April 9th – Season Well

My time off is giving me lots of opportunities to hone my rather modest cooking skills. I’m not about to enter Master Chef, but I’ve come a long way from the days when it was heard around the house, “dad’s cooking, so we must be having spaghetti.” I can now make tacos, scrambled eggs, mac and cheese, chicken stir fry, lasagna, and you should see me toss a salad.

Today I am going to make a pot of chili. What is great about chili is it’s almost impossible to screw up. So long as you have a can opener and decent aim, you will end up with an edible pot of food. The only tricky part is the seasoning. Anyone can make a pot of chili, but it takes a little more culinary dexterity to season it with the right amount of salt, chili powder, pepper, sage, oregano, etc. Get the seasoning wrong, and your award winning chili becomes, well, just a pot of ordinary. Edible, but ordinary.

One of my favourite passages from the Bible says, “you are the salt of the earth.” I love that phrase, because it boils down a faithful and faith-filled life to one easy concept, SEASON WELL!! And it’s true, like a pot of chili, we can make other’s lives tastier, and the flavours richer, when we get the seasoning right.

A little kindness, like a sprinkle of pepper, goes a long way.

A word of encouragement, like a dash of oregano, can make someone’s day go from sad to sizzle.

A compliment, like a few grains of salt, brings out the richness of the day.

A smile, like a splash of wine, can put a little colour in the cheeks of a passing stranger.

But without question, the greatest seasoning is a positive attitude. A positive attitude is the chili powder in a happy, healthy and productive life, if you get it right your life can go from “edible”, to deliciously, incredibly, amazing!!

Can we over-season? Sure we can. There is a big difference between a dash of kindness and an overbearing presence. There is a difference between being welcoming and overstaying our welcome.  And, we all know the difference between genuine encouragement, and getting “buttered up” to further someone else’s goal, or stoke someone else’s ego.  But if we season with humility and integrity, we rarely if ever have to second-guess whether we got it right.

A friend of mine reminded me this week of a quote, “if you want greatness, BE GREAT”. How are we great? One dash, splash and sprinkle at a time.

Okay, enough blogging, time to cook some chili!! I’ll let you know how it tastes. Or even better, ask the kids.