Scallops Sense

The other night I was watching a rerun of an episode of Chopped where they had amateur home cooks competing on the show. In the first round, the contestants were given amongst other ingredients scallops in a shell. One of the contestants was unfamiliar with how to deal with scallops in a shell. To be honest, most of the time when I get scallops they have already been cleaned and shelled. So, had I not taken the time to learn about this I may not have even known that they come in shell, but they do. While they are not as difficult to open as other shelled mollusks, they do need to be opened and cleaned before preparation. Besides having the sand and grit washed off them, the various organs such as the liver, abductor muscle, and sex organs need to be removed. Then and only then they can be baked, broiled, fried, or prepared in some other way.

Scallops are one of those foods that are not only healthy to eat, but they are powerful spiritually. Eating scallops is like any information that life presents us. There are some things that need to be removed and some things which need to be washed off before we can even consider ingesting them and making them part of our internal belief system.

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Sharpening Knives

To those who have been reading this blog for a while, it should be no surprise that one of the sources for my Inspiration is the Food Network show Chopped. This week my inspiration began with the story of one chef, Nathaniel Zimet of Boucherie, who shared with the judges how he had been shot three times about ten months prior and his journey to recovery. While his story of recovery was inspiring, what was humbling was to hear him speak with such compassion about the man who shot him. His understanding that the man who shot him had to have been in extreme pain in order to shoot him as he did was a powerful illustration of compassion. It reminded me of a YouTube video of the father of one of the young girls who had been murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School recently and his compassion for all those who were grieving and for the family and friends of the man who had killed all these people. Having just blogged about compassion the other day, his attitude and story resonated with my soul.
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The Offal Truth

By now, it should be no surprise to anyone that one of my favorite shows on television is Chopped. It used to be Iron Chef America, but it was replaced by Chopped for a number of reasons. One of the reasons I am addicted to this show is that I love the creativity of these chefs who are just everyday people like me who come with their stories about how food changed their lives, how it has crafted their souls, and how you can learn about them by how they honor or dishonor an ingredient. There have been so many shows, which have taught me profound lessons, not just about the ingredients but also about life itself. Last night, October 23, 2012, was no exception. It was an interesting episode where the theme was head to tail.
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Let those who have ears hear _______

I remember, when I was still pastoring, asking my congregation a very simple question; when was the last time you had a conversation with a stone? Most of them, and I guess most of you reading this have never done that. My guess is that most of you are also wondering why I would even ask you such a question and what does this have to do with anything spiritual or food. It might not seem as much of a stretch if I asked you how many of you have ever had a conversation with a plant. It might seem even less of a stretch, if I asked how many of you talk to your pets. Those of us who have, or have had, animal members of our family know that there is an exchanging of information with our birds, cats, dogs, or whatever else is living in our home. It is not that they can speak to us, but somehow as we spend time with them and get to know them, we intuitively begin to understand each other through an exchange of energy. Over time, one’s ability to communicate with their pets enhances. We tend to pick up information all the time about what they are feeling and thinking.
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Trying not to get chopped!

If you have read my blog, you know that I am a chopped fanatic. Just about every episode I learn something new and exciting about food. I also learn a spiritual lesson in the process. The last few weeks have been a challenge in our kitchen and in my own way, I feel as if I have been on the chemo-care version of Chopped. I have no been given a basket of mystery ingredients from which I have to create an appetizer, entrée, and desert. Rather, Zoë’s taste buds are on a temporary vacation. It started a few weeks ago when most things started tasting like cardboard, and then I discovered the amazing ability of salt to take things from cardboard to palatable. I though I had it all worked out and could figure out how to create things that would make her enjoy eating again and not want to send the food back to the kitchen because it tastes like cardboard.
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Confessions of a Chopped addict.

Ok, so I will admit I am a Chopped addict. I have been trying to figure out what it is about this show that for me is so addictive. Seriously, I could watch the show all day long. If there was ever a Chopped marathon, I would probably be there watching it and thinking about what I would make with the ingredients if it were me. Although I am mindful that what you see in a 1-hour episode is just a segment of what has really transpired, there are a few things that I find spiritually invigorating about this show. While some of the chefs appear to be a bit more egotistical then others, they all are clearly passionate about food. It is also clear they have practiced their skills until they have mastered this level of expertise and they are there to push themselves beyond their culinary boundaries. Each of these is a quality of creating a Zenful experience in the kitchen. Now mind you, while if you gave me a basket of mystery ingredients I have no doubt I could create something amazing to eat. However, at the same time, the pressure of the clock would keep me staying in that Zenful state
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