The Party’s in the Kitchen
Our guests stood around the kitchen chatting. Although there were more comfortable seats elsewhere in the house, it was where they wanted to be. That’s saying something because our kitchen is small according to today’s standards. Not much space to turn around let alone gather for a meal. Yet, here they were bowls of soup in hand enjoying each other’s company.
There is something quite endearing about that room in our homes that seems to have a heartbeat. Things that are created within its walls are meant to nourish. In this age of so much interest of health and fitness, most of us know exactly what the word nourish means. The idea is a pretty straight forward–To sustain with food or nutriment. Something we expect to come from a kitchen. But if we continue to read down through the remaining definitions we find that it goes way beyond providing good food.
- To supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth
- To cherish, foster, keep alive
- To strengthen, build up or promote.
These descriptions stir up in me a spiritual perspective on kitchen activity. My sink becomes a prayer altar as I stand hands deep in soapy water while my heart reaches high up into the heavens to the One who can watch over my family. My fridge and pantry hold ingredients that will become offerings of hope in the form of a casserole to a family in crisis. And from my stove celebration meals find their way to my table (or in this case, to the hands of friends) bringing with them a festival of thanksgiving.
Life, health, growth. Cherished activity that strengthens and builds up speaks to something special cooked up here. Nourishment of all kinds is blended into whatever is created in this room. It’s no surprise that people tend to linger where such activity takes place. I love that friends and strangers alike find it a comfortable space to gather.
So. . .Welcome to the party! Step into my kitchen.
Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
Once a month, I hold a dinner in my home. On SOUPer Friday, we share a simple meal that does indeed include soup along with bread and dessert. The food is delicious (Yes, I am boasting a bit.) but what is extraordinary about this gathering is what happens around the table. We are friends, who have become family, as we have shared what is important to our hearts. In our case, there is much lively conversation about ministries and missions we are involved with. We often have someone new come to add to the conversation by sharing what is happening in their world. It is a simple way to encourage and be encouraged through the stories of good–maybe we could even call them super— things happening in our communities and around the planet.
This is a recipe from Taste of Home that has become a favorite at our SOUPer dinners–
- 4 medium carrots, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1 can (49 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth or 6 cups of vegetable broth, divided
- 1 can (29 ounce) crushed tomatoes
- 5 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk
- In a Dutch oven, cook carrots and onion in butter over medium low heat for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- In a blender, place 1/2 broth and the cooled vegetables; cover and process until blended. Return to the Dutch oven. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, basil, sugar, salt, pepper and remaining broth.
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for thirty minutes. Reduce to low. Gradually stir in evaporated milk; heat through (do not boil). Yield: 6 servings (2 1/4 quarts)