05 March 2010

Prep work

Yes, another blog about food and cooking. Sorry, it’s just one of my “things”. One of the things that my non-cooking friends always ask me is “How do you find time to do all that cooking? It just takes too long to cook like that.” I’ll let you in on my secret: prep work. I could soooo be a sous chef. I truly don’t mind doing all the cutting and chopping and prepping it takes to make food taste the way it should taste. In a way, it is kind of relaxing – and a great way to work out any frustrations I might be feeling.

I was supposed to host a dinner party this weekend. It was going to be my way of saying thank you to the people who serve with me as host and hostess at my church on the first Sabbath of every month (with a few extra special people thrown into the invitation mix). However, I had to postpone the dinner due to an unexpected upper respiratory infection in the house. Unfortunately, this diagnosis came AFTER I’d done all the shopping and purchased all the produce and veggies I needed for the menu I had planned in my head. So, in order to preserve my investment, I needed to chop and freeze my vegetable bounty. Yes, this can be mindless and boring – and potentially tearful, if you are cutting up onions and don’t do it right (cold water is key). I am a firm believer though that the 30 minutes of effort it took me today will save me hours of time later. With the right tools: a flexible cutting board, a good knife, and freezer bags in quart and gallon sizes – it is a relatively painless task.

As I cut up the veggies, I was mesmerized by all the pretty colors, textures and smells and thought what a wonderful God we serve. Can you imagine how boring life (and food) would be if everything was bland and colorless and boring? I thought about how much fun God must have had as He designed red, yellow, orange and green bell peppers. What made Him think of the purple hue of red onions or the small tubular shape of scallions when cut on a diagonal? How did He decide that cilantro would have one smell and basil a totally different one? And how did He know that this particular child of His would love and appreciate it all on a sunny Friday in March 2010? I am so glad that He is a God of details, because details make all the difference. Especially in the world of food and food enjoyment.

I was also struck by this thought: building a relationship with God takes “prep work” as well. It is the little things we do on a daily basis that form the fabric of our entire relationship with God. Daily study of His Word, prayer and communication with Him, witnessing to others of His love – this is all “prep work”. Day by day, it adds up and eventually, those habits form the character that reflects God. And isn’t that our ultimate goal?

The time is coming (soon and very soon) when we will each be challenged to defend what we believe and why we believe it. Doing the work now to prepare for that time will make the reality of that time less stressful, scary and traumatic. Just as cutting up the veggies today will make preparing for my postponed dinner party in two weeks a lot easier as well.

Be blessed and Joyeux Sabbath.

© 2010 Kristina E. Smith
Friday, March 05, 2010

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