Saturday, March 17, 2012

Death in a Pot

I love to cook. I enjoy reading recipes, trying new ideas, and then of course, eating what I’ve made. It’s in my blood. My Great-Grandmothers and Grandmothers were excellent cooks. My Mother is still a wonderful inspiration to get into the kitchen and prepare a fabulous meal for the people I love. I’ve learned so much from these wonderful women and am blessed to call them family.

 I’ve enjoyed several creations of my own. In years past, I was able to go to a farm and purchase fresh milk, directly from the cow. It was fun to draw the cream off the top of the bottle. I always saved out a little to use in my coffee, but then fresh butter was made.

I made my own cottage cheese and a few other cheeses. Upon remembering this, I recall having to go to the library to do research on how this process works. Boy, have times changed! And I supposed I just gave my age away. During this time period, I gained quite a bit of weight. Everything was so much tastier because of the freshness of the product! It was worth it.

Another odd food item I made in years past was marshmallows. If you’ve never had a home-made marshmallow, you haven’t lived. They are so tasty! Again, research at the library brought me to this delicious confection. This I might have to make again…this time for my grand kids!

Believe it or not, there is an account of an odd cooking experience in the Bible. In 2 Kings 4, we see there was a famine in the area. Elisha was hosting a meeting of local prophets. Yes, like a preacher’s meeting. When it was time to feed the group, a large pot was placed over a fire for a stew to be prepared.

Someone from the group went to the fields and gathered herbs and some gourds from a wild vine. He brought them back, cut them up, and put them into the pot. No one knew what this particular gourd was, but it was the only gourd to be found.

When the stew was finished, it was poured out for the group. Upon eating it, they all cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” They could not eat it. Perhaps it was an exaggeration. Maybe it just tasted awful. But remember, this was a group of preachers (sorry all my preacher friends…I had to put that in).

Elisha didn’t panic. He simply asked for some flour. He put it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people to eat.” There was nothing harmful in the pot.

Now I can’t say that I’ve made anything that horrible, but I’ve made a few things that I will never make again. Sometimes recipes just don’t live up to the expectation. Sometimes substitutions just aren’t adequate. Sometimes (as in my current situation) the altitude messes with the outcome.

Whatever it might be, it’s no reason to give up on cooking. We just keep trying until we get it right. This idea can be translated into other areas of our life as well. Whether it is a new skill you are learning or a project that just doesn’t seem to come together. Don’t panic. Keep going. Keep working. Your best effort will be rewarded.

Now, I think I must go find a cow.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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