Comfort Food

Comfort Food

Day 9 - Chapter 9 - Feeding the Multitudes!

The 9th chapter of Luke is filled with important actions.  Jesus fed 5,000 and that is a story we should be telling over and over, but I’ll save that for a few paragraphs later!  It is in this chapter that we learn that Jesus instructed the Disciples and gave them the power to heal people and to cast out demons.  Those demons were a big thing, weren’t they?  Remember that Christ is laying the foundation for a whole mankind saving religion while Satan is in control of the earth.

Jesus also learns that it is time to let his journey to the cross come to play out.  He takes Peter, James and John to the mountaintop to pray and something incredible happens.  Jesus is transformed with lightening like light.  He is joined by two Heavenly bodies … thought to be Moses and Elijah.  The ancient alien theorists love this story, because they can turn Moses and Elijah into aliens so quickly, it isn’t even funny!  Them men carried the message from God that it was now time to go to the cross.  Jesus knew what was going to happen and exactly how it would happen.

When Jesus sent the Disciples out to deliver his message, He told them to take nothing with them … just the clothes on their backs.  He told them not to take money or anything from anybody for their journey’s work.   When they came back to report to Jesus, he asked them what the people were calling Him.  The Disciples were his social media, and he needed to do a little research.  He wanted to make sure that the Disciples were spreading his name as the Son of God.  

During these conversations, one of the Disciples told Jesus that he had encountered another who was trying to cast out demons in Jesus’ name.  He had told the man to stop, because he wasn’t a true believer.  Jesus corrected him and said that anybody trying to do their work should be accepted.  To me, this is an important concept.  I tell one of my Jewish friends that he and I are going to end up in the same Heaven!   Is any religion better than another?  Is any minister better than others … or better than the least active member of his/her congregation?  Church bodies can be torn to shambles because a “given few” assume that they are the “given few”.  That is not what Jesus intends for us.

I want to go back to the fish and the loaves, though.  I’ve told this story zillions of times and most recently as part of a presentation I make in senior citizen centers.  My father was a hoop net fisherman, and there were times that he and my brothers would pull up a truck bed load of fish from the Big Muddy River.  Those were times when they would drive all over town and give fish away to people who needed it.  (He was also an avid gardener and gave produce away!)  My husband’s grandfather was the same way.  He lived in a tiny coal mining community that was close to a river’s bank.  He fished for the whole town and on a regular basis delivered fish to families that didn’t have enough food.  

Some scholars surmise that Jesus didn’t literally multiply the food, but that the mere fact that the little boy gave what he had caused other people to give the little that they had.  In the end, all combined, there was enough food for everybody.  I’m not sure it matters which really happened.  I like the miracle of multiplying the amount of food, but the other concept makes me giggle, too!  The notion that a little child started the whole thing is important, too.  Sometimes the little ones see needs and solutions before adults do!

Hunger is very real, and we don’t have to look at third world countries to see it.  There are communities within a 100-mile radius of my home that do not have grocery stores.  Grandmothers are raising little children and they have to send them to the gas station quick shop for food and milk.  There is no fresh produce.  Other communities don’t even have that much.  If these communities are lucky, they have a food pantry … or a food pantry delivery system.  Children go to bed hungry all over the world, and sometimes in places where we least expect this to be true.

Jesus knew that people could not comprehend His message, if they were hungry.  We know that children don’t learn in school if they don’t have breakfast.  I’m so proud of school systems that are now packaging leftovers for children to take home for weekend meals or evening meals.  In most of the communities around this university town I live in, there are such large numbers of impoverished that school food programs are free … but I also read stories on a regular basis about school employees who will pay for a child’s nutrition program, if they cannot pay for it themselves.

My take-away from this chapter:  Feed the hungry.  I had the privilege of receiving a federal grant a few years ago that allowed me to teach people how to cook with locally grown produce.  A friend and I had over 1,000 students in our program.  The youngest was 3 and the oldest was 87.  When we taught about using blueberries, every student received a quart of blueberries to take home and share.  When we cooked with corn, every student received a dozen ears of corn to take home.  I had never been so close to seeing hunger as I was that summer.  Jesus expects us to address this problem in our communities.

Let’s Cook!

I’m sharing a recipe from our cooking project. It can be served chilled or warm and is delicious. Big purple Daikon radishes are great to use in this recipe. In our cooking classes, we found that children loved this soup! In fact, they loved it more than the adults did. Never underestimate the taste buds of our kids … and never hesitate to try new ways to encourage them to eat their vegetables! One little boy loved this soup so much that he took what was left over home with him. I will never forget him cradling a plastic bag filled with his soup. We double-bagged it so he could get home with it!

Chilled French Radish Bisque


4 cups of sliced radishes, Daikon are brest
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 big sprig of fresh Rosemary
2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon artisan’s salt
½ cup sour cream or buttermilk
Fresh Mint Leaves for garnish

Clean the radishes but save the tops for a salad or flavoring other vegetables.  Slice the radishes and the onion really thin.   In a heavy deep pan, melt the butter and olive oil; and add the onion, radishes and Rosemary leaves.  Gently saut√© the vegetables for approximately 10 minutes, until they are soft.  Don’t let them turn brown.   While cooking, the radishes will lose their color, but the flavors are enhanced considerably.  Add the flour and stir it until it blends into the oil.  Add the stock and the salt and bring the mixture to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes. 

Use an immersion blender and puree until the soup is smooth.  This soup should be chilled overnight.  Add the sour cream or buttermilk just before serving and garnish with freshly ground black pepper, julienne strips of additional radish and mint leaves.

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