Well, I’m learning how to cook. So far, I can make most things by following a recipe. I follow directions fairly well. But I have no idea why the recipes work. I don’t know what makes things taste the way they do. But I’m learning. And I want to be able to cut everything really fast like they do on TV, but I can’t. Instead, when the directions say 30 minute prep time, for me, that’s like two hours. But anyway, I wanted to share some thoughts I had while making dinner last night.

I bought a new cookbook, The Art of Braising, by Molly Stevens. It was on a top 10 of all time cookbooks list. And it’s about fixing a meal in one pot and then letting it cook. Sounded good but not too difficult. The official Merriam Webster definition of braising is: to cook slowly in fat and little moisture in a closed pot. I made a pork roast with apricots, cardamom and ginger. So I thought I’d share a few things I learned and how they apply.

First, time plus right environment equals end result. (part one)

It takes time to braise properly. It’s not a meal that’s going to be ready in an hour. You can’t speed it up by throwing it in the microwave instead. Even when you do everything else perfectly, it still takes 2 hours to sit in the oven, turning occasionally. Our lives are the same. You may learn something great this morning from Isaiah or Oswald Chambers, but you need to steep in that for a while. (Sorry for changing between cooking and tea analogies.) You need to live with it, keep it in front of you, talk about it with your friends, try it out in your life. Recognizing that a statement is true and then going back to your life does very little good. Just like if I put all the herbs and vegetables with the pork, put it in the oven for five minutes, then ate it. It didn’t have time to sink in. In fact, you’ll end up really sick.

Second, time plus right environment equals end result. (part two)

Every aspect of your preparation creates the environment your meal needs to turn out properly. Every teaspoon versus tablespoon is important. I know, in America, and especially here in Texas, we assume that if a little is good, then a lot is better. Not so in cooking. I used six cardamom pods and a rounded tablespoon of ginger. You know what I found out. The recipe didn’t say rounded tablespoon. It said tablespoon, and there was a little too much ginger in there. In our busy lives, we assume that if we take 10 minutes in the morning to read our Bible, God will have the opportunity to do what He wants to. But if our hearts are not prepared to hear Him, I don’t know if that works. If we have a little time, but a lot of thoughts about work dominating our hearts, and then flip to today’s chapter in Proverbs, I’m afraid we might miss the truth God has for us. We can’t just assume every time we pick up a John Piper book, we are going to be changed. Every aspect of how we are approaching the truth affects how we receive the truth. And it shows how seriously we want it to turn out right.

That’s probably enough to start with. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Till next time,

Study well, eat well.