A running theme for me over the last several years has been food and entertaining. I set a goal to invite more people into our home and cook them good food. I did ok with inviting people over, not as well as I would have liked, but better than it had been before that. The big change happened when my brother started eating a meal with us once a week.

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I complain about cooking, but mostly it’s because I cook for four kids who have strong opinions, and it grates on my nerves. If I’m really honest with myself, I do like cooking and baking. This year I’m trying to tell myself to slow down and listen to the process of cooking. Listen to the chop-chop of the knife, the thump-thump of the rolling pin, the whirring of the mixer, the sound of flour on a breadboard.

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There really is nothing better than a homecooked meal and a shared table. Tonight, I made homemade tortillas. They weren’t very round but they tasted amazing. I’ve started making bread again, and homemade chocolate sauce, and protein bars… Once you have the ‘real’ deal there isn’t going back.

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I’ve also decided all my tools should be cast-iron and wood. Ok, not all of them. I’ve found ways to let my crockpot work for me and I would never give up my Kitchen Aid Mixer. There’s beauty in a cast-iron skillet and wooden spoon though. Isn’t there?

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Workmanship… I think it goes hand in hand with Process. I want to hone in on my workmanship in the kitchen this year. It feels tied to life, family, God.

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Jesus was known for who he ate with and he ate with a lot of people. His first miracle was at a wedding feast and he turned water into amazing wine. Ecclesiastes tells us to eat and enjoy life. The first church met in homes and broke bread together regularly. I think the Bible is telling us something. We are supposed to enjoy food, good food, real food, labored over food, and we should do it in community.

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I like those two things. Food and community. But both can be a pain in the ass. You can burn dinner. Community can burn you. Just because you have to toss one tortilla out doesn’t mean you toss the whole batch though. You keep working with the rest. Even the ones that are more of a rectangle than a circle. Jesus taught us that too. Peter shot his mouth off more than he should have but Jesus built an entire church on him.

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Breaking bread together… that’s what I want to do this year.