‘Keep Your Fork’
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
– C.S. Lewis
Maybe you have heard the popular story – it’s almost become legend – about a terminally ill woman who requested to be buried with a fork in her right hand. When her puzzled pastor asked for an explanation, she told him, “In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, ‘Keep your fork.’ It was my favorite time, because I knew something better was coming, like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie – something wonderful. So, I want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and wonder, ‘What’s with the fork?’ Then, I want you to tell them, `Keep your fork, because the best is yet to come.”’
Some of my favourite foods are appetizers. In fact, I love them so much I am quite thrilled to enjoy a meal made up entirely of hors d’oeuvres. Defined as “a small dish of food or a drink taken before a meal or the main course of a meal to stimulate one’s appetite,” appetizers can also be described as a first course, or a starter. However, it’s easy to get so caught up in these delicious tidbits that one forgets their purpose altogether – that of whetting the appetite for the main meal and then saving room (and a fork!) for the final pièce de résistance.
While much Christian rhetoric lately and many current Christian song lyrics focus on the concept that this earth is not our home, this is not where we belong (using passages like Hebrews 13:14 and 1 Pet. 2:11), I would argue that our earthly lives are meant to be lived as the appetizer course – a first course to stimulate our appetites for the best that is yet to come. This earth is where our Creator placed us and it’s exactly where we are supposed to be . . . for now. But let us never forget that it doesn’t stop here; we should not be content with just appetizers but, just like the woman in the story, we should keep a fork ready for “what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived – the things God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor. 2:9).
My husband has been making this simple recipe for stuffed mushrooms since the first year we were married. Neither one of us liked mushrooms at the time, but he figured that bacon and cheese can make anything taste good. He took a chance and he was right – they are usually the first appy to disappear when we serve them.
Bacon and Cheddar Stuffed Mushrooms
- 3 slices bacon
- 12 crimini or white mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped onion
- 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- Cook bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, dice and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
- Remove mushroom stems. Set aside caps. Chop the stems.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over med-low heat. Slowly cook and stir the chopped stems and onion until the onion is soft. Remove from heat.
- Stir together mushroom stem mixture, bacon and 1/2 cup cheddar. Mix well and scoop the mixture into the mushroom caps.
- Bake in the preheated oven 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
- Remove the mushrooms from the oven, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve immediately.