si-m-plify

Posted by on Jul 15, 2009 in Blog Posts | 1 comment


See 1 Corinthians 10:31
I like trying new recipes. I majored in Home Economics with a minor in Journalism with the hopes I would work (test recipes and write) for Southern Living magazine. That was my dream. That was not God’s dream.

Go back to my liking trying new recipes. Note that I like it. Over the years I have grown accustomed to tolerating the need for cooking. If the family wants to eat at home, let’s face it, it’s pretty much up to the mom to decide what will be bought, cooked, and consumed by her family. I go through waves of rather doing anything but cooking sometimes. At other times, I can be consumed with making the meal an extravaganza of flavors. I grow frustrated if they don’t eat what I put before them after working so hard and for so long to get it to the table. In moments like that, the fellowship time around the table turns sour and appetites are suppressed as a result of the “vibe” I’m sending. I get up from the table feeling as though no one cared for the amount of my time that went into planning and cooking the meal. It’s as if I am Martha (from yesterday’s passage) and instead of telling Jesus to get somebody to help me cook it, I’m saying, “Nobody appreciates all the work that went into my planning, shopping for, and preparing this gourmet meal! Can’t you do something about this, Lord?”

That is not what I want to be like. It’s not pleasant. It’s not godly. So, as I was thinking about simplifying life, it occurred to me that I need to do that in one of the major time-spenders in my life. I do not classify it as a time-waster. It is a necessary part of home making.

So, with that said, let me introduce to you the “M” in siMplify:
M = Make meals manageable.

I had to ask myself what do I do that takes meal preparation from manageable to out of control. Honestly, the answer is in trying to make complicated meals. If anywhere, simplicity can be a major helper in the kitchen. Think about it. The simpler the meal, the less ingredients and less time required. That can save money and calories, too. I admit that simple meals get boring day after day. It is true, however, that the more close to their original state the various parts of the meal are, the less complicated the meal will be to pull off.

Here is a complicated meal and its simpler option:
– Chicken Crepes (involves cooking chicken, making white sauce, making crepes, chopping celery and onions, shredding cheese) served with rice and a salad.
Simpler? Baked chicken lightly seasoned, steamed broccoli, rice, and a salad.

See what I mean? I know some of you would say that even the baked chicken was too much and who would even venture into crepe land? Well, I have and I would. To make the option even simpler, you could pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery deli and have that instead of heating up your own oven (a good and simple option in the hot summer).

Maybe picking a few days a week to have simple, uncluttered meals would free me to enjoy the occasional extravagance of a new recipe to try amidst other tried and true recipes that are between basic and over the top. Perhaps planning ahead consistently, making double batches (one for now and one to freeze for later), and utilizing the crock pot (which I dearly love) would be good things to simplify life in the kitchen.

As always, these are some things God was allowing me to see that could be simplified in my own life in order to make me enjoy being home and not wanting to run away to a place where I think that only there is it possible for simplicity to abound.

Also in the kitchen we can take the “I” of imploring for help from others and put that to good use as well. All who share a dishwasher should know how to load one and empty one. All who create the trash in the kitchen can certainly share in taking it out each day. Sometimes, it’s okay to tell everybody else, that your time in the kitchen has ended for the day…they can help themselves to that leftover plate or that piece of cake, as long as they promise to clean up after themselves. It’s a blessing when everyone in the house gets to the point where they can assume responsibility for cleaning up after themselves.

So, what are two or three simple meals that fit your lifestyle (as a single person or as the chief cook and bottle washer with many wondering what you’ll prepare next)? What are some simple meals you could even teach your children to prepare? How can you organize your refrigerator and pantry to make cooking a bit simpler? Do you check on sale items in the grocery store sales fliers each week and try to plan meals around sales? Are there ways to simplify the amount of time you spend in planning, shopping, preparing for, and cleaning up after the meals?

Simplify:
S – Solo time with God,
I – Implore others to help,
M – Make meals manageable.

One Comment

  1. This morning I came across this verse and was reminded of your blog post – Prov 15:17 –
    “Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.(NIV)

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