Tag Archives: god

God in the Kitchen, Making Casserole

This is from The Far Side. Please don’t sue me.

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.

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Me and God Kicking it at Six Flags

Yeah, we did this one too.

Instead of participating in class today, I daydreamed about going to an amusement park with God.

I was wearing my adventure sandals and he was in his Old Testament kicks and rocking those sweet B.C. robes. He got us both in for free because he knew someone at the front gate and right away we decided our goal was to go on every single roller coaster at least once. We had gotten there early and spent the entire day dominating the place—zooming through the rides and egging on park employees in a good way, as if bantering with me and Holy Joe was the fulfillment of their entire careers as amusement park workers.

God had every right to be unimpressed with the amusement park, what with its sausagy people, the endemic smell of old nacho cheese, and the inevitable onset of line-depression. He had every right to be like, “My Child, this blows. Do you want to go to Waffle House?” or “My Child, this is lame. I shall call upon the bird with the greatest wingspan and we shall ride upon it until the furthest reaches of the earth” or “My Child, this is a place of depravity and it will be destroyed in 3….2….1…..”

Instead, he had a great time running around and armpitting people on the rides and making funny faces for the coaster cam. One time his beard got in the mouths of people behind us and they were pissed but at the end of the ride he turned around and sincerely said that he was sorry and that they were also forgiven. God was just a chill dude who liked to chow down on funnel cake after going on the Tilt-a-Swirl and before entering the Cistern of Death.

At one point, we were on the Ferris wheel and he decided to have a little fun—-just when we had reached the crest, he stopped time. The earth’s rotation, the sun’s burning, every physic of motion was halted and he just sustained all of it through his awesome power. Then we sat at the top of the world and looked out over a sunset that lasted forever. He was wearing his baseball cap sideways and he turned to me saying, “Pretty nice, huh.” I just rolled my eyes. “Get over yourself.”

He snapped his fingers and the world started up again, the wheel gently lowering us to ground level like a friendly giant. We ended up going on all the roller coasters except for one because we ran out of time before the park closed.

I was dead tired that night and slept the whole way home.

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The Oatmeal that Changed My Life

Why is everything better hot and mushy?

This wasn’t your mother’s oatmeal, your grandpa’s oatmeal, your cashier’s or your insurance adjuster’s oatmeal. This was life changing oatmeal.

Maybe you’ve grown up with oatmeal–it’s a familiar breakfast food, perhaps a little bit bland. The mushy consistency is unremarkable, and you consider it a symbol of the mundane, of mediocrity, of something that could always be improved upon.

I used to think the same way, and then Sunday morning happened. I went to prepare myself a bowl and found a paltry amount of oats left—less than a quarter cup.

Disaster. Outrage. Despair.

But despite the feelings of heartbreak and irretrievable loss, I persevered and decided to prepare them the usual way, with white sugar and vanilla and cinnamon and walnuts, cookie-fying it as much as possible.

After I poured hot water over the concoction and stirred, I tasted disappointment yet again. I had added too much water and my oats seemed a pathetic, thin gruel. I took it back to my lair in order to eat it unceremoniously in the company of my computer, my preferred breakfast partner.

As I sat munching and reading The Rumpus, something miraculous happened: I slowly realized that I was eating the best bowl of oatmeal of my entire life. Each mouthful was bursting with intense, oaty flavor enhanced by the contrasting texture of the walnut’s gentle crunch and the soft oat mush. It was exhilarating. Life doesn’t stay the same after eating the best bowl of oatmeal you’ve ever made.

With that shimmering moment of revelation, every bite was a joy because I knew, “This is the best oatmeal I’ve ever tasted. This is the highlight of my life, the crowning of my career. I’m eating my accomplishments. The day is blessed and I can do no wrong.” What could have been nothing more than an oat bummer became the turning point of my entire life.

I went out that day and delivered 16 babies, saved countless lives, and drew a convincing picture of a sparrow. While sleeping later that night I dreamed I was walking in the Garden of Eden with the Good Lord Himself and we were going on all of the rides together. “Emily,” the Lord said as the roller coaster inched inevitably upwards, “Did you enjoy your oatmeal today?”

“That was YOU?”

He chuckled, “It sure was. Remember this always. Go and do likewise for others.” And the moment snapped and we faced the earth itself and zoomed downwards, screaming and laughing together.

When I woke up, I made myself another bowl of oatmeal. It wasn’t as good as the last one, because the last one was the best bowl of oatmeal in my entire life, but it was still pretty good.

Have you thought about oats for breakfast tomorrow?

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