Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gumbo and the Zen of Letting Things Sit

Okay, so you just can't effectively write down the sound of twisting the top off a bottle of Shiner Bock and taking a refreshing swig.

Last night, I had the aforementioned beer with a big bowl of gumbo. I am not normally a beer drinker, much prefering wine or even a cold soda, but beer and gumbo are just perfect for each other.

Culinary note for the cooks out there: I now make my gumbo with two rouxes and it is vastly superior to one roux. I make up my roux and let it get to about sand color. I remove about a half a cup of the sand-colored roux and set it aside. I cook the rest of the roux til it's the dark color I like for flavor. When I mix it all in the gumbo, I add back the sand-roux.

Why: the more you cook the roux, the less thickening-power it has. So, I keep some of the sand-roux for that velvety texture, and use the rest for flavoring. Try it and see.

Now, back to the story. The gumbo was made day before yesterday. As most people know, soup tastes better the second day, and gumbo is no exception. The sitting allows the flavors to meld and blossom ... oh, I don't know. I just know the results are better. Tonight, the third night, it'll probably be even better.

I am realizing the importance of letting the soup of my brain and soul just sit for a while, too. Right now, I have no clarity. I have no answers. Millions of questions, no answers. PeaceBang's question, How Do You Know God Loves You? Puh. Right now, my answer would be that I don't know this, as I can't wrap my head around a personal God.

Of course, that's not all that I can't answer. I can't answer whether it's selfish of me to want to just stay home and take care of my family, rather than going out into the world and attempting to make it a better place. I can't answer whether I will ever go back to seminary. I can't answer whether I will want to go into the pulpit again. Hell, I can't even answer should I get a haircut or not.

These aren't questions that anyone else can answer for me, which is a lesson in itself, as I have always been the person rushing to help someone answer their questions. What hubris.

So, I'm going to let the soup sit. On Friday, we get a CT and an MRI. The following Tuesday, we get the answers from that. If all goes well, I'll leave shortly after that to spend a week with members of my beloved community in the company of members of our larger regional denominational community. (Summer camp.) After that, a trip to my folks'. Mother LizardEater will be happy to help with the question of my hair, as she would love for me to have a Dorothy Hamill haircut, as I did when I was 6. (LE's hair is quite long.) Sorry, Mother, but LE has to figure out all the answers by herself.

Let the soup sit.


boyinthebands said...

Boy, if that doesn't take me back to seminary (in Texas) . . . .

Anne said...

You know..I never pictured you with long hair. I am adjusting my mental image right now..

Yep..still cute.. :)

I dont know what all that was about the roux business..but I will take your word for it. Gumbo sounds great..Beer sounds even better.

ogre said...

About the gumbo... amen. I only figured it out the last time I made some and it's different--and better.

Having just rambled at Peacebang about How I Know... I'll just add an addendum here, brought on by your remarks. I don't know--in any personal sense (though that voice thing still freaks me out). It feels more like being in the sunshine. The sun isn't shining "for" me, or on me. It's just shining on everything and I'm caught in it. That's my current take on "God is Love." Personal would be like a candle. This seems so much... more.