The day before our wedding festivities began, my mother gave me a recipe book. There were many more I'd open on the other side of our honeymoon, but this one came from mom, there in her kitchen, before I said "I do." I leafed through and immediately decided I'd cook for us that night. I chose a recipe and went to the grocery store down the street. Walking the aisles with my freshly painted toe nails, I gathered salmon, asparagus, and Basmati rice. And when I got back to her kitchen I began to prepare my last meal as a single woman.
What a way to go out! The salmon tasted more like candy than fish, asparagus sprinkled with parmesan cheese, and Basmati rice... need I say more? But the whole over-arching experience, there in my Mama's kitchen, was more than a culinary success, it was a rite of passage. So I celebrated it fully by recording the event on page 22 in "Cooking Light's Light and Easy Meals."
"8/2/01 - Wonderful! Last dish I made as a single woman."
I didn't know it at the time, but this would become a habit of mine when gathering with family and friends around the table. And so I write in my recipe book like I write in the margins of my Bible. Because it's a Holy affair - this bread breaking celebration we can life.
However, you might have noticed in the picture above, that 9 years of our lives are missing there. And maybe 9 years are missing from the margin notes in your Bible too, because raising children is all-consuming. But time with the Lord and time with His people is paramount and so we pick our Bibles up again and our recipe books too, because both feed hungry needy people.
While I knew I walked a rite of passage there in my mother's kitchen, before walking the aisle to be his wife, I didn't know how much this ritual of cooking would become a Holy foundation of fellowship in our new life together. So important that we took our wedding guest-book and laid it down upon our dinning room table, asking every guest to write their name and the meal we shared together that first year.
"Sadly, the meaning of meal sharing is largely lost in the Christian community today. In the Near East, to share a meal with someone is a guarantee of peace, trust, fraternity, and forgiveness: the shared table symbolizes a shared life... For an orthodox Jew to say, “I would like to have dinner with you,” is a metaphor implying “I would like to enter into friendship with you.” Even today an American Jew will share a donut and a cup of coffee with you, but to extend a dinner invitation is to say: “Come to my mikdash me-at, the miniature sanctuary of my dining room table where we will celebrate the most sacred and beautiful experience that life affords–friendship."
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, 59-60
And so today I share this sweet meal with you.
Though I can't literally invite you all into my
mikdash me-at, I wish I could.
But I can invite you into the pages
of my recipe book.
3 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS honey
1 tsp minced garlic
4 (4 oz.) salmon fillets
Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Microwave 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds.
Place fish on a broiler pan, brush fish with sugar mixture. Broil 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting occasionally with remaining sugar mixture.
Yield: 4 servings
2014 - My firstborn son's favorite recipe.