Well, since I have been “outed” in regards to my obsessive love of cookware, I thought I would put my obsession to good use by using cookware to illustrate some life lessons!
I am not embarrassed by my love of cooking and cookware. Many of the world’s top chef’s are men. And, when you cook, you get to play with really cool sharp knives (so sharp you can cut off the tip of your thumb in a moment).
My problem lies in the fact that I go “all out” when it comes to cookware. I want the best and most expensive items. After much prayer and negotiating with Pam, I was able to get the La Crusset pans which are the best. However, despite the high cost and beauty of my La Crusset pans, my one true love is my cast iron skillet…well actually my three true loves. I love them so much that I have three of them! Cast Iron is awesome because it can take intense heat and cooks food evenly but, like I told Taleah, you have to take proper care of it and know its strengths for you to be able to get the best use out of it.
You must pre heat the pan before cooking. If you do not, the food will not cook evenly and the pan will be harder to clean. Believe it or not, this is one of those things that are tough to do because it takes patience and we usually want to cook our food “right now” instead of waiting 5 minutes for the pan to heat up.
In life, we know that God uses trials to make us better and prepare us for great things. While God uses trials to pre heat us; we usually want out right away. Yet, when we let Him heat us up a little from time to time, we are better because of it. See James 1 and Romans 5.
Cooks evenly and with each cooking the taste gets better and better.
When handled correctly, the Cast Iron cooks food very evenly. One of the interesting aspects of this piece of cookware is that with each use, the food actually tastes better. The pores in the pan retain flavor and while it does not taint the flavor of the dish you are making, it somehow adds to it.
In life, when we go through each trial correctly, we take on Christ- likeness. That means that in each subsequent situation, we flavor the situation with the love, peace and strength of Christ. We get better and better. See 1 Peter 1:3-9 2 Cor. 2:14-16.
Easy to clean if done right; Do not use soap.
This is the other place that people struggle with Cast Iron. You are never supposed use soap on it. Soap will get into the pores of the pan and will transfer a soapy taste to your food. Also, if you use soap to clean it, it actually becomes harder to clean. To clean the pan you use hot water, a brush, and every now and then a scraper.
Lesson for life: If we use man made methods (soap), instead of God ordained ways to seek cleaning and health, it will actually taint us. God has ordained that it is only by the blood of Christ that we obtain cleansing and freedom. He wants to not only make us better, but new. He wants to purify us that we might be new creation progressing in Christ likeness. For this to happen, we must trust Him and His ways. We must not add in man made (or man invented) ways of dealing with hurt, pain, forgiveness or life decisions. See 2 Cor. 5:14-19 and Isaiah 55:8-13.
After cleaning the pan with hot water, you must dry it thoroughly. This is done by drying it with a cloth and then putting the pan in the oven. Set the temperature to 300 degrees and let the oven preheat with the pan in it. When the preheating is done, turn off the oven and let the pan stay in there for 10 minutes. Then take it out and with great care (because it is hot), anoint the inside of the pan with a little vegetable oil. When spread evenly, the oil goes into the pores and keeps the pan from rusting and food from sticking the next time it is used.
Lesson for life: The oil reminds me of the Holy Spirit. We all need to be filled over and over again with the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, oil is symbolic of the Spirit in and upon us. In Zech. 4, we are told it is not by might but by the Spirit. Then we see the symbol of the oil being continually being poured into the lamp stand. It is not by our might, but by the empowering of the Spirit that we go through life. See Eph. 5:18-21.
- We work best and are best because of the heat of trials
- With each trial if handled correctly, our lives are flavored with the
Lord and His grace
- We need to let God cleanse us His way
- We need to be anointed afterward
Do I think about this when cooking? Yes, I really do. I pray and think about how cooking and cookware apply to life. I think this, in part, is what Paul was getting at when he said …..
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NASB95) Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.