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Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category


When Lindsay was very young, probably around four years old, she pulled up a chair to watch me cook dinner one evening.  She gazed intently as I stirred the ingredients of my frying pan into an unappetizing mass and then innocently asked:

“Mom, what the hell are you doing?”

And I think that has been her basic attitude toward my cooking skills ever since!

she had the ladies eating out of her hand . . .

Lindsay has blossomed into an amazing food artist–and I am not worthy to untie the sandals from her foodie feet!  Last night, she demonstrated how to make a low cost/high nutrient gourmet meal for a group of ladies–I was honored to be her sous chef (under-chef).  The sweet potato-bacon-lentil soup (recipe on her food blog) was a hit and all the ladies left armed with recipes and high hopes of being the next Master Chef.

I was telling some friends the other day about Lindsay’s culinary prowess and one of them asked if she used her cooking skills in any kind of ministry.

Hmmmm . . .  Because we are so quick to segregate the “sacred” from the “secular” in our culture, do we overlook the truth that simply discovering and using the abilities He gave us IS ministry?  Whether we are gifted as artists, musicians, accountants, athletes, healers or proclaimers of the gospel–wouldn’t ministry flow from using these abilities to glorify the Giver of all good things?

Lindsay certainly didn’t inherit her culinary skills from me–they are most definitely a gift from above!  And I know it delights the original Master Chef to see His daughter grow in understanding and ability as she works with the incredible, edible pallet He’s created for our enjoyment.

Bon appetit!

Master chef, Lindsay, and her humble sous chef, me

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I’m having such a blast harvesting from my gardens these days! I still can’t believe I didn’t discover gardening sooner.

But it dawned on me recently that my lack of interest in growing my own edibles probably stems from my ambivalence about food in general.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with food since childhood. Early on, I equated being fed well with being well-loved. I remember spending summers with my great-grandma Thurow in western Kansas. She’d greet me at the door with her big, bosomy hugs and then lead me to the magical drawer where homemade cookies, candy and other treats were amply supplied just for me! There’d be hand-rolled egg noodles drying on a table in the sun, German kolaches baking in the oven and Grandma’s fried chicken sizzling in the skillet.

And did I mention the cherry tree in the front yard? I knew that if I climbed those branches and picked long enough, grandma Thurow would make me my very own cherry pie, that I could eat for breakfast if I wanted!

But eating for love backfired on me when I entered my teens as an awkward, chubby, bespectacled basket-case. Food went from being my best friend to my worst enemy. Eating disorders soon developed and plagued me into the early years of marriage. I was able to break free from the death grip of bulimia when I found I was pregnant with our first child, but an unhealthy attitude toward food persisted.

Food was my obsession–I clipped recipes and stashed them all over the house like a squirrel hording nuts. I went on eating binges and then atoned with exercise and diet. I was always thinking about the next meal–and then the next diet. And I felt terrible about myself if I didn’t get my hour-long workout in each day.

I lived to eat . . . but it wasn’t much of a life.

But all that changed the summer of 1991, when we lived in Anchorage, AK. I wish I could tell you what book I read or program I tried that changed me–but that’s not how it happened. All I know is that I got so hungry for God that summer that I lost interest in filling my stomach. My appetite for the things of the Spirit replaced my unhealthy craving for food.

I began to eat to live . . . and what an amazing difference that made!

That’s not to say that I don’t get hungry or enjoy eating, because I do. Put a piece of carrot cake in front of me and I melt. But now I’ll only eat it if I’m hungry–and will stop when I’m full. Well, most the time, anyway 🙂

Food just doesn’t interest me much these days–and as a result, neither does cooking. Not even the most delectable concoctions whipped up on the Food Channel can coax me into the kitchen. In my opinion, cooking is time-consuming, messy, and offers a very fleeting pay-off. I’d much rather be hiking or blogging or puttering in my garden . . .

Which brings me to the dilemma of what to do with the bountiful harvest my garden is producing? I’m not sure if gardening will restore my interest in cooking, but I am enjoying the process of preserving what I’ve grown and gathered in:

I’ve made two batches of raspberry and blackberry freezer jam, blanched, vacuum-packed and frozen green beans, frozen blueberries for smoothies and muffins and put most everything else into salads, soups or stir-frys. I’m excited to try a recipe I just found for making herbed sun-dried tomatoes. And one of these days I’ll get brave enough to can salsa with my bumper crop of tomatoes and ring-of-fire peppers. Ole’! And when Danielle loans me her food processor (I have a pathetically stocked kitchen, except for the expresso machine), I will make a most excellent pesto which will be frozen in ice cube trays until I figure out what to do with the stuff.

Baby steps, I know, but a good start for an anti-foodie like me. Right now, I’m enjoying the way food looks as much as it tastes. Beets are beautiful, beans elegant and slender, tomatoes have an amazing array of shape, size and color. Peppers are mysterious, slyly changing colors to reveal what hotties they are–or not! Strawberries seem to blush a deeper ripe before my eyes . . .

But maybe with the help of my friends, family and Rachel Ray I can expand my culinary horizons. Or at least I can grow the yummy ingredients they need for their recipes . . .

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