“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8
GOD THOUGHT: Every day I seem to be learning more about what it means to think theologically, and not just think, but to actually do theology.
Theology, of course, means “God thought.” And this blog is the venue where I do a lot of my thinking out loud. It should not surprise me, then, when even a classic foodie-friday post turns out to give me more insight about what it means to live faith out loud, and to invite God into every detail of my living.
This week Rebekah picked two menu items from our new World Kitchens: Italian cookbook. The meal was, in a word, amazing. In retrospect we can say that either one was rich enough to be the star of the meal; but – at the same time – the overwhelming richness went a long way toward helping me understand Saturday morning’s Bible-study.
THE MEAL: But first, the meal. Rebekah and I have a lot of great cookbooks, but she still keeps going back to the Italian.
Maybe it’s because of Andrew and Alicia’s love affair with Italy (and ours), or maybe its because the food in this cookbook is simply so darned good. Either way, Rebekah picked out Piccata al Limone (Veal in Lemon and White Wine) and Zucche e Patate Gratinate (Squash and Potato Gratin).
The gratin started with peeling and slicing, then moved in to layering, seasoning, and an unbelievable amount of heavy cream. Butter, too. So it was like a big casserole dish full of artery-destroying goodness. But, oh my, how good.
I was immediately reminded of a “Business Profile” interview I did with one of my favorite restauranteurs back in Florida. She owned a place called The Brunchery, and the menu was top-heavy with her interpretation of all the good cholesterol-enhanced brunch standards.
I asked if she had a “heart-friendly” selection. Her answer was priceless:
“No,” she said. “I have to count on my customers being smart enough not to eat here more than a couple of times a week.”
She cooked amazing food. Then she expected us to be responsible consumers.
This brings me to the veal piccata. The preparation sounds simple enough, but the intense work is in the reduction sauce – ten minutes of constant attention. Cook the meat in olive oil and butter for just two minutes each side. Reserve the meat on a warm plate. Add white wine to the drippings; reduce. Then add stock and reduce. Then add lemon juice, and capers; reduce. Return the veal to the sauce and heat for one minute. Serve, spoon on the gravy, and garnish with parsley.
RICH: So rich. Paired with the gratin, out of this world rich. Serve with some fresh vegetables, sour-dough bread, and a full-bodied wine. Round out with fair-trade coffee for desert; so, so good.
Then this morning, studying God’s good word with some of my friends at WFPC, we were challenged with the idea of richness in our manner of living. We were created to live flavorful, meaningful, rich lives.
Jesus referred to us not only as “light,” but also “salt.” Salt brings out flavor. This Christian faith doesn’t understand rich as more so much as flavorful, nourishing, meaningful. satisfying.
And not just rich for me. Jesus wants us to be invested in flavorful, nourishing, meaningful, satisfying life for the world.
His world, by the way; a world that Jesus still wants us to reach – to reach for real life.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33