There is something special about the food of your childhood. In my life it is all about Indian curries, rice, and breads. All types – wheat and rice based breads, fresh and sour dough cooked in an amazing variety of ways, curries that are mild to incredibly hot, oil or coconut-milk based, and endless varieties of rice. As much as I enjoy the experiences I find that it is more than just a sensory enjoyment. I find myself eating with friends, sharing conversation, and transported to a place of peace, comfort, and warmth all at the same time. It is had to distinguish where one part of the experience ends and another starts.
During the past few days I have enjoyed a mix of southern Indian cooking that always brings me back. As frequently as I eat I remember the early days. I wonder how we survived because it wasn’t as if we lived in luxury, had extra money to spend, or even used a complete kitchen. Our stove was two gas burners connected to a butane tank. The over consisted of a tin box covering the two burners – I still cannot understand how my mother figured out the baking temperature for bread versus a casserole! Everything was prepared from the raw elements that were available during that season at the local market.
Frozen vegetables were a mere memory. Prepared meals were unimaginable. Pizza delivery something we read about in books. Yet the experienced defied imagination!
Fresh fruit in season came with intense and awesome flavors. Curries were intense, unique experiences. The breads savored and lingered over. Rice became a distinct dish in and of itself, not just a required accompaniment. It was here that I learned to enjoy meals, treasuring the experiences, anticipating more to come.
“Eat honey, dear child—it’s good for you—and delicacies that melt in your mouth.
Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul—Get that and your future’s secured, your hope is on solid rock.” (Proverbs 24.13, 14)
Home cooking can be awesome. God’s kitchen is always open – race you!