This is the concluding post of the Miracles of Midwestern Cooking series.
Sometimes I think of the whole world as one big casserole, assembled in a glass dish God purchased at Wal-Mart and set to cook at 350 million degrees Fahrenheit, with all of the creatures, both plant and animal, bubbling together for millions of years.
North America is the cream of chicken soup. England is cream of mushroom. France supplies the butter and cream, while Italy comes up with some carbs and Germany throws in its brats.
India and China add spice and Japan classes it up. North Africa brings the sweet with the salty, West Africa tosses in some peanuts, South America beefs it up and adds the lime juice and beans.
Other regions mix in their own special beats, the carbs and proteins they love best and all of the roasting and toasting and broasting they do to get them just right.
We’re topped with a combination of cheddar cheese ozone and fried onions that sizzle and melt under our very own star.
As the goop swims around we learn stuff, finding that some things are delicious on their own, but most often they taste better together. That’s why there should be world peace, because cream of mushroom soup is a physical abomination by itself and spices need something to go on.
I’m not advocating an Indian-spiced cream of mushroom soup, but you get my point.
And in the end maybe a casserole isn’t the best metaphor for earth, because casseroles can be kind of gross and uncivilized. Then again, so can humans.
Probably the best reason the casserole metaphor falls apart is because each of these regions developed at the same time over many years from the same primordial cream of human soup instead of being added separately. None of us could be where we are without the other.
But I still like the image of God in the kitchen, mixing together the most epic casserole of the day. I hope it tastes good.