One of the things I miss terribly about Berkeley and undergrad is cooking and eating with large groups of people. I don't think it's the action itself that I miss, but rather the community that is experienced in the midst of the action. I believe that eating together is one of the ways we get to live out what the church in Acts looked like. Eating together stimulates conversation and if you're lucky intimacy. As we experience love in communities and within relationships God shows us how much He loves us.
I was reminded of this over winter break while spending time in Sacramento with a few of the people I love to eat with most. We spent several of our evenings in. Different people took turns serving the rest of us and heading up the bulk of the cooking duties. Then we sat around the table for an hour or so and just ate, drank, and talked. Then of course we'd move to another area of the house and talk some more.
When I think back on it, sharing meals was probably the impetus for most of my close relationships. I know that I really got to know the members of my freshman community group because of forced lunch buddies. The women that I was closest to in ADX used to make me dinner, which I happily accepted to avoid the DC. Another way that I avoided the DC was by mooching off of Emily and Ashley when they moved out of the dorms Spring semester. I came to love my discipleship group after a good deal of cafe discussions, both about why meeting at Milano just was not acceptable and about what God was doing in our lives.
I've struggled in the last several months with the lack of connection I feel with the people around me in MN. So, with these thoughts in mind and a desire to seek out closer relationships, I suggested to my roommate that we have a Super Bowl gathering and cook some good food. I totally saw God answer prayer. My roommate picked the menu and for the most part I cooked it, but an awesome thing happened in between, we went shopping. Part of me cringed as I watched the time go by on Saturday and realized I was not going to get my reading for Monday (or any other day of the week) done, but time like this with my roommate is pretty rare and so I made a decision to stop worrying and be grateful. I had fun cooking, and enjoyed eating and watching the game with my roommate and guests.
Okay, hold onto your seats, I'm about to get fancy! Here are some pictures of what we made!
This is a White Chicken Chili that has both corn and cilantro in it. I don't know if it really looks all that appetizing, but I promise it was delish!
This is Pots de Creme (I think that was what it was called anyway). Someone from my roommate's work made it for their Christmas party and was nice enough to pass the recipe along. You can't really tell, but there's a chocolate mousse/pudding under the whipped cream that had just a touch of brandy in it. I just bought these glasses at IKEA and was supper excited when they ended up being perfect for this recipe. The other highlight was the grated chocolate on top. My roommate bought a grater from the dollar store and was disappointed when she found out it wasn't a shredder. She didn't think she'd be able to use it for much, so this creative idea redeemed its value. (Not pictured: guac (10 for $10 avocados in MN in the winter!!!); salsa; sugar cookies shaped and decorated like footballs; sangria; and raspberry chipotle sauce (store bought) over cream cheese with crackers.)
P.S. This blog will not always be about food. If you want to read an awesome blog about food written by two people I love see: www.loveiscooking.blogspot.com