It's Friday and normally on Friday I try to do a Freedom Friday post, but this Friday I have something else in mind. I have some thoughts in my head that I just wanted to get out.
So, about an hour ago I finished making up some chicken salad to take to a picnic shindig with some fabulously wonderful ladies from church. Chicken salad can be a pretty big undertaking. There's cooking chicken, lots of chopping, and lots of mixing and testing (I love making things that are thrown together). In my opinion, the best way to make chicken salad (or chicken and dumplings, or chicken noodle soup) is to use a whole chicken. My mom gave me a recipe for "Usable Chicken" that is my go to chicken base.
I had a revelation today as I was shredding the chicken for my chicken salad. "Man, cooking a whole chicken is messy...just like life." I think we would all agree that sometimes life is messy...really messy.
As I went through the process of making this chicken salad, it really became a thought process about life. So let me take you through the process with me. Welcome to my thoughts :-)
Cooking the chicken:
You take a whole chicken, dump it in a pot (being careful not to get the germy juice anywhere), cover it with water, and put in your seasonings. The best way to cook it is slooowly. In fact, it is best to put it in a crock pot for 6 - 8 hours. So there it is, sitting in hot water, but the process seasons to perfection.
- Have you ever felt that way? Like you were just sitting in hot water. Sometimes, we focus so deeply on the fact that we are sitting on the stove that we don't even realize that the experience is seasoning us to perfection. Yes, it hurts, but it prepares us to be a part of something wonderful.
Draining the broth:
When the chicken is cooked you take it out and prepare it for the dish. What is left in the pot is this:
- As with life, sometime the cooking process leaves us with some stuff that we would like to throw away. But think again, perhaps God wants to use it for something else that He has in store for you.
Tearing apart the chicken:
In preparing the chicken for whatever I am cooking, this is the part that is really messy. The chicken has been cooked so beautifully that it pretty much just falls off the bone. There is the process of taking off the skin, filtering through to get out all the bones, and either shredding or chopping the chicken. In the case of making chicken salad, I like to shred mine. It means taking the chicken in my hands and tearing it with my fingers until it looks like this:
Well, I throw them away. They have served their purpose and I am done with them. I am not going to add them to my dish (we don't want anyone choking) and I don't add them to another dish. They have seasoned well and now I am done. They get thrown away.
- There are some things that we just need to throw away. Let God do His business, trust that it is done, and then walk away from it. Live in victory!
Making chicken salad:
Chicken has been shredded. Things have been chopped. Now time to throw it all together. To my chicken I add mayonnaise, celery, grapes, and salt and pepper to taste. All of it combines to make a beautiful dish. As my grandmother would say, "Look at all the pretty colors."
- When we are done being prepared it's good. Things have been added to us that make us better and even more flavorful.
This dish will sit in the refrigerator overnight, getting even better and better until lunchtime tomorrow. I personally think it tastes pretty good. I hope that others agree. I enjoyed the process. Thanks for joining me in my thoughts. Have a wonderful weekend :-)
p.s. Sorry for the not so wonderful quality pics. My camera battery was dead and I took all the photos on my phone - let's hear it for improvisation :-) I also feel the need to state, that I am no longer sick and this dish is safe to eat. There was no sneezing or coughing in the making of this dish :-)