Monday, June 10, 2013

Dutch Oven Theology . . .

Cornbread cooking in cast iron pot on
a homemade stand with a homemade lid.
Well, as mentioned in my last blog post, Friday night we indeed made our first attempt at Dutch Oven cooking. We talked and read about pioneer cooking, cast iron cookware, the advent of Dutch Ovens (did you know some historians credit Paul Revere with inventing the flange around a Dutch Oven lid to keep the coals on it?), and more. Then, we gave it a try, making cornbread and a berry cobbler, and finishing it off with some true Cowboy Coffee over the remaining coals (water and grounds in the pot—of course without measuring the grounds—bringing it to a boil and then pouring it through a screen into a mug, knowing you'll still have some thick mud at the bottom!) and it was actually an outstanding tasting cup of coffee! So, here are some pictures for you to share in this slice of our family life. Wish you were here!

Spooning the "crust" over the berries.
So, what about the theology part? Lately I have more and more been craving cooking outdoors. It hasn't even been so much the food itself (though it is wonderful!) but rather the idea of setting aside a few hours when all you can do is focus on the preparation and each other. When you commit to a slow cook BBQ over coals or oak, or a Dutch Oven meal, or things along that line, you are saying that you aren't going to squeeze the meal around the "rest" of your life, but you are going to set the "rest" of your life aside for awhile and be still. You can't rush a meal like that unless you simply turn on a gas grill and crank it up. To start the coals or fire, to wait for them to be ready, to soak some red oak and herbs to put over the coals for a great smoke flavor in the meal, and to put the meal up high enough above the fire that it has to take a long time to cook makes some statement in my spirit about the fact that I am slowing down and just enjoying the moment, my family, Creation around me, and God.
Cobbler just before the coal-covered lid goes on!

I find that things get so busy, and it seems like these last months have been filled with so much pain in so many people's lives, that I have been desperate to drink deeply from God's well, and to simply love and appreciate my family and my friends. God says to be still and know that He is God and unless I force myself to do that it isn't my nature. My nature is rush more, do more, and always assume there is tomorrow. Way too many people lately we know have found that there isn't necessarily tomorrow—and I am finding more and more that I can't live tomorrow on yesterday's closeness with God.

Finished cornbread. Cobbler baking
over and under coals.
So, for me, many times recently, I have found myself crying out for an outdoor cooked meal. I think it is my spirit crying out to slow down, drink deeply of God and the ones I love, and be still—cooking outdoor is simply the vehicle that forces that . . . and, of course, it has great side benefits as well! Not to mention that I am in great company and simply imitating One who went before me on that path . . .
John 21:4-13   Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus . . . When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught."  So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." . . . Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. (ESV)
Happy girls! Great cobbler!


  1. This is one reason why I love coming to visit you and your family, Erick. Your "Secret Garden Mornings" and your "Screen Porch Meals and /or Chats" are times that allow me to do what you have stated: slow down and drink deeply of the love you all have for each other and for me, which is one way of drinking deeply of God's love.

    1. Oh, Amy, we can't wait for your return! We didn't plant the "Secret Garden" this year as the shade really kept it from producing, but we'll have a special spot ready! Of course, there is always the screen porch, and we are sure to have many wonderful hours there with you as well! Thanks for sharing the special parts of our lives, and for sharing your heart with us. We love ya!

  2. Thank you Pastor Eric!
    You always give great reminders to slow down and drink deeply of God's goodness!
    I hope you are able have many wonderful memories like this with your family!
    ~ Kierstyn

    1. Hi Kierstyn! Sorry it took me so long to publish your comment. It got buried. Thanks for the encouragement. I am blessed to know that in some small way God has used me in your life. We miss you guys and I hope we can visit longer than just in passing one day soon. Please give the family our love, and thanks so much for the encouragements you post in your blog as well. You are a beautiful young woman after God's heart and our family is so blessed to know you.

  3. Who are those cute girls? *laughing*

    1. Gee, I can't imagine. But I'll bet they're the ones licking their lips and patting their tummies! Love ya!


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