Lessons from a Kitchen

So if you look beyond the Farberware knife set and the NutriBullet Magic Bullet you can see it.  All the rage, right?
An Instant Pot
. Have you succumbed yet?
Because the parsonage has a rather diminutive kitchen, my curiosity was easily piqued when, in scanning the pages of my latest Bed, Bath and Beyond circular, I discovered this hot new (to me) gadget and its unsurpassed functionality as seven tools in one:  a pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, saute pot, steamer, warming pot and yogurt maker. Shazam! Move over now obsolete kitchen tools and make way for the envy of every gastronome in search of a meaningful new experience with food! Rejoice harried working families, who now, thanks to the IP, can get a hot meal to the table within 30-40 minutes of arriving at your domicile!
Back at the parsonage kitchen and with Amazon’s Thursday delivery of The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook for Your Instant Pot, Gary and I raced to dog-ear respective mouthwatering recipes for the Pot’s inauguration:

Uttapam with Cilantro and Coconut Chutney,
Herbed French Lentils with Beets and Pink Rice,
Potato, Vegetable and Tempeh Gado-Gado,
Potato Pierogies (Polish Dumplings)
and for dessert, Zucchini Lemon Spelt Snack Cake.

But fear not, carnivores!  You’ll go simply gaga over the lightning speed with which the Instant Pot cooks your wares too!  Imagine serving up your Apple Cider Pork Chops, Beef Tips and Brown Gravy or Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
 in a fraction of the time?  And with minimum pans to clean!
It’s the future of cooking, people… and we’re the Jetsons!
Thank-you Instant Pot!

That said, there are just some things in life that can’t be rushed
For which ‘instant’ or the ‘instant function’ won’t work.
And in our better moments, we know it.

Like a baby’s gestation
training for a marathon
waiting for the next solar eclipse
or the formation of a diamond
building a career
beating an addiction
healing from trauma
raising children
parenting our parents
sitting with the infirmed
discerning Truth
and the unique purpose
for our existence.
Encountering the Divine (as we understand it)
Allowing faith to shape us

The writer of Ecclesiastes penned some epic words that far too often,
we consign to funerals.   Reclaimed for the living, they remind us of the sacredness of time and how everything has its appointed term under the stars.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
                                  ~Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

 The ancient Greeks spoke of two kinds of time.
We in this hemisphere are all too familiar with Chronos time--that space we measure by a clock’s ticking, in meeting deadlines or getting dinner on the table and the kids in bed in one hour or two at the most. Pushed to its excess, it’s the gateway to heart attacks and all manner of things that wreak havoc on
our wellness.
Kairos time on the other hand has spiritual implication.
Renouncing productivity, it is measured in the sweet, savored increments
where we give our full selves to the moment and any person with whom we may be sharing it. And then, we receive all that moment
and everyone in it, offers back to us.
There’s no rushing towards “the next thing”
because what we have
and we are doing
is sacred.
And enough.

I think about all the things I seem to be rushing these days
and with sharper, sometimes raw acuity, I wonder why?
What’s at stake?

Some things need to slow cook.
And it’s more than function on a new fangled pot.
As a reminder, I think I’ll keep my trusty Crock Pot close by
after all.



  1. Peter Jurney says

    Wise words, Michelle!The slow food movement started in Rome a few years ago when McDonald’s opened a restaurant across the street from the Pantheon. Some Romans were incensed at this temple of fast food, and so decided to promote slow food–taking time to enjoy friendship and conversation and to savor a not-rushed meal! Bravo, Romans!

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