Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

All day long this verse has been running through my head as I would catch a few seconds here and there to reflect on my weekend trip to Missouri.

See, this happens every time I go up there. My Aunt Dot has such a God-granted gift of hospitality and especially of cooking for people that I am drawn into an altered state on every visit. I love seeing her garden, but what really gets to me is looking in her refrigerators and pantries. She has two refrigerators upstairs. There's another out in the machine shop for my uncle and his special beverages that aren't allowed in Dot's house. And I think there is another freezer down in the basement. I haven't been down there in 40-plus years.

Anyway, Dot is the epitome of a prepared woman. At any given moment, even at the age of 79, she can prepare and take a meal to someone who is sick or bereaved. She could, on an hour's notice, put together a family dinner for 15 people or more, depending on who drags friends along.

We're not talking about fast food or junk, folks. We're talking about REAL food. Fresh veggies from her own garden or from a neighbor. Home-made dishes. Only in the past few years has she started keeping a few frozen commercial dinners in her kitchen freezer for lunches when she simply doesn't have the strength or energy to cook.

This woman cooks three meals a day and ALWAYS always always has leftovers ready to send home with anyone who may drop by and need something to eat. My cousin who lives nearby is her most usual beneficiary -- cousin is proud to say she never gets too close to the stove to cook, but just try keeping her out of Dot's fridge. HA.

When I arrived on Friday, we had leftover roast beef sandwiches. Divine beyond the scope of human understanding! Deviled eggs, made from eggs from Bill Brightwell's chickens. They will be served at every meal Dot makes. Fresh green beans from her garden. Salad. Freshly made cole slaw using a neighbor's cabbage. A lemony cream cheese dessert she made for guests at lunch. Maybe some cut-up watermelon or cantaloupe. Freshly brewed iced tea or lemonade.

Breakfast includes pumpkin bread she makes for my visits. These are always cooked in coffee cans to create a round loaf with ridges around them. The slices are slightly less than a half-inch thick, perfectly even. The whole loaf is cut in half so the pieces resemble a D. The meal also includes a choice of cold cereals, toast, fresh fruit (blueberries this week!) Uncle Jean always has cooked prunes. And the coffee pot is on for those who want a cup.

Lunch is similar to dinner -- always fresh, always home made. Always a reminder of God's extravagant love for us.

So when I return from these trips, there's usually a pack of food that comes back with me. This time it was a few leftover pieces of chicken my cousin from Atlanta made for our supper one night, plus a big zip bag full of green beans. Denise picked five gallons of beans off Dot's plants Saturday morning so they simply HAD to come with me so there would be room for more through the week.

And the other thing that comes with me is this altered state. It's a renewed appreciation for the food of the earth that God Himself provides, with no preservatives, no artificial colors, no added sugar or fake sweeteners. And as if I'm in a zombie trance, I'm drawn to the produce section at the store. Tonight I bought blueberries, Ranier cherries, four different colors of peppers, corn on the cob ... well, you get the idea. I also had some fresh tilapia for supper and a little bowl of the cherries for dessert. Oh, the energy that filled me up was unbelievable.

This is exactly the kind of holy moments I wanted this blog to be about when I started it. If you'll note the header again, you'll get it.

All day, that verse was filling my head -- Taste and see that the Lord is Good. I couldn't quite place where it is found, until I was flipping through my new Gooseberry Patch catalog that came in today's mail.

Do you suppose it was a God wink when I found it on a Thanksgiving platter in the catalog? Taste and See That the Lord Is Good -- Psalm 34:8.


Anonymous said...

Trixie, you're killing me! That all sounds so wonderful, not to mention it's a terrific post.

My mom used to bake bread in tall apple juice cans. We kids loved that! Mom liked it because she could bake several loaves at once that way.

Dot reminds me of my hubby's grandmother. She had a walk-in fridge in her kitchen, and a bank of commercial built-in freezers off the kitchen. GrMa and GrPa were wealthy and could easily afford those things, but you never felt like you were in a rich person's house. GrMa was exactly like Dot--a great cook, able to put together anything on a moment's notice, and always a garden going either outdoors or in the greenhouse. No one ever left their home hungry. My mother-in-law is just like her--with a slighty smaller refrigerator setup. :)

Kirsten said...

Sheesh. I just ate breakfast and now I'm hungry again! Beautiful writing--the descriptions of the food are definitely drool-worthy.

A different college friend was raised on a farm outside Troy (over near St. Louis) and her mom and Dot would probably get along famously.

Tabitha said...

I love homemade food. I used to always feed my family fresh food but lately over the years I have gotten a little lazy. Lately I have been doing better.

Your post made my mouth start watering and I'm hungry again.

Erudite Redneck said...

Drool-worthy! Great word! Great post! Great Caesar's Ghost, whast's for supper?? :-)

TECH said...

I miss that in my life, Trixie. It seem all my family have given into the fast-food restaurants. I miss those dinners my mother used to make. A wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

I felt that way this weekend while we were picking blueberries. Why do we eat so much processed food? It's so gross when you consider what God meant for us to eat.