Monday, February 3, 2014

Countin' the cost and eatin' brownies

"spices and various ingredients"
2 Chronicles 16:14

It was Super Bowl Sunday today, as you probably know.  Or should I say, "Big Game Sunday"?  Can I just say how dorky it is, that the NFL won't let people say "Super Bowl"?  But I'm not gonna make any money from this, so I think it's okay.

We've been going to a friend's house every Super Bowl Sunday for probably 20 years.  Maybe more.  The husband is a great cook who does something extravagant every year.  Makes it well worth the 30 minute drive to get to their house.  Pulled pork that he smokes for hours, plus chicken and sausage.  Or bratwursts.  Something long and skinny.  I don't know... I was too busy eating the pork and chicken...

I made brownies this year, which I think I do most years.  I happen to have a baking dish that's about 9 x 13, but it's oval, not rectangular.  So a pan full of brownies looks like a football.  Seems appropriate, right? 

But I didn't have a brownie mix in my cupboard.  Sometimes I do, but I guess I haven't bought one lately, so I went online looking for a recipe I could use.  But it had to use ground chocolate, not baking chocolate, because that's what I had.  So had to do a little searching to find what I wanted.

I was reading something in Smithsonian magazine a few months ago, about cooking.  It was an interview, I think, with a couple of well-known cookbook authors that I'd never heard of...  And they were talking about the way people peruse recipes these days.  They said people glance at a recipe, and if it's going to take too long, or if there are too many ingredients, they don't even pursue them. 

I don't know about you, but for me, that's entirely true.  Especially the "too many ingredients" part.  I don't know if it's because I'm afraid it will call for something obscure, that I don't have.  Or maybe it's because with any dish, I'm probably gonna personalize it, and refuse to follow the directions exactly anyway, so all I want is general guidance. 

This article made me wonder if that was wrong of me.  Am I being too shallow or something?  Not enough of a foodie?  Whatever that means?

But it is what it is, and I am who I am.  I have a finite amount of time every day, so while I want to feed my family nutritiously and deliciously, I also want to use my time wisely.  So if I think a recipe isn't the best way to go, I just move past it.  After all, there's a lot of other recipes out there, right?

I like to think that this is an everyday situation in which I'm acting out the concept of "count the cost".  Recognizing what it's going to cost me, in time or money, compared to how I'm going to benefit. 

Jesus had such an interesting point to this comment in Luke.  Because it wasn't really about getting your money's worth, it was about knowing what it's going to mean to follow Him.  It's about being devoted.  Wholehearted.  Being willing to give up everything we value, if it's keeping us from Him. 

It's good advice in a lot of ways.  Caveat emptor.  Look before you leap.  And know, that whatever you "give up" for a life of following Him is nothing compared to what you will gain. 

~ "For which of you, intending to build a tower, 
does not sit down first and count the cost, 
whether he has enough to finish it...
So likewise, whoever of you 
does not forsake all that he has 
cannot be My disciple" ~
Luke 14:28,33

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