Tuesday, August 5, 2008


[what's brewing: cup's empty, fill me up!]

A national friend of ours recently house-sat for us while we traveled with some friends for the weekend. Upon our return she reported that all had gone smoothly, but she had two questions to ask me. First, why are you keeping brown bananas in your freezer? I laughed and explained that I was keeping them to make banana bread with eventually, a habit I had picked up from my mother. Second, why do you have a salt shaker sitting on your nightstand? Shouldn’t it be in the kitchen? Oh, that is a gift from a friend in the US. It’s not meant to be used in the kitchen; it’s a special reminder for me.

A week before we left for the field, a dear friend gave me a thoughtful gift package. Inside was a piece of hand-pressed paper with a blessing written on it. Each verse that was written on this delicate piece of paper was accompanied by a physical object. One of the inclusions was this small salt shaker, corresponding to this note:

“You are the salt of the earth…” Matthew 5:13
May the Lord bless your love for His children…for that is what is truly tasty.

Upon arriving, I set the little salt shaker on my nightstand where I would be sure to see it each time that I reach for my glasses in the morning. I’m reminded of Christ’s call to be the salt and light in this world. I’m reminded of my friend’s prayer that the Lord would bless the love I have for these children, because my own love falls so very short of what I want to offer them. I lack patience and motivation; I run out of love to give. I find myself wishing that Christ himself were here to offer these kids an unending amount of love, but he’s gone and he’s chosen me, and each of you, to do the loving in his absence – to be his hands and feet in a world of hurting people.

Oh Lord, keep my salt shaker full through the renewing work of your Spirit. Bless the love that you have given me for your children – may it be your love that they experience, not my own, for it is your love that is truly tasty in this broken world.


Ellie said...

About that cheesecake...

I knew a missionary wife who made a passable cheesecake out of yogurt once... let me do some research..

or does anyone know how to do this? She took the yogurt, let it go a little "off", and then hung it in cheesecloth until it dried a bit more like cream cheese.

It was good! Except the single guy who promised to bring the cherry topping for it forget to read the bottle and made cherry topping from marichino cherries! Don't try this - it tastes like insecticide.

Coffeegirl said...

Ooooh, now that sounds interesting! I'm impressed the single guy was willing to tackle the process of making cherry topping - what a shame it didn't come out as he hoped! I'll look forward to seeing what you find out about that cheesecake recipe...there's hope!

Ellie said...

Yogurt Cheesecake:

(disclaimer – I have not actually done this myself, but I have seen it done and eaten the results. Play with the recipe some and send out any good ideas you have.)

Start off with making your “cheese” out of yogurt. Take a strainer, colander or other similar item and line it with several paper towels, cheese cloth, or an old t-shirt (wash first!). Put the strainer over a bowl to catch the liquid dripping off. If you don’t have theses items, put the yogurt in the middle of a large dishtowel or big cloth, and tie up the ends, so it hangs like a sack. The idea is to drain off the extra liquid from the yogurt and make it thicker. You can place the whole thing in the fridge if you have one, or just hang it up (it will have a little “bite” outside the fridge, but it will be ok, too.) Leave it to hang for about a day so it is more of a cream cheese consistency.

Then, you can use it like cream cheese for any recipe. I like this one:

32 oz – cream cheese (about 3.75 cups)
1.5 cups sugar
2.5 Tbs vanilla
3 Tbs. lemon juice
4 whole eggs
1 egg yolk

Cream the cheese and sugar together. Add the rest one at a time. Pour into a pan lined with a graham cracker crust (hint – any cookie will do to make a crust.) Bake at 400F for 10 minutes and THEN turn the temperature down to 200F for about 2 hours.

This is really a good cheesecake.

Hope it works…

And sorry for posting a cheesecake recipe on a blog about being salt…
but we make better salt and light when we have some comfort food, too!

Ruvin said...

I must admit, I am curious about what kind of shoes are your favorite. I am still in search of the perfectly comfortable, dressy enough to teach in, walk all over town, fit every possible occasion shoe.
I really enjoy your blog. I appreciate the honesty a lot. I can definitely relate to a lot of things you talk about. Thanks for being willing to share with us all!

Diana said...

CHEESECAKE.......I take back all my complaints about how expensive cream cheese is here! My hubby has been craving some so I promise to make one in honor of you all and put a picture on my blog.
SALT.....I remember reading Rebecca Pippert's book Out of the Saltshaker and into the world, when I was in Missiology class in college. Up till then I had NEVER wanted to be "a missionary", but that book sure did challenge me! I never would have dreamed that almost 25 years later I'd be sitting in Mexico writing on a missionary blog about being salt! Did you ever think about the fact that you are salt even when you don't or didn't want to be salt?
I have been cooking with less salt due to health issues. My teens comment on this decision? "Somebody, should have taken better care of her self so we wouldn't have to pay the price! Just make sure the saltshaker is on the table!" This got me thinking how often do I withhold spiritual salt from the millions around me. I have my "reasons or excuses" for not sharing, or giving testimony but the fact remains that food without salt is boring and not too inviting. Most of the people around me have at one time or another heard at least parts of the Gospel. I am more convinced each day that they need our salt in order to put it all together in "an appetizing, I want to hear more way."

Coffeegirl said...

To Ruvin - I have found Ecco shoes to be the best "all occasion" shoe for me. I've been able to find pretty good sales on them (when in the US!), they're great for long days, closed toe to keep the dirt out, and come in cute styles that disguise their therapeutic nature. (Why is it that comfort and cute don't come together very often in the shoe department?)

To Diana - I love the question you posed about ways we withhold spiritual salt from those around us. I've been pondering that and would be interested to see what kinds of thoughts it provokes for the rest of you. More to come on this...

Ellie said...

About withholding salt from those around us - I think sometimes I just don't feel like it. I just don't want to get involved because I don't feel like it.

I know that is not a good excuse.

There are times when I am talking with people that I see an opening to share. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I just don't feel like it then, and let the opening pass by.

How do we know when we should talk to people? Or do we assume that any time we can share about God, we should?

I don't know the answer to that.

Then there are times when there is simply the opening to share some of my life, some of the things I have had to struggle with, with people I have lived and worked next to for years. Their response is usually surprised. "But you look so cheerful, so normal!" And then, there are a few who come back later and wonder why.

At work right now, because I share that there are frustrations I find in being married (surprise!), my coworkers are coming to me now with their own problems and wanting me to listen. And then I get chances to share.

I wonder if at times we think that being salt means being so "perfect". I wonder if being normal, but with hope, is what is more attractive.

I am still looking for a balance here. Not sure of myself at times.

It is easy to "do missionary work", but to be real, and the type of real where I can have real conversations with people about their real lives is another thing.

Keri said...

Love your blog. This I was wondering what kind of shoe is that on your "favorite shoe" link? Is it a Dansko?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...