Wrong way.”  But everything about my kids growing up Koshertarian, feels like the right way to me. Mama is a pescatarian, so she can have all the buttered Lobster Rolls she wants, which are overrated, and way overpriced compared to more funk filled, personality loaded clam rolls in my book anyway.

Moving forward, I’ll continue to experiment and perfect my kosher chicken breast stir fry in a scallion, ginger based sauce and generate more yummy dances galore from my Mexican lasagna made with corn tortillas and homemade salsa to inspire my kids to follow my lead and assume more wholehearted ownership of their diet as they get older. So one day, if they decide to have kids, because I finally made it, resulting in mama and daddy not fighting as much anymore, our eventual grandchildren, wow that’s heavy, can grow up Koshertarian to.

So, for all those jowl jingly bearded hobbit hipsters in Bushwick, who identify as being non-religious Jews. Who are struggling to be fruitful and multiply because they’re being forced to pull out prematurely from excessive meat sweats. My message is clear. Come on man! And give the Koshertarian diet a chance.

Michael Kornbluth

Hot For Hummus

Hummus is Chickpeas are great in Arabic. It’s the most popular dish in the Middle East among Egyptians, Jordanians, and Israeli offshoots of the Zohan tribe, 7 degrees separated from the golden Jew Adam Sandler. Actual unity is getting your Hummus resistor Jewish father from the Bronx to follow your 3 Koshertarian diet embracing children by joining the party to try your homemade Hummus made in his Arizona estate home for a pre-nosh nibble snack on top of toasted pita triangles with some diced up cherry tomatoes, fresh scattered parsley and vibrant looking, just grated carrots on top. I’m not betting the farm on my father to try my workshopped, perfected homemade Hummus over Thanksgiving break but as my father likes to rightfully point out, I don’t own a farm let alone a John Deer lawnmower or the personal property big enough to justify the expense because I’m still so broke, my Hebrew name is under judicial review.   Everyone can unify behind the depressingly dreary premise of a degenerate Jew like myself not being financially secure in life yet, who uses his fingers for basic arithmetic like a retarded version Dustin Hoffman at the Blackjack table at Talking Stick Casino.

Growing up in elementary school, all my Loan Officer mother ever made me was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, which didn’t help my blobby physique one bit at the time. Still, I never complained or requested anything different, urging my mother to make me Bento box lunches with Power Rangers stickers on the outside, with Cucumber and cream cheese Koshertarian rolls wrapped in seaweed and sticky rice within. Also, as a kid, I always preferred sesame bagels, for my egg and cheeses at the local Greek dinner, inhaling 2 in one sitting, after a night of drinking, with my old school high school buds, which is why my father called me the” human shovel” for a reason. So, I don’t need to be a math savant like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man to realize my love of nut based spreads like peanut butter would eventually lead to my developed steamy love for Tahini flavor in Hummus, which is where the oily, creamy, pulverized sesame seed spewing essence derives from. Hummus is basically, the more versatile, infinitely less tubby version of peanut butter, which also packs leaner blasts of less sticky mouth protein. So of course, I’m hot for Hummus but only after I started making my homemade versions to spice up my kid’s lunches, so I didn’t burn them out on peanut butter, ruining their capacity to ever savor a Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter Cups, made at all the specialty chocolate chops like in Ridgefield CT again, which is an American shishy bitch rite as it gets.

If you never tried Hummus, the famed sesame paste can be a turnoff, if you never sampled the primo goods before. On the surface, some store-bought Hummus or homemade Hummus can look like a sad plop mound of dried out earwax. That’s why you must add color and a dash of sophistication to your presentation. Pine nuts, who needs them. Chopped hardboiled eggs, gross, too overtly Israeli for my taste sorry. Pesto on top of hummus, is a blatantly unnecessary, awful idea, knowing Hummus when made right, requires no parm cheese garlic infusion to make it more swoon worthy than it already is. For me, I dress up my Hummus triangle creations with a menage a trois of radiant, lick it up color such as hot to trot, Little Red Corvette, cherry tomatoes and Arizona wild, desert bloom orange specked shredded carrots or some Polo Lounge conjuring green in the form of thick strands of Jalapeno on top to keep it extra steamy in the process.  

Just like it any relationship, you have to spice things up, incorporating needed color and variety to keep things interesting or you’ll lose sustained stiffage, which is the perpetual state of arousal necessary for any relationship to get excited for toppable tomorrows. The same rule applies to homemade loving infused creations versus the mass produced, manufactured kind, which lacks the length and depth of personalized pop compared to the real thing.  So invest in a Cuisinart to blend your Goya Chickpeas, add some store bought Tahini from your local Kosher butcher, add a garlic bulb or 2, throw in a generous heaping of sea, Himalayan, or Kosher salt, I don’t give a shit, before pouring in a steady steam of medium grade Olive oil, as the hummus magic swirls into scrumptious loving perfection before constructing your pita triangle pizzas with the steamy garnishes I mentioned prior and call it a day.  At the very least, your kids will love you more putting in the extra effort to tantalize and awaken their tastebuds to newer, fresher, yummier possibilities than ever before. Plus, your kids won’t become instantly tubby and resent your existence for it later. Last, your wife tasting like hummus won’t lure you into sucking face with her on the spot, but you’ll take whatever justified outs a 10-year marriage can give you.

Michael Kornbluth

Chicken Cutlet Hunters

The Chicken Cutlet from the Edgemont Deli on Central Avenue next to Danny’s Cycle in southern Westchester County, 30 minutes north of Manhattan was always the best.  My old school dear friend Ari, now a Kidney doctor who part owns his own practice in CT, a graduate of Washington University, no dummy, would agree with me, we became fixated on hunting down the perfect chicken cutlet sandwich ever since. I remember inhaling down this chicken cutlet thinking, I was in the presence of greatness, just based on the crispy enough, herbed spice breading on it alone. Back then, I didn’t know the difference between sage or rosemary. I wasn’t aware of how cilantro was used as an herb in salsa. Shit, an underclassman fooled me into buying oregano for weed senior year in high school, so I wasn’t obsessing over the herb installation componentry embedded in my bomb chicken cutlet from the Edgemont Deli at the time, that wasn’t Calista Flockhart skinny but more Jo plump like from Facts of Life, which gave you something more excitable to chomp into again and again. The perfectly shredded lettuce, semi-thin, actual fleshy red tomato on top,  nestled between the banging Kaiser roll, which was never drowning for dear life in an amorphous plop of mayo goo didn’t hurt the chicken cutlet sandwich’s overall appeal one bit either. Ah, those were the days, pre-Yelp, where you actually had to rely on your own intuition and New York bred sense of adventure to try and consume it all, like a less hyper articulate, perpetually suave, mini Anthony Bourdain in the making, minus the French royal rocker look working in your favor either.

Now, that I’m getting my 3 kids more courageous about trying different Kosher meat creations because they know I’m writing a book about it and unlike others, they still believe me in pounding my dreams of comedic superstardom into freaking reality already, especially when I involve them in the act of pulverizing the homemade Kosher chicken cutlets I made tonight with real deal Hebrew Hammer fury.  I told my son Arthur to choke up on the mighty mallet before pounding the chicken cutlets for round 2 with the intention of smooshing those cutlets into barely recognizable form like when Mitch Blood Green came up with the bright idea to start a street fight with Iron Mike in Harlem during his prime time domination years, where he knocked out legendary heavy weights by the time you banged another one out to Taste Of Amber again.  

My wife had to Nazify my dream chicken cutlet recreation tonight, using a combination of panko breadcrumbs and homemade ones while also using a mishmash of chopped parsley, sage and rosemary, by insisting on calling it the meal “Schnitzel”, saying, “I haven’t had Schnitzel since Oktoberfest in Germany.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “Chances are you had pork schnitzel for starters, which is fine, but don’t lump my dish into your non-eating Kosher past in Germany before the open borders invite to invade and resist assimilation lead to no-go zones, proving too much for Angela Merkel’s hunched shoulders to bear alone. Where is W to give Angela Lansbury’s, more homely, less talented, dour dumpy clone to give an unsolicited back rub, when you need him?  Also, I didn’t  know what the hell Schnitzel was in high school, I just knew how to order a chicken cutlet at the deli, with shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo, Russian dressing or getting some melted provolone on it if I was feeling particularly eccentric for lunch, that day, that’s it. Granted, tonight, I did fry up gargantuan flatted breasts which looked like Pauly from Rocky passed out on Bridget Nielson’s tits. But I wouldn’t call a schnitzel dish using Panko breadcrumbs and Kosher certified chicken as a sterling example of keeping it real Arian like either.  Actually, for those food nerd historians at home, schnitzel was actually invented in Austria before famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal helped track down Adolf Eichman’s Nazi footsteps in Buenos Aries pleasuring himself to more Malbec and Nazi trading cards bound for the ashbins of truly deplorable history. Before shiny shoes got hanged in Israel for being Farrakhan’s dreamboat exterminator against you know who Gervais, and it wasn’t your mole infested British commoners working as Bank Tellers for Barclay’s Bank either.

I’m most impressed with my how kids continue to embrace and try any new meat creation I make for them, because they know it’s made with love and kids always love you back twice as much, when you make them like feel like the center of your universe instead of the reverse. Last, your kids can’t help but look up to daddy a little bit in the kitchen knowing he’s doing his best to please God  and obey his dietary laws in exchange for blessing him with the greatest home team imaginable, which grows closer every day, yeah, yeah.

I’m about to put my 3-year old son Samuel in the car today on our way to pick up a couple of last minute, improvised inspired ingredients and he says with a wink and brightened smile, “I hate your jokes and your books to.” I laughed long time. The fact my 3-year-old son already understands the full spectrum of silly minded, sarcastic fueled ball busting while also comprehending what work I’ve been pounding away at since he was born is a sign that God really is looking after my back through this miracle wonderkid. Samuel Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo really is the pubescent, Total Package, Lex Luger after all.

Michael Kornbluth

Memories Of Meh Pastrami On Rye

The considerably less greasy Pastrami from the 2nd Ave Deli in Manhattan comparéd to Katz in the lower east side on Houston Street, offers a killer Pastrami on Rye yet memories of more meh bites of pricy Pastrami, don’t make my heart flutter with more erect interest the way repeat showings of the Cherry Pie video on MTV in junior high did or provide the same rapturous joy in hunting down the perfect chicken cutlet in high school throughout lower Westchester County once we all become licensed to drive.

Not every Pastrami sandwich on rye from Jewish Delis in New York is woo worthy. Growing up in the snuggle soft confines of Westchester County, 30 minutes north of Manhattan, our only local option for Pastrami was at Epstein’s, located on a semi-derelict, zero frills section of Central Avenue close to White Plains, NY. Where my friends and I used to frequent a local bodega who didn’t ID, to pick up more forties of Old English, Snoop Dog’s old school ho sprayer of choice.  The pastrami on Rye at Epstein’s is only 13 bucks compared to its vastly superior, smokier succulent cousin at Katz Deli on Houston, the oldest deli in America, which was big time before George Burns uttered on his deathbed, “I got off easy compared to Jackie Mason, who had the misfortune of being branded as the less lovable, more overtly Jewish, curmudgeon version of Don Rickles.”

Reality is, you get what you pay for and the pastrami at Epstein’s always tasted a tad blubbery rubbery to be classified as Yelp stroking, jerking off Pastrami ever. Is the Pastrami at Katz infinitely better than Epstein’s? Is the Catholic Church soft on condemning pedophilia? Still, Katz is a schlep if you don’t live downtown or anywhere remotely close to the Island of Manhattan. Plus, the place is a dump and pictures of Ben Stiller on the wall don’t make it anymore alluring either regardless of him being the face of Mugatu or not. Also, when you go to Katz for the 1st time when you’re already in your late twenties when you’re selling ad space for the Village Voice, which doesn’t include the sale of she male size stamps in the back, you feel unfashionably late to the Pastrami is king, rallying party. I’ve tried the Pastrami from the famed Montreal Jewish deli transplant Mile End in the East Village, which packs as much old world charm as Ethel the waitress’s armpit stains, as she scribbles in your order, cursing your existence for being such a predictable, blah brain bore like the rest as she thinks, “Pastrami on rye with spicy brown Mustard, how original. I bet he thinks Bill Maher wishing for a Recession on Real Time to get President Trump out of office, pre-Corona was an example of keeping it real, resistor like, boy!”

My intention isn’t to completely crap on the most unifying of all foods for gentiles and Jews alike, Pastrami on rye. Still, taking my 3 kids to Epstein’s this past Saturday to celebrate my upcoming all-star book review for The Great American Jew Novel, to be published in the Midwest Review of all places, I was slightly embarrassed for hard selling my kids on how Pastrami is considered the Filet Mignon of kosher cow dishes.  Granted, this type of Pastrami wasn’t the Austin smoked brisket kind or the Katz caliber, but for a comedy writer who prides himself on his originality, I felt like a used Honda car salesman, for pushing the Pastrami on rye to my 3 kids, by inferring they’d be fake news Jews without embracing the Romantic Comedy date nosh of choice.

Matilda, my eldest, actually emoted about her bit size bite of Pastrami the most, saying, “I like it Daddy. But can you make your London Broil again but a tad more tender next time?” Arthur, her younger brother said, “I like my Hebrew National Hot Dog way better than the Pastrami Daddy. Can you start making your Hebrew National Dogs at home taste more like this?” Baby brother Samuel took some excited nibbles from the pastrami, but he wasn’t doing any yummy dances in the smoked meat’s delicacy’s honor either.  I inhaled the remainder of the Pastrami sandwich but only forcmere blessed meat Kosher sake. I actually preferred bites out of our communal square potato Knish by itself, without even dipping it in the too sour spicy brown mustard, proving meat isn’t always better, especially if it’s not a homemade do it all dad creation you made yourself.

At the same time, my kids were very giddy in our padded booth, sucking down their Dr. Brown’s diet cream soda, which isn’t nearly as sugary sweet, with big hearted, didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world relish. On this unseasonably warm Saturday, before we visited my nearby old elementary school in Edgemont, NY as I proceeded to make it rain with more perfect arching jumpers from way downtown before I started freaking out the more career stable parents by the playground by gunning our nerf football at our kids heads, which they ate up with a spoon. Sometimes, the best things in life, don’t have to be smoked, cured, brined or seasoned, reminding me how the only ingredient necessary for old school fun, is being silly as you want to be, which never gets played out in our hearts.

Michael Kornbluth

Tofu The Terrible Slayer

Matilda, Singing Rose Kornbluth, was in no singing mood today. Every day, she’d wake up singing,” Good day sunshine” by the Beatles even if she got up at the crack of dawn again or decided to work in Norway away from her mom and dad throughout an entire darkened 5 month winter as a 9-year ski model for Northface, knowing in a post-corona universe, she was used to doing remote learning away from school anyway. But this drab Thanksgiving morning was different, because she had to act thankful for eating Tofurky Roast again, despite the spirit of Tofu The Terrible terrorizing her dreams since she described soy dogs in her school lunch cafeteria blog as “Rubber dog link nosh toys.”

But how could Matilda Singing Rose Kornbluth act grateful for eating a Tofurky Roast, since her 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Right, made it clear how the native American Indians weren’t responsible for teaching the Pilgrims how to turn soy milk into white blocks of semi-firm bricks of soy with higher levels of estrogen to feminize John Smith’s sturdy stock of sailors with. Also, Thanksgiving this year post-Corona wasn’t feeling particularly festive, knowing Matilda was suffering from PTSD from wearing all of those Corona masks to death. Matilda was now having nightmares of being terrorized by the masked man, Tofu The Terrible who ruined every favorite meal she’d dream of. For example, if Matilda had just won the Gold Medal in the Hardcore X Games for Equestrian Riders within the Under 10 Years age bracket, having to complete jumps through rings of fire with an occasional baby dragon on her tail. She’d normally celebrate with her best friend Shannon in her dream over their favorite treat Jellybeans for a sleepover party soon after. But now all that appeared in her dream were pasty, slimy soybeans in the place of jellybeans because Tofu The Terrible was punishing her for calling soy dogs on her cafeteria food blog, “Not good enough to pass for rubber dog toys.” And Matilda hated pet dogs because they ate dog food with minced horse meat inside. Matilda had always been a hardcore vegetarian loyalist, yet she greatly offended the spirt of Tofu The Terrible, a ferocious Chinese vegetarian warrior from the Ming Dynasty, who even got Genghis Khan into Mapo Tofu over Jasmine Rice, a fiery, dish loaded with super scary Sichuan spice. The smell from the grounded up Sichuan peppercorns would make most grown men cry, making their lips tremble in fear at the prospect of having to try one more bite, knowing Genghis Khan would be hoarding all the Sake rice wine for any temporary relief for themselves soon afterwards.

Matilda was convinced she’d never enjoy the food she loved in real life again such as her Dad’s fried Icelandic cod in a barbeque aioli without tasting anything but mushy, dog drool instead.  

Now, it was time for everyone at the table to give thanks for Thanksgiving, which Matilda had been dreading from the start, because she was consumed with nightmarish visions of Tofu The Terrible ruining all her favorite foods in her dreams and in real life, such as her Dad’s star side dish creation, caramelized cauliflower potato  gratin, combining cave aged Gruyere and Raclette cheese from the Swiss Alps, which  injected the dish with an extra scrumptious, creamy fresh finish.

Matilda’s Dad, a Stay At Home Comedian Author, Podcast Host and self-taught semi gourmand Chef could tell his daughter was dreading her turn to participate and says, “Matilda, you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Is Tofu The Terrible ruining the taste of your Jellybeans again?” Matilda perks up, shaken out of her petrified, frozen comatose and says, “How did you know about Tofu The Terrible Daddy?” Matilda’s dad says, “I helped you launch your own lunch cafeteria blog on WordPress remember? Your last piece Tofu Brownie Blues, was about how Tofu The Terrible threated to shred everyone’s masks at school, unless the Brownie Girls started selling his special batch of Tofu Brownies at the next school bookfair instead.” Matilda says, “Do we have to eat the Tofurky Roast this year?” Dad says, “No, try this veggie Barbeque Pita instead.” Matilda takes a reluctant bite but is moved by her Dad’s gesture of goodwill. She says, “Yummy daddy. Her Dad says, “I fried up cubes of semi-firm soy inside that bad boy. The sautéed onions and peppers keep the memories of mushy dog toy food at bay. Tofu The Terrible was dead in Matilda’s head and she started singing again while giving thanks and praises at Thanksgiving, singing, “Soy Dogs still suck, Tofu The Terrible to, but you’re no longer so bad, since my daddy came to my rescue.”

The End

Michael Kornbluth

Killing On Date Night

3 kids later, dates with my wife are rare. Last time we had one, the waiter asks, “How are we doing tonight?” I say “Last time we had a night free from our kids, I got my wife pregnant again.  We haven’t ordered our drinks yet. But I already feel like I’m in the midst of a 5 week rave in Germany, if you really need to know.”

Michael Kornbluth