|Tea time in Virginia... the same vacation as mentioned below.|
I was recently curled up on my living room sofa, watching a "farm to table" cooking show when the farmer walked the chef out to an area of the forest where he keeps his hogs. Not just any piggy mind you... Berkshire pigs!
Well, that caught my attention and I listened with interest as he described their attempts at bringing back this rare breed of pigs. Why? I not only adore pigs (blame it on my early years living next to a grain elevator where a few piggies were kept) but there was the memory of an evening... a magical night (Narnia magic you know)... with a Berkshire pig as the main dish.
Some of you will remember that story, as I wrote about it upon arriving home. It was all about the cooking class-gourmet dinner Stephanie and I enjoyed at Colonial Williamsburg.
I recall that first bite of Berkshire pig and thinking I had never eaten such delicious pork as was on my plate. It was almost a spiritual experience. I mean, really... that entire night was a highlight of my life.
That one dinner brought back to me a feeling I'd forgotten long ago in the fog of time, tight budgets, and trials. That being the experience provided by excellent food and fellowship. The kind of experience as shown on a larger scale in Babette's Feast.
Of course, we cannot feast like that each and every night. For one thing, one would greatly resemble Pooh when he became stuck in Rabbit's front door from eating too much honey. But that does not mean we cannot often enjoy the wonder of fellowship around the table with the serving of a simple soup and bread or perhaps chocolate chip cookies and cold milk.
Long after the PBS cooking show was replaced by another, I pondered how we must reach out and grasp those special moments. For that meal I had to say yes to a long trip despite not feeling well and for Stephanie it was taking a chance that the evening out would be worth the financial cost.
We both had to take a leap of faith and the reward was a lovely evening and forever memories. For there is no one I would have rather shared the experience with than my fellow foodie longtime bff daughter... not even my husband, who could not entirely understand the excitement over a special breed of pig and what baking in a hot cast iron skillet does to cornbread.
God has been teaching me to purposely notice all that is lovely for decades now.
For instance, when we lived in Detroit, my husband traveled almost constantly with our car often parked at Detroit International. Christopher and I walked everywhere but we were home by dark in the house we rented off of 12 Mile Road. That left plenty of time to ponder.
Much of my thinking at the time was about the phrase living life on purpose. I felt as if my life was untethered, living in a place and situation completely out of my comfort zone... imagine moving from a university town to within walking distance of 8 Mile Road (made even more famous by the autobiographical Eminem movie of the same name).
So... what does that have to do with cooking and Berkshire hogs?
Everything really... for it was through those ponderings and writing it all out that I realized we tend to drift through life until something shakes us out of the complacent stupor in which one can become comfortable.
We were created by Him to enjoy beauty all around us... to really look and listen and taste and feel and touch His Creation! The enemy of living life on purpose can be those very things we crave... comfort, familiar routines and surroundings, long time daily habits, and safety.
He wants us to stop and really look at the sun setting in the West, even if it means dinner will be later than usual that night.
He delights when we let our home become cluttered with paper and paints... or bits and pieces of fabric... and perhaps a little glitter here and there... as we reflect the Creator in our time together creating with our children. He gets it!
I truly believe He understands my choice of colorful plates which remind me of the Italian vacation I have yet to afford, on which I serve an inexpensive meal of pasta and garlic bread. Or... pretending I am in a tea room in Bath as pots of tea and finger sandwiches and tiny pastries are shared with those I love.
He... Who has given us kitties and puppies and chipmunks and cardinals and the duck billed platypus... He understands when we take time from our busy schedule to rub the tummy of a Maine Coon.
The Author of the Universe smiles as we must read "one more chapter", or share the verse, or ponder the ability of an author to put together words in such a way they bring tears to our eyes. He Who IS The Word... loves words.
I am certain it was He who brought the information about the cooking class-gourmet dinner to Stephanie's attention, as she searched out ideas for our one Mother-Daughter event of the year. For He knew these two foodies would find the evening magical... and this Daughter of Eve would remember that pig long after the night was over.