just keep going


Cooking dinner for a few friends is tricky when one can neither taste nor smell.

I almost burned the caramelized onions for buckwheat savory pancakes which will support salmon and walnuts as a main course. Twenty-four onions – cooked down to about 4 cups of onion jam – rich, brown, sweet.  But easily burned in the six-hour process with butter, rosemary and cognac. It will top buckwheat pancakes nicely.  As a main course with the salmon is goes well with a side salad.  It also works as an appetizer if you just top the pancakes with the onion jam and top it with pan-fried walnuts in butter, salt and pepper.  I have made some new pottery serving bowls for the dinner on my pottery wheel. The pottery studio is next to the kitchen.  The new pottery will be fun to use.

The second course will be a pasta cachio e pepe – pasta tossed with pepper and Parmesan cheese in a cheese bowl on my blue plates dotted with melted glass – my favorites. (both seen above)

But after the accident last summer, I can’t taste or smell anything. Nothing at all.  Ever.  But I am alive.  That’s good. So that’s what I celebrate.  We just keep going right!?

The dark chocolate for the desert course was slow-melted and to it was added Grand Mariner and lots of orange marmalade.  Cool, soft – orange and chocolate are delicious together in summer with red wine and burned-low candles.

So what does one do when one has guests, is disabled without smell or taste, and wants to spend six hours with them in one’s garden enjoying their friendship?  One cooks.

In my life, I can so easily get scared.  I can think anxious thoughts.  What if the meal tastes bad?  What if the onions taste burned? Are they dark because I caramelized them perfectly or because I burned them?  Kai, my dog, has no opinion.  He can taste but cannot speak.

When I consider the cross of Jesus, it occurs to me that we follow a savior who had no idea what would become of what He was trying to accomplish.Not for sure.  Not if he was fully human.  I can imagine what Jesus must have occasionally thought.  “Did God say that, early in the morning, to me, in the dark? Did I make that up?  Is this humility?  Is this pride?  Am I crazy?  Should I let them kill me?  What good will come of it all?”

What good indeed.

I know throwing a dinner party is not the same as saving the world.  And I know, most days, that I am not Jesus and am not God.  But the experience of cooking for guests, without the ability to smell or taste (I was injured in a train accident) inclines me to consider faith.

Faith is the belief in things not seen.  It could even be belief in things about which one is not sure.

Am I sure this dinner will turn out well?  Not really.  The math indicates so.  But no, I am not sure.

Am I sure that giving my life to Jesus and His stated mission will turn out well? Not really.  And the math really does not indicate so.

But in both cases – moving ahead with a long summer garden dinner, as well as following Jesus – I am gonna just steam on ahead and hope the stardust, of which all this is made, in indeed in the hands of a Divine potter, in divine clay, on God’s wheel. Wet. Turning, turning, turning.

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