grace and garnishes


    First, an update.

    Our new family member has a name: Ella. We tried several different ones on, but this one seems to be the best fit. She is awesome.

    Tonight was my first real night at the new restaurant. Last night the Duke men had a home game and everyone was at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Tonight, Ramon (my prep cook/dishwasher/sidekick) and I cooked meals for seventy-five people, which translates to a culinary butt-kicking. I spent all afternoon getting ready and we used up everything I made. Here’s the menu:


    Fried Calamari with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
    Warm Brie in Puff Pastry
    Hummus Platter
    Green Salad


    Pan Roasted Salmon, Crispy Potatoes, and Asparagus
    with a lemon-thyme beurre blanc

    Tuscan Chicken Sandwich
    with portabella mushroom, Fontina cheese,
    and basil pesto on sourdough bread

    Grilled Barbeque Flatiron Steak
    with sweet potato polenta and asparagus

    Vegetable Lasagna
    layers of pasta filled with assorted vegetables
    and ricotta cheese in a mushroom sauce

    Teriyaki Stir Fry with Beef or Chicken or
    Vegetables only

    As I was chopping some parsley to season the mushroom sauce, I was taken back to church on Sunday because the children’s message gave me a new appreciation for the little green plant. More often than not, parsley is the stuff we put on your plate at the end to make it look pretty: a garnish. It does come in handy as a subtle seasoning, but I think it’s mostly for show.

    Carla, our associate pastor (who is amazing with our kids) gathered the children around her to talk about baptism on Sunday, focusing on the blessing (as Ginger did also in her sermon). “Baptism reminds us we are loved by God,” she said. And then she pulled out a small plastic bag filled with sprigs of parsley. She poured some water in a cup and then dipped one of the small branches in the water and began to splash water in the faces of the children saying, “God loves you.” Then she gave each of the kids their own piece of parsley and sent them out into the congregation to bless us. Isabella, one of my favorite kids, got a good plant full of water when she swung it my way. I felt loved.

    I also feel fortunate because I work with parsley everyday. Thanks to Carla and Bella, I have a built in reminder of grace right in my refrigerator, waiting to remind me my life is seasoned with love and garnished with grace. I may start using it a lot more.

    Peace (and parsley),


    1. Martin Luther said that people ought to remember their baptism each time they wash their face. Now I have another opportunity thanks to this post.

      Grace abounds!

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