29 March 2010

Only the freshest ingredients…

Yes, this is another food related blog. You can stop reading now if you are hungry. But I write about the things that are of interest to me, and food is right up there on the list.

Most people who know me (either in real life or from reading my blog) know that one of my weekly routines is shopping at the DeKalb Farmers Market. This used to be a first thing in the morning Sunday morning journey, but last week, it was a mid-afternoon Friday event. (There is a TOTALLY different vibe at the Market depending on when you go, but that probably should be the subject of another blog/note.) Usually when I go on Sunday, I spend a couple of hours after my trip cutting up veggies and herbs and putting them in the freezer for later use. I couldn’t do that this past Friday afternoon because the Sabbath was fast approaching by the time I got home, but Sunday afternoon found me standing at the kitchen counter, sharp knife in hand: chopping, dicing, cutting.

Cutting up the three types of peppers, the onions, the leeks and herbs each week can be mindless and dull work. (I enjoy it, but I can see the “boriness” of it) But as I was chopping and dicing and cutting, I was reminded that starting with great ingredients at the outset will ensure great meals in the end. There is a value to going to the farmers market and spending the money for fresh(er) veggies and herbs.

Case in point: December 2008 – my godsister and I took a “girls vacation” to one of my favorite spots in the world: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Every single day that we were there, we ate fresh salsa on the beach. The blend of tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, lime – oh my! Nothing like it in the world. And with salted chips, warm from the brick oven – that was some good eating! So, when I came back home, I had to replicate and make salsa of my own. (To this day, it is very hard for me to eat jarred salsa – even PACE which is very good salsa. I just prefer to make my own) And I make a mean delicious salsa, if I must say so myself. BUT if the ingredients aren’t right from the start: if the tomatoes are watery, if the cilantro is not right, or the limes are not tart enough – the end result dish can be less than satisfactory.

It’s the same way with us in our Christian experience. We have to put in the right ingredients as we make the recipe known as our character. If you put in good stuff (Bible study, prayer, good Christian friendships), you will get good results. If you put in bad stuff, you get less than desirable results. And guess what: if you put in a mixture of good and bad, the results are still unsatisfactory. Half stepping, whether in cooking or in your Christian walk, is always evident in the end product. I want my character to be full of the finest ingredients, don’t you? Let’s pray for each other to that end.

Be blessed.

© 2010 Kristina E. Smith
Monday, 29 March, 2010

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