Garden (or Grocery) to Table
Somehow spring greens and crisp, sunny days wake us up to fresh eating and a connection to the warming earth, hopefully whisking away whines and loathings as well!
The riffraff among the people had a craving and soon they had the People of Israel whining, “Why can’t we have meat? We ate fish in Egypt—and got it free!—to say nothing of the cucumbers and melons, the leeks and onions and garlic.
Numbers 11:4-5 The Message
Better a small serving of vegetables with love than a fattened calf with hatred.
Proverbs 15:17 NIV
One of my greatest delights in digging into God’s Word for Gardeners has been my diet’s transformation. Without intending to make changes, I have a newfound love and excitement to harvest and eat a whole range of cruciferous vegetables, and I hope you will, too!
As I have confessed before, when writing the gardening devotions began years ago, I was not much of a vegetable lover. However, mustard seeds beckoned and soon I learned about the mustard family, Cruciferae. My gardening was revived! Kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, arugula, and mustard greens themselves to name a few, all bound together by four-petaled, cross-patterned flowers which blossom when warming weather sends them to bolt.
On the whole, most mustard family species grow well in a cool season garden. I am captivated, endeared to this profuse veggie gaggle…and when they don’t grow so plentifully, I am eager to substitute with the grocery store’s bounty. My affinity brings to mind Daniel’s vegetable stand:
Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink.
Daniel 1:12 NIV
I don’t think this passage is intended to mandate a strict vegetarian diet, rather to lead us to marvel at God’s possibilities, forever the mustard seed message. Through their trust in God and their desire to keep themselves pure, Daniel and his friends were sustained in physical health and stamina, and blessed in their intellect.
At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead. To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
Daniel 1:15-17 The Message
Roasted Leeks & Crucifers Recipe
Try this simple recipe, tossing together whatever is garden-ready or filling your freezer. I have found grapeseed oil to impart a subtly sweet flavor to roasted vegetables, drawing out tastiness and savor.
Preheat oven to 450°
Spray a roasting pan with olive oil cooking spray
Chop leeks, one slim or half of a large one cut lengthwise, into 1 inch lengths
Cut crucifers, about 1 handful per serving of any or all for a medley: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, mustard greens, into large chunks
Grind and sprinkle fresh salt & pepper to taste
Lightly drizzle grapeseed oil over vegetables
That’s it! Roast this simple preparation for approximately 30 minutes; stir halfway through cooking time if you can remember to.
Serve hot; chill leftovers for tomorrow’s salad lunch.
This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
1 John 4:9-12 The Message
Photo Credits: ©2016 Shelley S. Cramm