Monday, April 1, 2013

Potluck Epiphany

           This last week I had an epiphany! It all started around Tuesday morning when I was cooking breakfast. There often times will be a little bit of leftover oatmeal, which consequently gets added to the next morning’s fresh oatmeal. It seemed like the oatmeal was becoming a sourdough starter: no matter how many times you use it, you always still have a little bit of the original. This particular morning, we really seemed to overdo the amount needed for breakfast. With thoughts of the next breakfast, Phoebe put the remains in the fridge.

Lunches tend to have a similar outlook. If there are leftovers that need to be used, use them however seems fit. The split peas from the previous day were not enough alone, but the black beans were almost enough. We mixed those and threw in some two-day-old rice for good measure. (Now you need to understand that the guys here at the property are not very picky eaters. My menu options are “take it or leave it.” I cannot recollect a time when they chose the latter.) I thought we could finally finish that bean concoction and clear out the fridge a bit. However, much to my dismay, there was excess at the end of the meal. So once again, I put it in a container and threw it into the fridge.

By suppertime, I was getting tired of seeing those same old beans. That was when I had one of my first great ideas: Why not make black bean burgers! It was a great way to get rid of the beans and still follow the menu of hamburgers. DOUBLE BONUS! I could use the beans and the leftover oatmeal to make the patties. I started mixing and flavoring and frying all proud of what I was doing with the survivors. We all enjoyed a supper of something that seemed brand new. But once again, the terror hit when I found that there were a plethora of burgers after all had consumed to satisfaction. AYE AYE AYE! Back to the cold casket they went.

Oatmeal breakfast was no longer making the cut. Us girls had a wild spell by cooking biscuits and gravy without any oatmeal in the mix! Preparing food for fourteen people is much different than preparing for six. Since we recently had a significant drop in the number of herbivorous homo sapiens, we have been making a bit too much at mealtimes. The gravy was good, but there was too much goodness for breakfast. So (you guessed it) it became leftovers.

The culmination of the hodgepodge of scraps was about to go down. This was when I had my potluck epiphany! We used the gravy from breakfast to smother the burgers from two nights previous which were compiled of day old oatmeal mixed with reused rice and recycled beans leaving me with leftovers to the eighth power, plus or minus two days. This was an exact replica of the mystery gravy and patties dishes that so often plague the potluck table. The only thing Ray could say was, “You girls are creative!”

Are you stuck in a spiritual slough? Do you find yourself eating “plain oatmeal” everyday without any satisfaction? Ever thought about trying it out for more than just a breakfast. What about letting Jesus be your oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Just because you read your Bible for one hour every morning does not mean that you are tight with Jesus. Try and make Him real in your life today. Spice things up a bit by trying new ideas in your devotions. Share your ideas with a friend, because by sharing you will gain another blessing.

I can’t Belize how creative my cooking has become since I left the United States.


  1. I knew there had to be a reason why I've always been very wary of the ominous "mystery" burgers and loafs at potlucks... glad to finally know what's in them!! :)

  2. Wow! You are amazing-for making it and eating it, hehe : ] My cooking has been minimal, sadly, but I've discovered that the iron has its place in the kitchen and that rice cookers can cook so much more than rice. Yes, the life of a missionary : ] Love ya!

  3. That's awesome! My cooking got very creative in Africa.... Sometimes a bit too creative haha.... I'm enjoying the updates! Keep them up!

  4. Love it! It reminds me of that huge pot of curry we made in Smokey Mountain Flora... :)
    Love you lots! Just remember with cooking "it's all in the wrist!"