Keeping kosher involves a bit of upkeep, with respect to keeping up with alerts, checking food labels (even of food you normally buy), planning meals, adjusting recipes sometimes, etc. However, there is something we have done that makes keeping kosher easy: color-coding.
Almost everything in our kitchen is color-coded so that it is easy for even a person who does not know kashrut, to find the right items. In our house, meat is green, dairy is blue, and parve is yellow. We went with these colors because when my husband came back from learning in Israel, his dad took him shopping. He bought a green set and a blue set of Gibson dishes. The plates, small plates, mugs and silverware were all the same color. Thus our color-scheme began. We even registered for blue and green utensils, pot holders, etc. to match.
Here is a breakdown of our system:
Electrical tape: I buy the 3M electrical tape (available at Target) and put it on various items:
– handles of utensils and pots/pans
– bottoms of plastic containers and glassware (a small strip is all you need)
– center of plastic lids
The tape is cheap and easy to replace if it falls off (which is not very often).
Color choice: For other items, we try to buy in the specific color for that type of food. So, for instance, our dishware is an off-white color with colored rims (blue and green sets). Many of our utensils are also in these colors. We even have silverware with the matching colored handles. When we can find them, we get the Ziploc containers with green lids for our meat needs. For kids cups it can be hard to find only the two colors we need. So we have only green ones for meat, and all the other colors are for dairy, since that is what we use most. For a while we had matching kitchen towels, but we realized that once an item is clean, it doesn’t matter what you dry it with!
Shabbos items: All of these items are not marked, but we know they are always meat. For Shavuos, we just get out our regular dairy dishes or the extra set of dairy dishes we have.
The kitchen: We used the electrical tape and my label maker to label the insides of cabinets and all of our bins for plastic lids. We even have labels above each side of the sink.
Pesach: We use the same system for Pesach, just minus the real dishes. This is one of the few times of year we use disposables!
We had originally tried nail polish for items like glass pans, glass cups, and cookie sheets, but we found it bakes on and turns black in the oven.
If you like this system, choose your own colors based on what you currently have and what you can find. Lately, green and blue utensils are not as easy to find.