Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chicken Soup & Engineers

I am always on the lookout for quick prep easy recipes. I like to cook, in fact I really enjoy it. But I do not always make enough time to do it well. Our lives are full and on the go, and this often leads to the dreaded "Whatever shall I make for dinner?" question. When this question pops in my head I immediately draw a blank. I stand looking stupidly into the pantry trying to conjure something out of thin air. I wander around my kitchen discarding the old standbys because I am sick of making them or because I am short one crucial ingredient. (You simply cannot make Hamburger Bean Pie without the beans. I do not recommend substituting peas either - they turn to mush.) Since school has now begun and our schedule is getting solidified, I have identified some days as 'crock-pot days'. If I have to be out of the house most of the day, it is a wonderful thing to come home to dinner bubbling away in the crock pot. One day last week, a simple crock pot experiment turned out brilliantly. I thought I would cook some chicken breasts in broth until they fell apart and then use the meat for quesadillas or "pulled bbq chicken." After about 45 minutes, the chicken broth and meat smelled so good I decided to add carrots and celery to the pot. Some oregano and garlic salt went in too, and I went off to collect the kids from school. We arrived home after piano lessons to a tantalizing soup smell that just begged for noodles. So I quickly made homemade noodles. The soup was wonderful and filling. My girls even ate theirs with almost no complaining.

I realized in this success that I often over-think things. I frequently tease the Admiral about his habit of engineering things to the Nth degree. This habit makes me nutty. He will figure and plan and monkey around and re-plan and by the time he is done the project is so engineered that only he understands it. I love him for it. Because of his methodical way of planning and re-planning, the things he builds last a long time. I end up being blessed by the very thing that made me crazy in the first place. In cooking over engineering is usually bad. I find that the more I fiddle with a dish, the weirder it comes out. Sometimes you must just trust your instincts and let it cook. Situations in our lives are like this too; more often than not engineering them will only make them more complicated. We are better off to let the Holy Spirit guide us and only stir things up at His direction.

Lord Help me to trust your guidance about when to let it cook and when to engineer. Help me to give over the controls to you when I want to do it my way.

1 comment:

P.J.M. said...

The Soup of Life. Sounds like a parable. Let the Great Chef direct and it will turn out wonderful. Stir in some I-want-it-my-way, and it becomes a recipe for disaster. Keep up the inspirational writing, great stuff!