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My son the engineer loves to cook. He is a great cook. He cooks like an engineer. He is the only one I know who levels the measuring spoon or measuring cup to the exact measurement. Cook's Illustrated Magazine is his cooking bible. He called me one day to ask how I cook a brisket for a large group.

I began: “Put the meat in a large oven proof pan” ……..“Mom, Cook’s says…….”. “Ok son: Here’s how I do it.” “Put the meat in a large oven proof pan and slather it with BBQ sauce. Any kind.” “But Mom, Cook’s says you have to marinate it”. “Son, I do it this way all the time when I am taking brisket to church and people always ask me for the recipe. Cover the meat with aluminum foil and put the meat in the oven at 250 degrees and cook it for hours until it’s fork tender. Take it out and drain off the grease. Then you can put it in the refrigerator until you want to use it. Slice it, arrange the slices back in the serving dish, cover it with more BBQ Sauce, warm it back up in the oven. Do it Cook’s way or my way. Mine is great and way happier.”

The next week the phone rings: “Mom, people are coming soon, when do I heat the brisket?” “NOW”.

I love to read cook books. I love to read the bible. I don’t read either as if they are concrete instructions: a book of rules. Usually I wonder if there is another way to create the dish and what could enhance it, what I can take from it to improve my cooking.

With the bible I look at what other passages will add to my understanding of its meaning. In a way, I research what will create the best result or understanding. I am saddened when anyone insists there is only one way to cook a dish or understand the bible. I find joy in good food and I find joy in the bible. Ultimately, it’s how we look at life. Open a box of easy to prepare food and that’s what you get. Open the bible as a rule book and you get a book of rules.

The Apostle Paul had a lot to say that sound to me like a lot of rules that have complicated life for many a church-goer. Driving home today I passed a church sign stating: THE WAGE OF SIN IS DEATH. (Romans 6:23).Then I noticed the reverse side of the same sign: “REPENT BEFORE PAYDAY”.

Paul also said: “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—think about such things…….and the God of Peace will be with you”. Philippians 4:8

Ann Dolbier is a friend and supporter of Celtic Way

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