Rituals: I love ’em because you get a glimpse into another person’s life. I love ’em because they remind me of holy hidden in the everyday. I love ’em, because, well, one like this makes me want to hunker down and become one with the earth. So, meet my dear friend, Lizzy. She’s a teacher and a farmer, a cross-country coach and a Young Life leader …and, as she’ll prove by the end of this post, a cook by every sense of the word. Enjoy!
My rituals tend to happen in seasons. Right now, in this almost-fall season, I find myself surrounded by vegetables. Like, they are everywhere.
My family has a u-pick farm that sells berries in the spring and all sorts of veggies in summer and fall. And this year, I’ve decided that I’m going to use them all and become a cooking machine. I bought myself a chest freezer to go in the garage, and this little Martha Stewart is going to fill it to the brim.
Disclaimer: I’m pretty sure I have yet to reach gourmet cook status, and veggies are pretty hard to screw up, so for the non-cookers out there, I am not trying to make you feel bad. I cook because I love it, not because I feel like I should do it. Do what you love.
So, here’s how the plan is going: nearly every day, I think up something new to cook and freeze, depending on the supply. I wander through the garden, and I see ripe, red cherry tomatoes. I see fields of corn, rows of fresh onions, and jalapenos about to fall off the plant. Salsa. Check.
The other day, I was like, what could I do with ten million perfect, beautiful green zucchini? Make up a quick broth, add some beans, green peppers, tomatoes, pasta, and you have a yummy minestrone soup. In the freezer for those cold winter days.
And you can’t forget the cucumbers, kale, carrots, or garlic. Or, my favorite, the beets. There are so many options for beets. I mean, roasted, boiled, pickled, or packed into a borscht.
After choosing my ingredients after a day of work, I come home and create something delicious, sometimes accompanied by a glass of wine and my dog Bruce staring at me, waiting for something to drop. Yesterday, as I made spaghetti sauce, my entire house smelled like an Italian grandma’s kitchen.
I love this ritual and this season, because both are simple and fruitful and peaceful. There are no hectic schedules or places to be every night. Yes, this season is good. And this ritual is good, even if it must come to an end. I’ve realized that the earth and what it can produce has far more to give us than we understand.
It’s like this abundance of fresh food is God’s reminder that there’s more to life than flavorless, grocery store kale in January.
There is goodness at every turn, and there is holiness in creating. He provides enough for us, always.
Lizzy is a teacher, farmer, cross-country coach, and Young Life leader from Snohomish, WA. She likes mountains, beets, skiing, and watching sunsets. She loves travel and adventure and would love to jump on a plane at any moment for a bit of fun. Cara again: Did Lizzy capture the goodness and bounty of creation, or what? Leave her some love …and perhaps share with the rest of us a story of earth and food and everyday rituals, too!0