My journey as a cook: Part I

My journey as a cook: Part I

After I graduated college, I moved to Spain to work as an English teacher and meet my Spanish, soccer playing husband (one of those two things actually happened). My first week or two were spent in a hostel while I tried to figure out where to live in the sprawling city of Madrid. Even though I was staying in a hostel, I cooked all my meals because who has money to eat out every day?! I remember my first day I went grocery shopping and it hit me for the first time: I don’t know how to cook.

This was a terrible blow to my ego because, for some reason, I thought of cooking as one of my hobbies. Growing up, I helped a lot in the kitchen. Being the oldest of the 6 at home kind of leaves no other option. But I only really knew how to be told what to do. Making my way through the grocery store, I tried to think of a dinner my midwestern mom would make a lot. I had it! Pot roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots! She would buy the meat from the Schwan man and it was to die for. I didn’t know what animal the meat came from, so I bought a couple slices of the cheapest deli ham, one carrot, and one potato. I would leave the onion for another day because it seemed a little extravagant. I got back to the hostel kitchen (after embarrassingly realizing that you have to weigh your own food, bring your own bags, and bag your own groceries in Spain) and looked for cooking utensils. I can up with a dull paring knife, a microwave, a coffee mug, and a spoon. I cut up everything, put it in the mug, added some water, salt and pepper, and kept adding more time on the microwave until it was edible.

And so began my cooking career.

To be continued…

Chic-Fil-A and the salt of the earth

Chic-Fil-A and the salt of the earth

What it means that Christ calls us to be salt of the earth became much more clear to me the other day. We were leaving the Chic-Fil-A Escondido drive-thru and I realized we forgot to ask for salt for my french fries.

French fries are my favorite food. If I was stranded on a desert island and I could bring one thing it would be french fries. But french fries without salt are just potatoes and oil. Driving away, I tried to eat them, but I couldn’t choke ’em down.

Salt brings out the best in food; it brings out its true flavor. That’s why the vast majority of Christians are lay people. God placed us in the world (Jn 17:15) – in the midst of soccer practices and work deadlines and presidential elections – to bring out the good. He didn’t introduce us to our social media acquaintances or family members to win arguments.

He put us in our exact circumstances to love, and love calls forth love (1 Jn 4:19), just as salt calls forth the best flavors of those delicious fries.