Catching the Sunlight:
“Every Christian is, as it were, part of the dust-laden air which shall radiate the glowing epiphany of God, catch and reflect his Golden Light.”[Evelyn Underhill]
Sometimes called Broccoli Raab, Rapini or mislabeled as baby broccoli, whatever you want to call it, broccolini is delicious. While it is not a new vegetable, it is just now being found in American grocery stores. It is related to our ordinary broccoli but has a much milder and sweeter taste. Most of the value is in the stems, so don’t cut them off; the leaves and flowerets are also eaten. It is good as a steamed vegetable with butter and lemon, as a stir-fry vegetable and as a salad which we will present here.
You will need:
1 bunch Broccolini Canola Oil
1/4 Yellow Onion Red Wine Vinegar
12 or so Cherry Tomatoes Dill
Salt and Pepper
1. Wash and trim the broccolini. The stems are quite tender and need not be peeled. Cut the broccolini into one-inch lengths.
2. Slice the 1/4 yellow onion from top to bottom.
3. Halve the cherry tomatoes.
Steam the broccolini for about four minutes in your microwave, then set it in the refrigerator to cool.
1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
3. Chill for at least one hour.
4. Great with grilled steaks out on the patio.
My husband and I had this for lunch today. Yes, it was delicious. I had a sweet on the side: a zucchini cranberry walnut bread I found at the Farmer’s Market. (RuthAnn)
Food for Thought:
Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a tale of the star-crossed love between a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl just before World War II. In it, there is much bitter, but there is also sweet. The romance lasted.
Dark chocolate is bittersweet, a hint of bitter and then the sumptuous sweetness that lifts your spirits. On their palettes of sour, salty, bitter and sweet, gourmet chefs call broccolini and other vegetables bitter. Vegetables make a well rounded meal not only because of their health value, but also as contrast to the other flavors of a carefully designed menu.
In the spiritual realm, the fruit of self-control (or temperance) is something that often seems bitter to me. Self-discipline isn’t easy; sometimes it’s off the chart difficult. But the results are sweet.
The book of Proverbs paints a frightening picture of the person who lacks self-discipline. “Like a city that is broken into and without walls is a man who has no control over his spirit.” (Proverbs 25:28 KJV) Or in a more modern translation, “A person without self-control is like a house with its doors and windows knocked out.” (The Message)
Without self-discipline, our lives will fall apart. Satan appears to us like an angel of light and knocks out our locked windows and doors one by one. We began sliding down the “slippery slope.”
Shall I stay up and finish studying for the Political Science tomorrow or shall I risk failing the course? Will I call in sick today, despite the fact I’ve already had a week of sick time this month? I might lose my job. Will I plant those bulbs this fall or shall I give in to my tired-of-guardening-mood and let the garden lie fallow? Shall I follow my doctor’s orders? Shall I exercise today?
Often when my husband suggests we take a long walk, I balk, especially if it’s late in the afternoon. Sometimes I triumph by saying “Yes,” and sometimes not. Yet I know I need to exercise if I’m going to lose weight. Striking a better figure is the “sweet” part of the “bitter.”
I know of a woman who had breast cancer at an early age. When Ann was told she only had one or two weeks to live, she and her husband refused to accept it. They launched an attack on the disease, instituting a strict regime of fasting for cleansing, taking recommended supplements and maintaining a vegetarian diet. Ann lived a quality life for ten more years. She “marshaled and directed her energies wisely” (Galatians 5:23 The Message).
I find it interesting, however, that Ann, her husband, and her children ate whatever they wanted to on Fridays. They often had pizza. It wasn’t how Ann ate one day a week, but how she ate on the majority of days.
Self-discipline can be a severe taskmaster. So when you consider living a strict, ascetic life, remember this—beware of legalism. God is not a tyrant. He is full of grace. Sometimes it’s just the thing to splurge on a big piece of chocolate amaretto cake or loosen the budget and plan on a weekend at the beach.
A balance is needed. “To have His light gently unfold in us, there should be no strain, impatience, self-will effort in our prayer and self-discipline, and on the other, no settling down.” (Evelyn Underhill)
A Tip on the Side: Mealy peaches? Cook them with cornstarch and a little sugar and water until the consistency of pie filling. Use for garnishes or sides.