I like being kosher, but just not right now. Right now, I have to finish the 3.5 pounds of ham I bought to support the local economy…and have an option to chicken.
I live in a town known for one thing- southern barbequed ham. If you live within a thirty mile radius, you’ve heard of it. If you travel through the area, playing tourist, you might miss it, unless you walk inside the town store.
When you open the door, the whole store smells like barbequed ham. It sits warming in a rotissere machine, not more than a few feet from a cooler filled with ham-accessories- rich, sweet baked beans, cole slaw, and southern potato salad. There are other things in the cooler, but it is difficult to concentrate in the aroma-cloud of ham. Everything in the store is secondary, for back against the wall, through junk-food aisles, it hides, like a prize generator hiding on an electricity-free night in the dead-heat of summer.
I’m working on the ham. It may be my last. I am trying to give up ham for good, which may not be too difficult. Before I moved here, I really didn’t care much for ham. Although not a practicing Jew- I’m a Christian- I ate more of a kosher diet most of my life.
And I have seen some things…things I try not to remember when eating ham. I’ve inspected farms and seen what pigs will eat. I will not disgust you, but it isn’t pretty. There is a lot of wisdom to eating a kosher diet, but I won’t go into that right now. For now, let’s just say, my time in Hamalot is soon coming to a close, and I’ll be leaving behind ham-eating for good. So, as I enjoy my last barbeque ham, I must admit that living in Hamalot has helped me understand the meaning of porky…and helped me plan some other alternatives to the tasteless chicken option.