For the last week or so, I've been wanting to get back into the kitchen and make my 2nd batch of homemade sour kraut. After coming off of a long weekend, I decided that today would be that day! I'm also going to try my hand at making pickles for the first time using a recipe from one of the participants from my group.
Having a small group is such a rewarding experience for me. I kept hearing back from my participants how blessed they were to get the knowledge I had to share, but in fact, I was the one blessed to also enjoy the knowledge they had to share. Food lends itself to being artistically beautiful. All of the colors, shapes and sizes in addition to its vast flavors and aromas! Also, the preparation of food is an art. Having an artistic bent, like most who tend towards being creative, my eye view tends towards seeing things--like food, people and their talents or what they have to offer as art. My small group was full of artists!
You can find art just about anywhere if you know how to see! That's the tricky part for some though. I say tricky because to truly embrace art through others or even the world, one must have a purity about their heart. A childlike state of being that is always open to new things, possibilities, ways of doing and being along with the courage to step perhaps where no one has gone or to even take the path where someone else has gone and journey it farther. True artists are not threatened by another artists work, or abilities and giftings, because they understand where it all emanates from and they understand their own giftings and abilities including their strengths and weaknesses--so, why be jealous or bent out of shape! Those whose hearts have been muddied and clouded can never come to full freedom within their artistic potential because they fail to realize this. It is amazing how when the heart is given to God, He can purify it if we allow and then our "art" is always balanced. We see as we should. Then our art will glorify Him and uplift those who get the opportunity to enjoy it!
Meanwhile back at the kitchen....
I gathered my ingredients to make my kraut which, I'll call KimKraut for now. See my Group Co-facilitator made us some pretty 'slammin' kimchee and I couldn't make up my mind on if I was going to make kimchee or sour kraut so I thought, why not do them both--and together! So my sour kraut ended up being a combination of her kimchee and my kraut recipes! That's what I love about whole foods, truly you can work with what you have, and it seems for the most part to turn into something better than what you started with, kinda like 'art'. Anyway, that's why I named it KimKraut!
As I put all the ingredients into the bowl, I salted them and waited a bit, then came back to knead the mixture. (kneading the ingredients are necessary to release the juices which become the brine when making kraut or kimchee)Now, this is where Jesus comes in.......
I am a firm believer that when you prepare food, LOVE should be the main ingredient. This is real folks, I don't care what anyone says. Consider how good food tastes when its been made for you by someone you know loves you, you don't have to eat much of it but it's so good! Now think about a frozen dinner from a box. Ain't no love comin out of that box and you can taste that it doesn't! So love makes the food taste better and its healing.
When I prepare food, I pray as I go. I really do. Why, cause God (Jesus) IS love! I want my food to be filled with love and joy to those who eat it! But as I was kneading that cabbage, it occurred to me how the cabbage had to be bruised, just like Jesus. I also began to think about how as you continue each step of making the KimKraut, it was like what happened to Jesus, you bruise/knead it, you pack it in a jar and submerge it, then you put it into a dark place so it can ferment and then in a few days, its ready and you can bring it forth to eat and enjoy! The flavor is amazing and filled with LOVE! The kraut and veggies actually become something different, and absolutely better for us after having undergone the process of fermentation.
It has now transformed into a super food that if we eat it, not only tastes good, but helps to heal us as well! (if you've not learnt the benefits of eating fermented foods then look it up!)Now that's art!
Anyway, I finally finished my 'KimKraut' and thought more deeply about the process in comparison with what our Lord had gone through and my final thought is this,
Cabbage has to go through a process to become Kraut. And so do we. Even Jesus did!
This process reminds me of what Jesus went through for us--He was beaten and bruised, submerged in a tomb, went into the depths of darkness & hell, but arose days later coming out with ALL power so that each one of us could have a life filled with love, healing and lasting joy, that when accepted lasts throughout all eternity!
If you haven't had the opportunity to get to know Him for yourself, you should. Don't take my word for it! None of us is perfect. We've all made mistakes. Sooner or later we all end up bruised, but His bruising is the only one that makes us better! Ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him into your heart today! Finally, thank Him for taking that bruising for You! Then, eat the KimKraut, its all good!