Bon Appetit

Today I’m going to talk about food.

What do you do when

  • you’re at home by yourself;
  • most of the stores have closed down;
  • you’re left with a random assortment of groceries;
  • you’re vegan; and
  • you’re hungry?

You get creative, that’s what. With very little planning, my kitchen suddenly became a whirling dervish of activity. Within a few minutes, I had three pots going on the stove:

  • Moroccan couscous (cooked with vegetable broth and Earth Balance spread, tossed in grapeseed oil, and flavored with my three favorite seasonings: Garlic salt, garlic pepper seasoning, and rosemary)
  • Sauteed organic kale; and
  • Sauteed riced broccoli.

At the same time, I took a blend of frozen California-blend veggies (a mix of carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli – I’m not sure why folks think that we Californians like this particular assortment of veggies), seasoned them with my favorite blend, tossed them in grapeseed oil, and put them in the oven to roast.

Next, I took some organic (savory) tofu – firm, not the squishy, tastes-and-looks-like-wallpaper-paste stuff – and marinated it in an Italian glaze from Trader Joe’s.

I then mixed everything (except the oven-roasted veggies – they’re still cooking) in a pot and borrowed a page out of Genesis 1 and pronounced what I had made as “very good”.

Anyway, I share all of this to let you know that I’m not only grateful for my daily provision of food, but I’m also thankful for the God-ordained (and Mom-taught) ability to cook and improvise when needed. Not everyone has this ability – in fact, an old boyfriend of mine from college once asked me, “Why can’t you cook bacon in the toaster?” I am grateful for the variety, color, and abundance of food available to me, and that I can prepare a tasty meal for myself at a moment’s notice.

Be advised that I am not master chef by any means. I eat simply, and enjoy the natural flavor of foods, rather than drenching everything in sauces and heavy-handed seasonings. Tonight, I was blessed to be able to prepare a tasty, fresh meal and I am grateful for the food and for the ability to prepare it.

[Hang on – I need to get my veggies out of the oven…. I’m back! I’ve decided to repurpose the oven-roasted veggies for a pasta dish tomorrow.]

Anyway, back to the business of cooking. It may surprise you know that food preparation is addressed pretty consistently in the Bible. For instance, in Genesis 17, when Abraham meets the three visitors (one of whom is the Lord), the idea of preparing a tasty meal is one of the first things that he suggests:

The Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. One day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day. He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground. “My Lord,” he said, “if it pleases You, stop here for a while. Rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash Your feet. And since You’ve honored Your servant with this visit, let me prepare some food to refresh You before You continue on your journey.” So Abraham ran back to the tent and said to Sarah, “Hurry! Get three large measures of your best flour, knead it into dough, and bake some bread.” Then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant, who quickly prepared it. When the food was ready, Abraham took some yogurt and milk and the roasted meat, and he served it to the men. As they ate, Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees. “All right,” they said. “Do as you have said.” (Genesis 17: 1-7, NLT)

Abraham directed all of the resources available to him – including Sarah’s cooking skills, the cattle he owned, and the servants under his stewardship – and prepared a delicious meal for his visitors with very little advance notice.

So that is why I’m thankful today. It’s nice to be able to whip up something nice for myself with the resources available to me (and the food is good, too). Also, I like to share what I’ve made, so I’ll be sure to stop by my mother’s house this weekend and pass along some of the food to her, too.

This is a metaphor for life, no? Take what you’ve been given and make something wonderful out of it! Thank God for what you have, even if it’s not very much! And share your unique gifts with those around you!

Here is my prayer for today: Thank You, God, for giving me the ability to cook simply and well. You know that I’m no culinary expert, but You’ve given me just enough know-how in the kitchen to ensure that I’m preparing healthy and tasty meals for myself and others. Thanks so much for giving me the ability to enjoy a warm, hot meal whenever I feel inclined to make one. Thanks again for Your continued generosity toward me! In Your name I pray, Amen.

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