On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepareIsaiah 25:6-8
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken.
Last week, after a positive response to a post featuring a recipe, I floated the idea of adding a food blogger dimension to this page. Well, the results are in and it appears that my readers are on board. So this – “ta-da-da!” – is the official inaugural post in what should be a weekly edition of “Foodie Thursday.” Also, the new blog title now reads, “Derek Maul: Words, Photographs, and Food for the Journey.”
Food, for me, has always involved some kind of a spiritual dimension. A good meal is always enhanced by good company, and there is an intimacy to breaking bread together that builds relationships. Even something so simple as sharing a cup of coffee.
Food, feasting, dinner parties, sharing a meal, the concept of communion (the Lord’s Supper), and – very importantly – who Jesus was willing to eat with: these are all integral to the most foundational message of The Bible. And that message is the Creator’s invitation into relationship.
It has been several weeks since Rebekah managed to break five bones in two feet her first week on the job over in Wilson (God’s Power in Our Weakness). In addition to the pain, being unable to walk is a huge inconvenience and she has been completely disabled in terms of going anywhere or doing the things she normally does.
This is where the spiritual aspect of food has kicked in, and so many meals became a prayer of thanksgiving that was amplified with every bite.
Bringing food to those in crisis is one of the things people do so well when it comes to expressing care and showing love. And I cannot say enough how grateful I am for the relief it has given me to not have to worry about preparing dinner when my focus and my workload has had to shift in terms of care.
We have been blessed with meals organized by the deacon ministry at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church, and via “Grubhub” donations from people over at Wilson First Presbyterian. Additionally, some friends from WFPC have helped out too.
The Hudson “meal train” was beautiful because we enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the wonderful people who delivered the food. And using the Grubhub app was great because not only was the food delivered exactly when we needed it, but it was fun to try out the available restaurants.
There is a lot we can – and will – talk about in terms of food, especially in terms of our journey as Pilgrims in Progress. I don’t think it will be a stretch at all to share something inspirational and encouraging every Thursday.
In the meanwhile, bon appétit, and may you experience joy in all that you do (and eat) – Derek
Today’s recipe below:
- Chicken breast with vegetables, herbs, and rice
- North Carolina chef Vivian Howard (Chef & the Farmer) suggests always cooking more rice than necessary because it is best the second time around. I tend to agree, especially when it hangs on to some of the juices and flavors associated with its first incarnation.
- In consequence the rice in today’s recipe started out as Jasmine rice the day before and came preloaded with some vegetables, caramelized onion, and a little fond from the skillet that had cooked the previous day’s pork.
- Pound a large chicken breast, cut it into sections, then let it marinate for at least an hour in a balsamic vinaigrette dressing along with some sea salt, garlic, and parsley.
- Crumble some Ritz Crackers in a bowl, then mix in a little flour, salt, and parmesan cheese. Dredge the chicken in the cracker mixture then cook in sesame oil and butter for around 12-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, reheat the rice/vegetable mixture in a skillet. Keep it moving so it doesn’t stick, and add a little butter while it heats. Around ten minutes.
- For the cut green beans, I used Birds Eye frozen. Very good. Then I sliced yellow squash and let it steam a couple of minutes on top of the beans.
- Maybe I am too generous with the butter (probably) but I found this meal didn’t require a sauce of any kind. The chicken is moist, there is enough fond to add flavor, and the rice is wonderful.