I am a girl who likes to eat, but doesn't cook. In other words, I cook to eat. Kind of ironic that I have a cookbook I’ll be offering for purchase soon. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll love this cookbook. Zero intimidation for those just needing to fix some food.
Some people get real creative in the kitchen. The ideas start flowing as they get out bowls and ingredients, pots and pans, spatulas, spoons and rolling pins. Not me. I have the stuff. I just don't have the passion.
What I do have passion for is people. And I love when people come to our home, sit around our table, or out on our patio, and eat with us. Which is what happened just a couple weeks ago when my friend from work was coming for dinner and a visit with her hubby and three kiddos.
I decided a nice chicken-pot pie would be a good fit for the evening; I could prepare it ahead and it would be easy clean up. Win. And win!
So there I was before dawn that Tuesday morning. I got my chicken going in the pressure cooker and started on my piecrust. I rolled it out, transferred it to my 9x13 dish, put the remaining crust in a zip-lock bag and placed it in the fridge to use for the top later. Check. Check and check. I was feeling quite productive, as the sun still had not even begun to rise.
The morning was going to be a full one, and so was the rest of the day, so it felt oh so good to get this dinner prepared in advance.
Let's fast-forward to an hour and a half before our guests are scheduled to arrive.
Feeling like I've done pretty much all the work already, I come into the kitchen, get out my chicken I have already deboned and shredded, remove my already pie-crust-assembled 9x13 dish from the fridge, along with the zip-lock bag of the crust I was using for the top of my pot pie. I stirred together all my remaining ingredients in a bowl with my chicken, added seasoning to my liking, hoping it's what my guests will like too, and then pour the contents into the awaiting casserole dish. Oh this feeling is so good! I'm just going to roll out the top, toss it on, throw the dish in the oven and get my shower in plenty of time to spare.
At this point I'm feeling quite good at my early arising, thinking that this is what Proverbs 31 women are made of.
The feeling shifted.
I floured my surface and began to roll out the remaining piecrust. I'm sure everyone who loves to make pies would have a plethora of suggestions and most certainly corrections for what was taking place. Let's just say, I was having some challenges getting my piecrust rolled out as smoothly as I did earlier that day. I got to thinking that maybe I'd just have to start over and make an entire batch of crust again, but before I did, as time was ticking away and it seemed I was now on the verge of possibly needing to rush, I took that crust in my hands and said, "Lord, You make all things good. Please make this pie crust good."
Yes. I prayed over my piecrust. We've shared this blogging journey long enough now for you to know that I lean heavily on the Lord's intervention over my daily activities. I'm just a mess. In so many ways. But I know He cares about these little things too.
So there I go with a renewed confidence that the piecrust will be easier to work with. And guess what? It was! I rolled that puppy out with ease. I delicately rolled it up, grabbed two spatulas, came at it, inserting a spatula on each side, and I held my breath as I slowly and carefully transferred it over to the top of the chicken pot pie. I laid it down ever so easily, and feeling like the hardest part was behind me, I let out a sigh of relief and began unrolling it, covering the top of the pie.
So…… the Lord made it good.
I just didn't make it long enough!!!
I think I said out loud, "you have got to be kidding me?!?!"
The rush was on. Without a doubt I needed to make another batch of piecrust. And I did. In record time. Not in record time for those cooking shows, but in record time for me.
As I'm sifting the flour, adding in some crisco, and topping it with a beaten egg, vinegar and water, I'm asking myself, "Why do you do this? Why do you want to cook for people?" And while the question was a thought, the answer was a verbal statement.
"People don't come for the perfect meal but for the personal connection.”
Yep. That’s what I said out loud for my ears to hear and to get my mind focused on the bigger picture of this let’s-get-together-for-dinner idea.
The thing is, I’ve been in some homes where I’ve eaten some amazing food, but didn’t receive a sprinkle of hospitality. And honestly, I’d rather have a ham sandwich with a side of hospitality than a filet minion with none.
With that thought, I quickly added some additional crust to the bare part of my chicken-pot pie. I wish now that’d I’d have taken a picture, but at the moment I was working through everything I could to stay focused on the people and not the pot pie. But let me just tell you. My chicken-pot pie looked like it had a diaper! My original crust that wasn’t long enough, met with my additional crust and it pretty much looked like a diaper. But you know what? Our company loved it! And what they loved more was the time we were able to spend together.
We sat around our kitchen table for nearly 3 hours visiting, laughing and telling stories. We watched pool-soaked kiddos pop in and out of the house with giggles of goodness, a toddler make the most fun of a box of tissues, and Ruby even got to enjoy her favorite past time with our sweet friends, a few rounds of some intense tug-of-war.
And to think I could’ve let an imperfect pot-pie make me feel inadequate for such an experience. I would’ve missed so much.
Luke 10:38-42 NLT As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
By the way—come to find out, there’s a reason I’ve always felt frustrated with my chicken-pot pie. I’ve been working with half the dough. Through a conversation with my Mom about the ordeal it was revealed that I’ve been trying to make half as much go twice as far! Good grief! Now THAT is a completely different lesson, maybe we’ll revisit in a future post someday.
Until next time…. Reach out. Love and be loved. Be hospitable. Make connection. Soak up the opportunities. Whether it’s china or chinet, whether it’s roasted lamb or a diapered pot pie—personal connection is the goal!
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