Spiritual Lessons Learned in the Kitchen
CRAVING THE SIMPLE
I didn’t think we were poor. We had meat every Sunday and a bath every Saturday night. I looked forward to Easter and Christmas because that meant I would get a new dress and shoes. My dad owned one of two gas stations on town. I had a large playhouse and a tire swing in a big yard. What more could a girl want?
My father made a decent income and provided all we needed. He paid everything by cash, and if he couldn’t, we wouldn’t get it. No. We were not poor, but to look at our table, one might think so. Mom could put on a Sunday spread when she entertained or on holidays, but the daily fare was just enough to keep us full. Soda wasn’t allowed, unless popcorn was present; that was a treat saved for Saturday night, along with homemade fudge. No snacks in between meals either. We were told to wait.
I pondered this as I craved the taste of fried green tomatoes and cucumbers, along with a radish sandwich. Our family counted on the garden to supply our summer meals, and there were always plenty of tomatoes. We found every which way to make them palatable, which wasn’t hard to do.
Dried beef gravy over toast was a staple in our home when I grew up. Simple creamy white sauce with chunks of chipped, dried beef – delicious over buttered toast. “Egg-a-la-goldenrod” was another of mom’s favorite easy meals. I think she made the name up. Hard-boiled eggs, the egg whites chopped and put in white gravy sauce, poured over buttered toast with grated yolk sprinkled over top. Nothing better.
A meal may have consisted of only corn on the cob, or only bread, milk and brown sugar. My dad made a meal of peaches and toast many days. The simple things – a simple diet. I often crave those simple things. Life was easy. No worries, troubles, or cares that I knew of. Yet, I never went hungry or wished for anything more.
Martha of the Bible was caught up in all the busyness of life and entertaining. Running hither and yon to prepare a meal for her most important Guest of all, frustrated at her sister for not helping – and then forgetting all about Him. Mary, her sister, “chose the better way,” said Jesus. Only a few things were needed, and Mary chose the simple things – to sit and listen at his feet. (Luke 10:38-42)
Life is way too complex, too complicated. We weave our busy webs often without realizing how entangled we are. We worry about a lot of nonessential things when only a few really matter along the way. Caught up in life, it is easy to forget it’s only the simple matters that count. Guess it boils down to a choice. As for me – I crave the simple. How about you?
(Recipes for above-mentioned foods are found under Family Favorites).