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.
10 thoughts on “A Comparison Between Braising And Spiritual Growth”
I think that is a great analogy. Partly because I enjoy cooking so much (I want to try braising now). Cooking really does teach me that it does no good to rush anything. God’s blessings are like that, they happen in His time, not ours. I also think it is interesting how things that would not taste good separately, or combinations that seem odd when you read the recipe, can provide very tasty results when blended, kind of like working with other people in a team.
Thanks for your thoughts today Todd. I will be braising in them today.
I find myself too often like the man in James who looked at himself in the mirror and then forgot what he looked like as soon as he turned away. I thought of that verse as soon as I read your heading.
Here’s the address: James 1:23 and following. May my tongue be bridled.
Great post. I like the message read it to my family. Please go to my site and read Appreciation For Your House. I would love to here your thoughts.
I think you are right on target. Many times we want to rush His work, get things done faster we don’t want to wait for His answer or His leading, and we can end up with a real mess. As with your pork analogy if you rush things it can really be disasterous. I think of Abraham and Sarah trying to take things into their own hands and the mess they get themselves into, not waiting for God to provide what He promised.
Thank you for sharing this, looking forward to reading more.
P.S. sure wish your tour were coming closer to Virginia Beach. 🙂
Finally… a food blog post..
I think of myself as a deep fried Christian… and I mean that in the most self deprecating way.. I WANT to be that out there Christian, but I find so many excuses not to be.. soooooo… I sit around all week.. nice and quiet… than on Sunday morning BAM!! I drop myself in the fryer – plug in the guitar, sing my praises, confess, commune.. whew… a lot happens in that short little time and right away, I’m a tasty little number.. but if I sit too long, I get cold…
so I”m trying to become more of a slow roasted Christian… you know that smell when grandma has her pot roast in her slow cooker all day… mmmm… I want that feeling all week long….
sooo.. I’m learning to microwave me some Church.. throw a quick reading of the bible in there.. have a great chat with a friend… noodle my way through a bible study before bed… I’m finding I’m doing better with the short bursts between the deep fried deliciousness….and it helps keep me warm through the week…and I can see the short bursts becoming longer and longer….
now if you don’t mind, I’m gonna go get some wings…
WOW. Thank you so much Todd. That really helped me. Happy cooking..
Very nice analogy Todd. I think it also applies to the mysterious ways of God Something I think would never work (ie Something I think would never work (ie: pork with apricots, hmm) will be exactly His will. It takes faith and obedience to His will. It takes faith and obedience to follow His “recipe” sometimes.
Todd, as always, sir, you leave me laughing and thinking, all at once. I’m not much of a recipe person (unless I’m baking.) I kinda learned the ‘little bit o’ this, little bit o’ that’ method from my parents and my grandmothers. I just throw things in the pot, and taste as I go. It works really well for me. . . In the kitchen. Not always so much in life/spiritual matters. I think we all know what happens when we spend too much time trying to do things our own way, and when we don’t take the time to learn God’s way. It’s not usually very palletable.
As far as food, you’ll eventually learn what makes what flavor and what tastes good (or not so good) with what. One of those things that comes with practice, like musicianship. Kudos for learning. Just wanted to drop in and say ‘hi.’
I like it; nice analogy. (And I’m impressed that at your age you are learning a new skill like cooking. Guess the wife wasn’t impressed with spaghetti-o’s, huh?!)
My initial thought is how necessary it is to use the proper ingredients. For example, if you use baking powder when it calls for baking soda,you are going to be gagging and throwing-away what took time to prepare. It might even look like the real-deal, but one bite will reveal the horrible, dissapointing reality.
The ingredient for truth is GOD. Rob Bell said “God has spoken, everything else is commentary.” If we try substitutes or the wrong ingredients all-together, it will be like picking-up the baking powder instead of the baking soda – might look good, but you won’t get past the first, awful bite.
I enjoyed the blog. I got married just a little over a year ago and by trial and error, I have become a pretty good cook. When the two best cooks in the entire world tell me that what I made is good-or better than theirs, that really makes me feel good. Unfortunately, my wonderful husband has had to make it through some pretty rough meals, but he never complained…I find that cooking is alot like the Christian life. You won’t become the best cook overnight-just like you’ll not become the best Christian overnight. It does take time and repition and patience and a good guide book…
Many times last year I would get impatient and want the food cooked NOW, but that is when my attempts would be a disaster. Just the same, I always want to be better than I am…more outspoken, more trusting in Him, a better friend wife and daughter, but then I have to sit back and remember not to COOK things too fast; let my patience and endurance simmer, if you will. I have to be willing to take the time to season my life with all of God’s blessings and promises and then put my life in His crock pot and wait on His perfect timing. Here’s to patience.
I do have a question: where can I get an accompaniment track or chords of your version of Glorious Day? I love that song and would like to share it with the people in my church…