I love to cook. I love to cook for people. I love to cook for people that enjoy eating. I love to cook for people that enjoy eating and sharing their lives.
That is why I included sharing a meal in my monthly gathering of friends that we call, In It Together.
In It Together is a random gathering of women interested in knowing how to deepen their faith. We meet once a month to go over the chapter of a book relating to our faith. Currently, we are perusing Crazy Love by Francis Chan. The scriptural truths and biblical admonitions that Mr. Chan presents to us chapter by chapter, keeps us searching, delving and discussing how we accomplish this thing called a spiritual life focused on Jesus Christ.
This is not as easy as you may think. It involves confronting the sin in your life and in many cases, altering your life to an unrecognizable picture of a former self. It involves humbling yourself before a holy God and asking Him for His direction and guidance. It involves putting down your own agendas and recognizing a sovereign God.
Sheew. Heavy, life changing stuff.
Enough to build up an appetite, I'd say.
So that is why on another once a month, we get together to just sit down and share a meal. We reflect on our weeks since we last gathered in study mode and sometimes update on the current hot spot in our lives. But mostly, we just enjoy the meal, chat about our lives and laugh and laugh and laugh. There is something about the intimacy of eating a meal together that manages to put down barriers and share more openly with one another. Conversations can more easily be made over a meal than any other time. Hence, the Business Lunch. However, I find a great deal of satisfaction in cooking for others, especially those that I have a special affinity for, that I would not want to relegate this treat to a restaurant.
This past Monday, Lovely Liza became so excited about the food arriving at the table that she just got giddy. This young woman, who admitted that she did not own a garlic press, took a great deal of joy in the anticipation of a home cooked meal. You cannot imagine how happy that kind of response means to me! I was ready to sign on as her personal chef just for the reaction that she gave me that evening.
I have to thank Sweet Sharon for the recipe that I cooked Monday night. It is a simple slap dash thing that has served me well for many occasions. It is a flexible, fun thing and apparently, a BIG hit Monday night.
Sweet Sharon's Slap Dash
Saute crushed garlic (to taste) in heated olive oil. Add chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts. Your choice. Toss in vegetables - broccoli, snow peas, grated carrots, zucchini, summer squash, red peppers, onions; your choice. (I had the ladies bring a vegetable that they had hanging around to add to the mix. That was fun.) Serve sauteed veggies over cooked linguine or fettuccine noodles. Serve that over fresh spinach. Grate fresh Parmesan over that along with grated feta cheese.
(I sometimes saute or grill boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced in strips, to serve on the side)
In these days of uncertainty, it is best to cling on to what is true, solid, absolute and yummy. Make it a point to cook for someone or someones just because you wanna. Make it a point to gather like minded, like goaled people in your life for good discussion and biblical challenges. Serve one another in love... The payback is extraordinary...