Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Of Stock and Substance
Its a good thing I was nearing the end of my prayers, as this sent me on a mental tour of my kitchen in a spontaneous game of association with each one of my children. Come on, am I really the first?
In no particular order...
R - was the easiest for me as I have long known he is pepper (this includes chilis.) He is full of the zest and spice of creativity. He can get me hopping, that's for sure; and like pepper, he might not be the first you reach for, but can be counted on to always add an unexpected zing to things.
L - was a bit tricky. I began thinking of sugar, brown or white, or even honey, but was not settled on any of these possibilities. I wound up hitting upon molasses! In addition to the familiar metaphor "slow as....", molasses has a sweetness with a bit of bite and creates warm homey desserts like gingerbread. Settled.
Q - clearly is salt. Scripturally this goes without saying, and just as no kitchen or meal would be complete without salt, so our family would be incomplete without him. Salt brings flavor and depth to things, can be overdone, is missed when it is absent, compliments and embraces.
A - a knotty one to match. I toyed with balsamic vinegar for a while, but that was not quite right. Then I hit upon chocolate - of course! She loves all kinds of chocolate, but this child, while she would want to be white chocolate is instead dark. I could write a dissertation here, but I'll just allow the sweet savor of it to settle.
D - the most difficult to pin down. Capers, pickles, ginger, olive oil? I had almost despaired of his culinary counterpart. Then I knew. He is wine - sophisticated yet earthy, both dry and sweet, the stuff to mellow your bones and loosen the imagination. Requires time to reach fullness and to breath. (In a deep voice with arched eyebrow:) Complex.
Not an exhaustive nor necessarily final combination of child/staple alliances - I'm tossing around the likeness of one to an orange at this very moment; but for now this will do. Its funny the things we consider when we're thinking about our kids. They are my "fruit", if you will. I am blessed in abundance.
I've always loved this blessing given in the movie It's A Wonderful Life. We'll just have to imagine that they included all the staples I've concluded with as well, and that George and Mary Bailey were speaking to us:
Bread... that this house may never know hunger. Salt... that life may always have flavor. And wine... that joy and prosperity may reign forever. Enter the Ruiz-Esparza Castle.