Failures and trials remind us that we are human. It can be very easy to hide behind a keyboard and write upbeat blogs about how many homemade whole foods meals I put on the table this week or how God spoke to me during my devotional time. But what do you write about when the recipe flopped or you felt that no matter how much you pressed in during your time with God it just sorta fell flat. Do you write about that? I started reading Michael Pollan’s “Cooked” the other day, a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law. Pollan points out that while we do not spend as much time in the kitchen any longer we are fascinated with cooking:
“Survey research confirms we’re cooking less and buying more prepared meals every year. The amount of time spent preparing meals in American households has fallen by half since the mid-sixties (…) to a scant twenty-seven minutes a day. (…) And yet at the same time we’re talking about cooking more – and watching cooking, and reading about cooking, and going to restaurants designed so that we can watch the work performed live. We live in an age when professional cooks are household names, some of them as famous as athletes or movie stars. The very same activity that many people regard as a form of drudgery has somehow been elevated to a popular spectator sport. When you consider that twenty-seven minutes is less time than it takes to watch a single episode of Top Chef or The Next Food Network Star, you realize that there are now millions of people who spend more time watching food being cooked on television than they spend cooking it themselves.”
In light of the current trends, do I really want to post about my food failures or my rather blah prayer time. Not really. After all, how many Emmy award-winning television shows or bestsellers are based on flops. But what makes us real, what connects us, is not our successes but our failures, our challenges, our dark nights of the soul. Because most of us will never be celebrity cooks or writers or evangelists, but all of us will experience failure, challenges and dark nights of the soul, even celebrities. Perhaps then it is helpful for both writer and reader to share the struggle because “we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3b,4)
So now I have built up my food flop to such a magnitude that when you finally read what it is about you’ll laugh. Popcorn. Seriously. To be honest, it wasn’t so much the popcorn itself but the popcorn’s aftermath that was the problem. I was taking my son to the movies and I wanted to eat popcorn. I do not usually buy popcorn at the theatre but last night I had a craving for it. Since we are in the middle of the Daniel Fast, I thought I would be clever and air pop some kernels, drizzle them lightly with olive oil and toss them with a homemade ranch spice mix. Sounds good so far, right. Well, somewhere along the line something went terribly wrong and although I cannot say with 100% certainty that it was the amount of oil I drizzled to make the spice mix stick (it didn’t taste greasy) I have my suspicions. Anyway, around the time the movie was ending my stomach decided it was not happy with my new snack and by the time we got home I knew I was in trouble. It was the end of the work week and I was pretty exhausted but the popcorn was not going to let me rest until it had taken its leave, and leave it did, much to my great relief. The good news is, I think I am finally ready to reconsider the use of oils in my diet.
I did manage to have a simple little breakfast earlier in the day and I was going to post about that and my popcorn snack together. Instead I will leave you with only the breakfast idea but it is one that is great for the Daniel Fast or anytime really. I received a donation of apples the other day – Spartan, Red Delicious, Macintosh, and Granny Smith. There were more than we would eat in a week and most of them had spots where they were starting to spoil so I decided to make a no-sugar added applesauce to mix with cooked quinoa for breakfast. I threw in the usual ground flaxseed and hemp hearts along with a handful of walnuts and voila, a nutritious, delicious and satisfying breakfast. There was one tiny glitch however, not related to the applesauce recipe, but to my exuberance with the cinnamon so that the applesauce is heavily spiced. You might be able to tell that from the rich brownish colour of the applesauce, lol. I still have some Granny Smith apples left and I am thinking of putting them in the slow cooker on their own and adding them to the applesauce to help temper its spiciness.
Well, as Bugs Bunny would say, “that’s all folks!”