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Taste and See

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” (Oscar Wilde)

Taste and See

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.” 
(Oscar Wilde)

Food has a way of bringing people together in community like nothing else. Jesus knew this, and he used food in his ministry in many ways – as examples, as analogies, as parables as quality time spent with loved ones and as a means of extending grace.

In his book A Meal with Jesus, Tim Chester says “Jesus’ ‘excess’ with food and his ‘excess’ with grace are linked. In the ministry of Jesus, meals were enacted grace, community and mission. [The meals] represent something bigger . . . a new world, a new kingdom, a new outlook. But they give that new reality substance.” He adds, “Jesus’ meals are not just symbols, they’re also application. . . . Food is stuff. It’s not ideas or theories. You put it in your mouth, taste it and eat it. And meals are more than food. They’re social occasions. They represent friendship, community and welcome.” Chester states that meals embody God’s grace and so give form to community and mission.

Sharing recipes, traditions and passions
The recipe below was given to me several years ago by my friend, Irene Geleynse, after she brought it to a potluck dinner we were hosting in our home. It quickly became a favourite of ours because of the perfect combination of crunchy, salty, sweet and creamy flavours. It is decadent and yet fresh and healthy at the same time. It occupies a page in my weathered, spattered homemade cookbook, written out in Irene’s beautiful handwriting, and each time I turn to that page I smile at the memory of her writing it down for me on the spot, from memory. Whenever I make it for others I am asked for the recipe as well, and I happily pass it on.

Sharing meals has always been one of my favourite things to do. Whether through hosting dinners, attending potlucks, bringing a meal to someone, family dinners, picnics or dining with friends in a restaurant, this ancient ritual continues to rank as one of my highest sources of comfort, satisfaction and pleasure. So it was with great delight that I discovered that Jesus shared this same passion! And that through the participation of this tradition of breaking bread together with others I am taking part in something much bigger and part of God’s design for his people. . . it’s a little like the first course of a grand banquet feast.

For this salad, choose broccoli with bright green heads and tight, firm clusters. The top parts of the green stems can also be roughly chopped and added to the salad.
Broccoli Salad
5 cups    chopped broccoli
½ cup    raisins
½ cup    toasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup    red onion, finely chopped
½ cup    cooked bacon, crumbled

1 cup        mayonnaise (or whipped salad dressing)
2 Tbsp    vinegar
½ cup    sugar

Mix dressing ingredients together and pour over broccoli mixture and stir through. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight before serving. Yield: 6 1-cup servings.

Fun facts about broccoli:
Broccoli belongs to a group of food known as “cruciferous vegetables,” originally named for the four equal-sized petals in its flowers that could be viewed as forming a cross-like or crucifix shape. Other vegetables in this family include cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and bok choy. Known as superfoods, research has shown that these nutritious vegetables have numerous health benefits, including reducing the risk of cancer and even reversing the effects of cancer in some cases. Cruciferous plants also help with preventing heart disease and have anti-inflammatory properties.

About the Author
Taste and See

Monica Kronemeyer deRegt, Features Editor

Monica Kronemeyer deRegt joined the Christian Courier editorial team in January 2015. She recently moved from Ontario to Abbotsford, B.C., with her husband and three children. From a very young age, Monica has been drawn to the written word, both as a form of expression but also as a conduit for ministry. She believes that everyone has a story to tell, and that God’s story is shared through our stories. Monica grew up in northern B.C. and graduated from The King’s University College in Edmonton, Alberta. In addition to writing and editing, Monica loves reading (especially out loud to her children every night!), cooking, learning, singing, and exploring new places with her family, although she is known to be left behind reading every single plaque and trail marker and information poster along the way! Monica invites readers to contact her with ideas for the Features pages, and looks forward to exploring together with the Christian Courier community what it means to follow Christ in every part of the story of our lives.