Cooking with Ingredients on Hand

My first all Mexican cuisine cookbook was created by a blind woman, Maria Zalayeta. She cooked by the sounds of the food. Her cookbook format included stories about her recipes. One story was about a group of nuns in a poor convent some years ago. Upon receiving an unexpected announcement about the imminent visit of their archbishop, the flustered nuns raced to their cupboard and discovered…very little. Sacrificing one of the few remaining chickens in their yard, they used what ingredients they had on hand: cocoa, peanut butter, tomato sauce, and Mexico’s ubiquitous cinnamon. The result? Mole poblano.

Now God is an amazing “cook.” What about his ingredients?

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. –Romans 3:10-12, 23

So God uses the “ingredients”–the people–he has on hand to accomplish his will and purpose. For example, a coward became the prophet-leader of a great nation–Moses. A poor shepherd boy became a king–David. Another passionate coward became the founder of the church–Peter. Saul the murderer became the great apostle Paul, and the fearful band of twelve, minus the traitor Judas, became the kernel of the greatest faith the world has ever seen.

Obviously, this story has a moral:  The secret of great cooking lies with the cook, not the ingredients. Don’t be afraid to give yourself to the Lord. He uses the people he has on hand to do great things.

In case you’re curious–the photos above show my breakfast omelette. Due to coronavirus, my shopping these days is limited to no more than once every two weeks. Also, I find it more frugal to eat what I have before buying more. So, this meal came when both my closet and refrigerator were on the skimpy side. The filling ingredients are: Ricotta cheese (which unfortunately doesn’t melt), olives, and fresh jalapeño peppers, which I’ve learned to purchase in copious quantities, and one of the last remaining slices of deli ham. I had recently cooked a pot of dry red beans–they went on top of the eggs, along with Greek nonfat yogurt (always nice and thick), and an olive leftover from some nachos I had recently made. A few drops of Sriracha hot sauce added color and a bit of spice. Admittedly, this was not the best tasting omelette I’ve ever made…




6 thoughts on “Cooking with Ingredients on Hand

  1. Too much fun, Christina! You and I could have a really, really, really fun time together in the kitchen!

  2. You and I could have a really, really, really fun time together in the kitchen, Christina. Recipes are nothing but guidelines. 🙂

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