It is comfort food season. Not only because of the sadness caused by the end of football season and the month-long wait before spring training. The cold, gray month of February is the perfect time for soups, stews, chowder and chili ... or creamy mac and cheese ... or mashed potatoes and gravy ... or whatever succulent dish you prefer to make you feel warm and cozy inside.
Not to toot my own horn, but I am a pretty good cook. I know my way around the kitchen and I love to prepare food that comforts people. Many of my dishes begins with a healthy portion of butter. Butter makes everything better! I generally do not follow a recipe. I cook by taste. I create depth of flavor by creating my own stocks and broths, roasting ingredients, and adding layers of flavor.
Of course, you can add all of the ingredients that you want, but the dish will not be successful unless you season it properly. Naturally, seasoning is subjective, a matter of each individual's taste. But, generally speaking, one has to take care not to underseason or overseason your food. You do not want the dish to be bland, neither do you want to obscure the flavors by being heavy-handed with the spices.
For years, salt got a bad reputation. Salt was to be avoided at all costs because it was said to be associated with a variety of health issues. That is true enough if you over-consume it, but that can be said of a lot of things. The reality is that salt has made a comeback. Salt is big business. Most gourmet shops have racks of salts ... sea salt, Himalayan salt, volcanic salt, flaked salt, smoked salt, flavored salts of every variety. You can buy salt sets and special salt dispensers. Salt is back!
Salt never left. Salt has been with us for thousands of years. Salt has numerous benefits far beyond enhancing the flavors of our foods. Salt heals, salt preserves, and at one time roads were paved with salt.
When Jesus calls his followers to be the "salt of the earth," he is telling us that he does not desire 'reduced sodium' or 'unsalted' disciples. He wants the full salt variety. In fact, he may even want extra salt!! (Matthew 5:13-20)
This week's message will not be a cooking class, but it will be a lesson in the value of salt.
We gather for worship at 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM. All are welcome. Join us.
Congregational ChurchUCC, SACO MAINE12 BEACH STREET | SACO, ME 04072