Saturday, August 14, 2010

Taste and See

This is post #1 in a series on "Salt." To read the follow-up posts, please feel welcome to visit here and here. Karibu tena (Welcome again).

Tonight I sit in the dark, an old Coleman lamp providing a small amount of light by which to see, and the glow of the computer screen for as long as the reserve battery will last. No power, distractions removed, all other options turned away. Time for reflection in the quiet of the early night, the hum of electricity silenced.

Soon after we first arrived to Kenya, I remember posting on facebook that I didn’t feel like cooking dinner for the night. The cooking process here is elaborate, time consuming, and in many cases, serious manual labor. I was tired that particular night and just really craving the convenience food of home. But none could be found. Several precious friends responded with quick ideas, none of which I could implement because we lacked the supplies, the spices.

Spices are hard to come by here, as most of the food that is cooked is either fresh kill or straight out of the garden. Great for the body, but not as full of flavor as the seasoned, artificial, preserved, colored, tampered, engineered food that I grew upon. At home in the states, we use lots of seasoning, lots of spices and many different kinds of foods. For instance, think of how many different kinds of cheeses you will use in just one week. Parmesan, cheddar, American, swiss, mozzarella, brie….oh my mouth is watering. Why do I do this to myself? Cheese is not part of the Kenyan diet (though I did discover a place to but some imported Brie, yum!). Fresh kill or straight out of the garden.

Not to say that things are flavorless here, by no means at all. Add a little salt to fresh garlic, bell pepper, and onion, throw that in the mix with some chopped up cabbage and tomatoes, and your mouth will be hopping fresh flavors. Just add a little salt, and it brings out the absolute best.
Isn’t if funny that we have been called to be salt? Throw a few salty people into the natural arena of life, and it should be a very God glorifying situation, where the best of what has been created is brought out, enhanced, magnified. Throw a few salty people into the mix, and all things should be edified, built up, made better.

But we who have been called to be this precious flavor enhancer have to be careful. Too much salt ruins the meal. Not enough salt will go completely unnoticed, leaving the portion bland and undesirable. Too much destroys, not enough blends into the surrounding. We are looking to be just the right amount.
So how do you know? How do you know if you are too much salt, not enough salt, or just the right amount? Well, how do you tell when you are cooking?

Taste and see that it is good.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. 

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