The Bar and Bat-Mitzvah. If you’re Jewish, or have Jewish friends with kids, then you’ve probably been to one or even had one. Maybe even several or too many to count. And you know what most of them are like. Large, wedding-like catered affairs usually held at a catering hall, with standard chafing dish food. For entertainment, everyone dresses up in suits and dances the hora.
You’re supposed to attend and hold them because you have an obligation. Not necessarily to have a good time. For the most part, Bar Mitzvahs are a requirement for Jewish parents because every other parent is having a Bar Mitzvah for their children, at great expense. You can’t NOT have one if you have children 13 years of age. If you’ve been invited to a Bar Mitzvah and you happen to be close family or friends, and you live fairly close by — within several hours drive — you pretty much HAVE to go. That is the unwritten rule of Bar Mitzvah etiquette.
This last weekend I went to a Bar-Mitzvah in which I actually had a good time and I didn’t feel like it was a sense of obligation at all. Why? Because it broke every single rule in the Bar Mitzvah book.
For starters, the family holding it decided that instead of outsourcing the entire thing to a catering hall and spend God knows how much money in the process, they would cook virtually all of the food they would serve themselves. Second, they held it on Halloween, and encouraged everyone to come in COSTUME. Third, the parents doing the cooking are accomplished competition BARBECUE chefs and judges. Combine that, and you get …
The Jordan Keiles Halloween Bar-B-Q-Mitzvah!
The Bar Mitzvah boy, Jordan, upper left, inspects his cocktail party spread. The star of the cocktail spread in my opinion were the Apple wood smoked Salami and Bologna, which I thought was genius. Shown also are sushi rolls and Asian pasta salad. Click on the photo to enlarge.
Ready for an unconventional Bar-Mitzvah? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The best part of the cocktail hour in my opinion was the SLIDER BAR. Yes, you got it correctly, the kid got his parents to serve home-made mini-hamburgers, a la White Castle. And they were fantastic. I particularly liked the cooking technique, which was to make them meatloaf-style and slice them up for serving. Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray may have some new inspiration here. Click on the photo to enlarge.
The proud father, Doug Keiles, dressed as Jose Cuervo, right, with his dad, two generations of barbecue men.
Halloween-themed table settings.
And some guests really did come in costume, although my wife and I chickened out.
And yes, they really did serve Barbecue. In the Synagogue’s social hall! Sorry, no pulled pork. But extremely good Barbecue Brisket, Barbecue Beef Ribs, Pulled Chicken and Barbecue Beans. For the kids, they even MADE the chicken fingers from scratch, out of whole strips of chicken breast (these came from GRUB HUT in Manville, where Doug works.) Best Chicken Fingers I ate in my entire life, too.