Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: The Wholly Cook
By Jason Fusek
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For those who cook and enjoy cooking, like myself, we share some of our ourselves through the meal. This is not unlike Jesus, who gave of Himself to us through the meal we commonly celebrate as “Communion” and which is still celebrated as “The Passover Meal.” Of the bread (or matzos), Jesus said, “Take, eat, this is my body broken for you.” From the meal that was prepared He gave of Himself to His disciples. Whether one regards these elements as symbolic or literal, one cannot get around the fact that Jesus was giving something of Himself through the bread and wine. Likewise, in my cooking and giving, I put something of myself into the meal. People eat the result of my labor and something that I have shaped. And in some mysterious way they partake of my heart and soul through this act of giving.
Presentation is no less important and it was no less important to Jesus. He took care in how he presented the elements to His disciples, especially because He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” He knew that He was introducing a recipe for celebrating the finality of his life in his death and resurrection. He broke the bread and said, “Take and eat. This is my body broken for you.” He poured wine into the chalice that is now known as the Holy Grail. “This is my blood poured out for the sins of many. Drink in remembrance of me.” In doing this He presented us with a complete way of remembering Him: His body broken and ultimately raised up giving new life… and His blood poured out for forgiveness, reconciliation, and the purifying of the whole person.
At heart, I am an artist so presentation is also very important to me. One can be creative and make beautiful things, but if they are not presented in a way that highlights creativity and beauty, then it’s reception and remembrance will probably be poor. Wholeness and completion are other attributes that I value. And all of this impacts my cooking. I enjoy recipes, especially soups and stews, that present recipients with whole meals that are rich in taste and beautiful to present. You look at it, smell it, and just want to gobble it up. And then you want to go back for more. So it is with all things that are presented with beauty, wholeness, and a good heart.
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