Let the Supper Simmer
By Ken and Jan Merop
November is a time for planning dinners…especially Thanksgiving…while looking ahead to Christmas festivities. Between planning, shopping, preparing ahead of time, baking, etc., creating an appealing, nourishing meal is pretty time-consuming.
Even when readying a meal for just the two of us, I take a few moments to think through what needs to be done first so that everything will be served hot and fresh.
For example, if I get a chicken dish ready first and later decide to make a salad, I’ll throw my preparation off and my chicken will be overcooked or cold. For me, making a salad is more like ‘building’ one and takes time. So, I must plan wisely.
But by getting salad prep done first, the bright, leafy greens, red, juicy tomatoes along with other yummy ingredients can wait their turn to be dressed.
If pasta is involved, timing is essential so that we don’t make ‘glue’ by overcooking, undercooking, sitting too long, or getting cold. Such a lack of preparation will not tempt the palate. Good planning ensures a good presentation that begs the invitation to dig in!
However, there are times when even the best planning is interrupted and we need to be flexible. Put food back in the refrigerator, set the pot to a low simmer, reduce the oven temperature…whatever it takes so that the meal isn’t salted with tension!
This reminds me of the story of when Jesus and his disciples had come to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. After walking miles to get there, they reclined around the low table ready to enjoy a wonderfully planned and prepared meal. These were hungry men and Mary and Martha were known for their hospitality.
However, on this particular visit, Mary slipped away from the kitchen…her heart and mind hungering for Jesus’ words. Meanwhile, Martha continued with her duties. But, after a while, she wiped her brow, slung her dish towel aside, and asked Jesus why he didn’t convince Mary to return to the kitchen to help her.
Jesus’ gentle reply must have surprised Martha. In Luke 10: 41, NLT we read, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
He knew the hard work Martha had put into the meal. But Jesus was looking after the preparation of her heart.
“Let the supper simmer,” he seems to imply with a comforting smile, “and sit here with us a while.” Selah
Somewhere between salty and sweet
there’s a place called savory.
It speaks of a blending of herbs and spices…
mingling and leaving a distinct impression
on welcoming taste buds!
We are to be sweet, salty, savory
to a world that’s grown bitter.
And light to brighten the darkness.
“Taste and see that the Lord is good…
You are the light of the world…let your good deeds
shine out for all to see…”
Psalm 34:8 and Matthew 5: 14 & 16
After six years in the mountains of Avery County, Ken and Jan Merop are now living in the hilly Tennessee countryside of Cleveland, TN…just outside of Chattanooga. Ken’s photos can be seen at kenmeropphotography.com.
Read more Christian news from Ken and Jan HERE.