Even though we’re now into Lent CafeChurch continues to meet over coffee and excellent homemade cakes. This week we were all asked to bring with us a family recipe and an ingredient that goes into making it. On our tables Vicky had placed envelopes that had instructions written on the outside and then a series of prompts for action and discussion on pieces of paper inside the envelope.
We are asked to place our ingredient on the altar and then return to our table, open the envelope and see where we headed…. The altar soon had a varied assortment of jars and bags on it containing a strange variety of ingredients. Someone said it looked like a chefs invention test…. On opening the envelopes we found the following:
Lent is so often a time of giving things up, of abstinence, denial. But the purpose of Lent is to stop, to notice, to reflect.
Tonight you are invited to stop, reflect and revere one of the things we so often take for granted – food, the people who produce it , shape our lives and connect us to God’s earth.
1) Share the recipe you have brought and why you have brought it.
Who does it connect you to?
What memories does it bring back?
When do you make it?
2) Take an ingredient from the altar. Take some time to reflect on it. Savour and revere how it looks, feels, smells, tastes (depending on the ingredient)
Think about where it came from, who produced it, how it connects you to God’s earth
3) Choose someone else’s recipe. Take it and their ingredient home with you.
Set some time aside to make the recipe this week. As you cook, revere each ingredient and with it the people involved in making or producing it.
Think about the story behind the recipe and the person who it belongs to.
Give thanks for all these people and the ways they connect us to the earth, to each other and to God.
Share the food you have made, and the stories it comes with (including your own experience of making and reflecting on it) with someone else.
Soon people were sharing their recipes with each other. The stories that unfolded spoke of home and growing up, of family and relationships, of concern for each other (more than one was a recipe given to make sure there was at least one thing that could be cooked upon leaving home!). There were recipes that had been given by friends, and those that were alway shared with friends. There was a recipe recreated from memories of having eaten it with a dearly loved grandma. At times you could almost imagine the kitchen and the creative joy in making food for others, followed by the simple act of sitting and eating together. True communion.
Looking at the ingredients was perhaps more of a challenge. We have become a bit removed from the cultivation and production of food. It was almost impossible to think about who had grown and processed the spices that went into a jar of curry powder.
At the end of the evening there was a flurry of activity as people tried to get their favourite recipe from its originator. Clutching recipes and at least one key ingredient we finished the evening heading off to contemplate cooking the food and sharing it with others.