In my living room are twenty four meals and eleven jars of lemon curd. In my kitchen I have chilli con carne and spicy polish stew waiting for me to get more containers. I also have a batch of “not sure it’s gonna work” lemon marmalade.

I like experimenting especially in the kitchen. I am half way between two camps:

“You can’t have carrots in ….. (any stew based dish – curry, bol, chilli)”


“Carrots go in everything”

That goes for all food. So I might put polenta into a cake or I might not. To experiment successfully:

i.e. to accept you are going to fail, to accept you might never produce the same meal twice and to enjoy when everything works out fine.

You have to have groundwork. You have to know how to cook to know which boundary you can cross. For example if baking an all-in-one recipe you need raising agents because not enough air gets in. For a creaming and adding cake you could try it without cream of tartar and bicarb but it will be denser – better taste (no chemicals) but not as judge perfect.

My kids think I take a random amount of chillies to add to a stew, I don’t – I know the strength of the chillies I grow so I put in the amount depending on the strength of the chilli but also depending on who is eating. If we have visitors I don’t put as much in and just have chilli sauce on the table for the boys.

The lemon marmalade: I was tired I had just produced enough food for Killarney Food Fair and have enough to fill some baskets after! My back was sore, I was due to go football training duty and I missed a couple of steps. So the lemons, water and sugar steeped together for a few hours. I couldn’t do a pectin test so when I do the boil later not entirely sure it is going to work. In it’s favour – it’s lemons totally rich in natural pectin, no need to add in anything on a normal run to increase setting – I had 3:2 ratio on lemons to sugar, so again high probability I will get away with it.

All this cooking and preserving let’s my mind wander. I had intended to listen to more of Keith Green’s wise words but I also had a lot to cogitate on. Digging heels has stopped. I figured out yesterday that if I am not the only one getting the message then it must be right and true. Freaky, weird, scary and terrifying but yes it will be done.

Timing is an issue, just like in cooking – even a stew can dry up if left to cook for too long, and this passion, well no I can’t see that drying up. Boiling an egg is not an exact science, there is a point when the iron comes out of the yolk causing the unslightly blue ring that so many cafes and restaurants think is a) appealing and b) acceptable. Boiling thirty eggs in the same pan is an exact science. Try it and you’ll see what I mean. Caterers have no excuse.

I have no excuse, no reason not to plough on, in the right direction. I have been given grace-filled forgiveness when I was entrenched for so many days in a sullen child like frame of “Well I’m not sorry, so there!” Even the darkest moments in the last few months have been FULL of Godincidence. I am astounded at how he uses my bad judgement calls and turns them around on me, I am basking in the glow of his love.

And I tested it, I took it to someone I trust and they had already been told. It wasn’t the big shock to them, it was to me, they weren’t even surprised. I feel totally wrong footed when this happens, but  hey I am learning to embrace it all.

So I am leaving the lay-by that I have been resting in, arguing in, stamping my feet in, chilling in. The junction ahead became a motorway with a slip road. Clearly I could see that taking the slip road was not just a tangent but a turning my back on, so I am joining the motorway, there will be more junctions ahead and more lay-bys.

But what’s a journey without a {bit} of adventure.

planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.

 1 Corinthians 3:6

Karen C has come to mind as I write this. She is going through a journey too, so blessed to know her in the little way I do.

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