Quality ingredients are the key | Church Corner

Politics, politics, politics. Seems like everything in the news, or on social media, is about politics right now. It isn’t surprising, I guess, during an election year. But with so much interest being shown in the candidates and the electoral process, I thought it only normal to talk about cooking.

The following is written by Ross Holtz of The Summit:

Politics, politics, politics.

Seems like everything in the news, or on social media, is about politics right now. It isn’t surprising, I guess, during an election year. But with so much interest being shown in the candidates and the electoral process, I thought it only normal to talk about cooking.

“Cooking?” she asked. “What does cooking have to do with politics? And what do you know about cooking? Have you ever cooked a meal that was edible?”

“I have, actually,” I replied to her astonishment. “Twice. Well, once if applying heat is a requirement. But, it was an excellent meal and hardly anyone got sick. As for how is this like politics, indulge me for a couple of minutes.”

There are three parts to preparing a great meal: preparation, ingredients and presentation. Wives, or maybe women in general, all seem to know this from birth. This is written more with guys in mind. We don’t intrinsically know these things. Allow me to elaborate.

Preparation comes first. One must start by having a clean working area. Guys, it isn’t like working in your shop where one can simply push things off to one side. Anything left on the preparation surface will end up in the food. You know, bottle caps, wine corks, screwdrivers, all the things we leave on the countertop. And germs, oh my goodness, we have to get rid of the unseen thingies that live on the Formica. And don’t use your handkerchief or an old shop rag to wipe things down. I don’t know how, but she will taste or smell it in the entre.

Second comes the ingredients. It is of utmost importance to have good ingredients; fresh is best. You cannot use the wilted veggies stuffed and forgotten way in the back of the refrigerator drawer. And meat that smells like your socks can only be used if the recipe calls for a half ton of garlic. Recipe? You know, the instructions. It’s the one time where all men have to read the paper and follow the directions. Yes, it is a strange concept but unless one has an unusually good imagination, or has a wife with wrecked taste buds, we have to take the time to read the recipe. Also, this is a good time to sample the wine that you are going to serve with the meal. Multitasking – yeah, that’s it.

It is a well-known secret: you can only get out what you put in. Ingredients that are questionable are going to produce food that will not enhance her dining experience. You can fake it with pungent spices and lots of sauce, but only for a short time. Somewhere under all the covering there has to be something that tastes good and has some nutritional value. If she ends up in the ER with gastrointestinal problems, you’ll have to fork over the $200 for dinner out next time.

So, unless one is making pizza or chili, where nearly anything added is OK, you must start with quality ingredients. Anything less will show in the end.

Presentation comes third. Waxed paper or a dashboard is fine for a McDonald’s meal. But bone china and crystal stemware will make a whole lot of difference. It won’t make garbage palatable but it can turn a slightly better than average meal into semi fine-dining. Oh, and add candlelight, especially from a nice vanilla scented candle and dinner becomes an event, something to remember.

So, what has this to do with this political season? First, politics is a dirty business. A good candidate, or political party, should, in my humble opinion, elevate the contest. He, or she, if you will, should clean it up. Or at least attempt to. Whatever dirt or corruption is allowed in will stay in and taint the person or organization.

Second: what’s inside the candidate is important as it will eventually come out. It can be covered for a while, but a lack of integrity, courage, wisdom, or compassion will sooner or later determine what this person will do, or not do. There are no perfect people but intention and will are so very important.

And third: Presentation is to be looked at and watched out for. The candlelight and aroma can be deceiving; they can mask an unpleasant flavor and cover over foul ingredients. Can the promises be believed? Can they ever be delivered upon? Is what we see really what we get or is it a well-tailored suit on a mannequin made of cardboard and duct tape?

Picking a president is an important business. I don’t know who you should vote for but I hope we do it wisely and carefully; and do I dare say prayerfully. God bless us and God bless America.

See you in church.


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