I have often talked about the importance of cooking with love. It is that secret ingredient which people seem to be able to taste in your cooking. However, I have found that love without humility seems to affect the outcome of the dish. One of my favorite stories about this is told by Mary Beth Crain. She tells the story of making a dish for her mother which she should not have been eating as it was not a diabetic friendly dish.
I feel, however, that I must issue a warning: cooking with love doesn’t always bring great results. Over the holidays I got an old American Home Magazine from 1937, in which I found, of all things, an ad for Royal Baking Powder featuring a recipe from none other than the mother of famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart. For some odd reason I was entranced by the tinted color photo of white-haired old Mother Earhart, looking maternal and saintly, presenting her beautiful platter of fried chicken, gravy and biscuits made with foolproof Royal Baking Powder. The promo read, “’Amelia’s Favorite Dish is My Fried Chicken and Biscuits!’ Says the Mother of the World’s Most Famous Woman Flyer.” Read More
Lacking inspiration for my blog this week, I decided to do what I used to do when I was preaching on a regular basis. I laid down, prayed for guidance and inspiration, and then begin to focus on my breathing. At some point, I fell asleep to some show on the Food Network. However, the first words I heard were Chris Santos reflecting on the four contestants on a repeat episode of Chopped. In this episode, the four cheftestants cooked for non-profit organizations. His comment was about how we need to give thanks for those who cook as a form of service. Read More
It was a simple request which inspired this blog. I chose to ask each person present in our house one evening to contribute to the creation of dinner. One person was asked to cook the steaks and burgers. I made a southwestern potato hash and I asked the other two people to create a salad. Sounds simple, right? After all we all know what a salad is. What was interesting was some of the discussion which pursued as they were choosing what kind of salad to make and what to put in the salad. It got me thinking about what exactly is a salad. Is there A definition of what A salad is? Read More
When I was in seminary, which now seems a lifetime ago, in one of my preaching classes we were assigned to take a scripture which involved violence against women and develop a sermon on it in a way which was honest, but empowering. The result was a sermon I wrote called Take Back the Night, which was what I envisioned Tamar would have said if Tamar had been invited to speak at a Take Back the Night March.
One of the things I learned while I was researching this scripture was about the name Tamar. Tamar means date palm. In biblical times, people’s names were a prophesy about their lives. Date palm might not seem like much of a prophesy, but it is. You see the date palm is said to be the oldest cultivated tree. For the people of her area, the date palm held particular symbolic significance. Read More
Last week, I wrote about Zoë’s cousin Bruce and his request for lemon drop cookies. To be honest, I have never made them before. I figured they could not be that hard to make, but it was one of the things he remembered about his wife who had passed away. So the morning he was leaving, I woke up early and began making lemon drop cookies and quiche he had requested.
I knew this was exactly what he had wanted this holiday season, so I knew he was going to be excited. What I was not prepared for was the depth of his response. He had no idea I was going to make him two quiche to bring home, along with a myriad of other leftovers from Christmas breakfast and lunch. So that in itself excited him. I am not sure he expected I would actually do this for him. Read More
It is amazing the things that you can learn from a single meal. My wife’s favorite dish, which I have been commanded to make weekly, is my cabbage casserole. A dear friend of ours, who is staying with us for a few weeks, loves it as well. The best part about making this casserole, which by the way is not my favorite, is the look on their faces. Sometimes it looks like they are having orgasms in their mouth. I know that look because I have had that experience as well. My guess is that you know that experience as well. You develop an emotional reaction and relationship to this dish that surpasses description. I have several, but one of mine would be a jalapeno bagel with lox and cream cheese. But that is another reflection, back to the cabbage casserole.
Watching them last night as the two of them nearly finished off a casserole that was supposed to serve 6-8 (lol); I had a series of epiphanies. Read More