Monday, January 23, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Bread and New Perspectives: My Intro Blog

Today is the start of my new blog, "Lettuce Give Thanks: A Blog About Food & Life." I'd like to thank my incredibly witty husband Ken who came up with this title following our church service yesterday on "pursuing your calling." The title highlights two components of my online journal--the desire to share recipes with you (ones that I will try concurrently with the writing of this blog) and offer stories of thanksgiving in my life. In recent weeks, I have heard the words of Psalm 50:23 play repeatedly in my head: "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors Me." Honestly, how have I been cultivating a spirit of gratitude in my life? How can I move in this direction now? These are the questions that come to mind when I ponder what my 'calling' is.

For some background, I'm 26 years old and fall within the "newlywed" category of marriage. Ken and I have been married for almost 1 1/2 years and my anticipation toward the 2-year mark is growing each day. I love being married to this guy. We met in October of 2008 and among other things, I admire his zest for life, spirit of adventure, perfectly-timed wit and passion for good cooking. He has inspired me this last year and a half of marriage with homemade yogurt, sauerkraut, bread, soy milk and stir fry. The two of us probably appreciate good food equally. But since Ken is halfway through completing his engineering degree, he doesn't have as much time to play around the kitchen as I do.

This brings me to my next thought. For the most part, cooking and baking are really fun to me. I enjoy the creative and therapeutic outlet these become. At the same time, though, both these acts can become exercises in planning, timing and execution. I will admit that I got pretty burnt out last Friday, when I decided to bake a giant loaf of cinnamon raisin bread and rolls in the morning without giving much thought to the dinner guest we had arriving that night. Around 5 p.m. panic set in, as I calculated the timing for the pecan-crusted salmon and mustard-braised brussel sprouts and spring rolls. I hadn't thought through everything. I got caught up in the excitement of baking more bread and then was hit with the reality of poor scheduling. Needless to say, around 6:15 p.m., as I frantically paced around the kitchen, banging pots and pans, muttering frustrations under my breath, our dinner guest called to cancel. She had incorrectly scheduled her time. While Ken and I sat around the table later that evening, enjoying our supper of decadent morsels, I realized that I had forgotten to give thanks. Not just a prayer of “grace” said prior to our first bites--I had lost sight of how blessed I am, how blessed we are. I want to give thanks as a natural outpouring of who I am and who God has called me to be. Being grateful does, at times, seem like a “sacrifice” as Psalm 50:23 describes it. I think I understand that. It's hard to give thanks when you've lost of sight of what really matters.

With that said, here is my go at practicing thankfulness...

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