There are few things in my daily life that are more regularly used, more faithful and dependable, than my pots and pans. I've taken note, especially during this Lent period, of my daily routine as far as my kitchen is concerned. More often than not I come home from a gig or a class or shopping and walk straight into the kitchen, open the doors to the cupboard under the stove top, and pull out one of my pots, even before I've taken off my shoes. My vessels of cooking are old friends. Some of them came into my life before my husband did. Good old faithful stainless Farberware. Nothing fancy. Everlastingly true.
As our family grew, and the guest bedroom was filled over and over again with kindred humans who needed a bed and a meal, my favorite pots grew in size. I asked Dave, 30 years ago, for a certain large pot for Mother's Day. He misunderstood, and instead bought me an over sized skillet. Turns out that my cooking angels must have talked to his buying angels, because through the years that large flat bottomed skillet has facilitated many batches of sweet and sour pork, marinara sauce, chicken piccata and so much more. Not to mention that it turns out the best hashed browns because it has that heavy copper base that holds a good even heat.
If you are not a cook you may not understand the spiritual relationship I have with my cookware. These vessels are faithful and true. They are made to take heat, repeatedly. They are beaten with my steel scrubbers almost daily. They exist only to nurture my family, and to be pounded on once a year in the parade up our driveway at midnight New Year's Eve.
Days like today, when we prepare for the gathering of people we cherish, every burner of my stove top has a pot working on it. Both my ovens are also working steadily, roasting turkey and ham. I ponder my grandmothers, generations layering back in time, gathering fuel and stoking their fires to cook their meals. No thermometers. No timers. No convection heating. I have sent more prayers of gratitude heavenward from my kitchen than from the side of my bed. Probably because I spend more time there. Many a song has been written and rewritten while stirring at my stove. My kitchen is a microcosm of my life.
|Joe Bennion, Horseshoe Mountain Pottery|
My friend Joe Bennion, who throws the pottery that becomes my favorite pie plates and sauce pitchers, understands the divine role of vessels in our existence. He gathers clay from earthy places, digging it himself. Some of my favorite pieces of Bennion pottery come from the tragic massive mud spill that occurred when the Thistle Dam broke years ago, burying homes and farms. Thistle Slip pottery, bearing the fingerprints of a master potter, stamped with an emblem representing devotion to God, these are perfect things for a gal who sees everything as symbolic. I feel a connection with the earth and heaven every time I use Bennion pottery.
This afternoon, before the crowd came for the Easter egg hunt and Easter dinner, my sisters, Dave, and I paused from our preparation to visit the grave of our mother. She was the vessel that carried us, nourished us, took responsibility for us and bore us into this earthly realm. She sealed her place in our stories, each of us individually, and collectively as a family, when she released us from her womb.
So, too, were we sealed in similar fashion roughly two thousand years ago, when the doorway that would shut us out from our heavenly home was sealed open, allowing us access when we could never merit it on our own.That holy vessel, the holder of hope for a fallen people, is Jesus Christ, whose divine calling was fulfilled in Gethsemane and on Calvary. He is true and dependable. He is empowered by his role to harness the heat and misuse from us unskilled and immature humans and rise victoriously in the end.
We are wise to feast at his table.
A blessed Easter Sunday to all. And a grateful end to Lent 2015.
|The Bennion platter that hangs|
above the mantle in our family room.