Friday, November 4, 2016

Salsa Fresca

Daily Gratitude Year Four-Day 306: Today, I am grateful for fresh salsa!  (the prompt for today is "What food are you grateful for?")

I have a homemade salsa recipe. It is more pico de gallo or salsa fresca ...but in the late 80's we did not know the difference in the Midwest... and the clipped magazine recipe labeled it fresh salsa. 

I have memories of making it with different friends ever the years in both of the houses we made homes. We chopped together and laughed together. We cried over onions and wept jalepeno tears (buy rubber gloves), We have shared ingredients and taste tests. Susie's husband puts in a "salsa garden" many years to make the peppers accessible.  

My neighbor and friend, Susie, has made it so often that she has mastered it. Her sister, Millie, often joins her. They do let me add secret "pow" at the end if I am around and it makes me feel a part of the process. This salsa recipe is full of fresh ingredients and 25 years of memories. Teri, Robin, Stephanie and Susie have been partners in preparation and enjoyed the fruit of the labor with family and friends. 

In this season, it is easy to forget that shared meals are special not for the actual foods ... but for the fact that the meal brings us together. Many hands make light work and increased joy. 

We know so much abundance in this country, but the first Thanksgiving grew out of remembrance of a time when there was not really enough. The pilgrims and native Americans did not have a Kroger or Walmart in the neighborhood. They had to more carefully plan their "enough" to get through. They lived off the land, what they could grow and forage for in season. 

There is a special kind of love expressed when food is shared in need or in love. It fills the gratitude cup like nothing else.

Sharing means more when there is no abundance. For me, these past years would have had no fresh salsa if Susie was not so generous to share. 

These past years, manna has been a fascination. For the 40 years wandering in the wilderness... they were given manna enough for each day. No more and no less. If they tried to store it for abundance, it spoiled. I find that interesting. Jesus taught us to pray: 

"Give us this day our daily bread." - Matthew 6:11 & Luke 11:3 

"Give us this day (one at a time) our daily bread (enough for today)." The word we translate as "daily" is only used in these parallel verses. No other place is this exact word found in all of scripture. If our abundance decreases our need for him... the blessing is not a blessing, but a roadblock to relationship. 

Our God grants us so much abundance. Do I let it get in the way of my need for him daily? 

The morning of the Seventh game of the World Series... my drive time song was "10,000 Reasons". I wondered if that meant a difficult day ahead, as it sometimes does.  Not this time. The Holy Spirit whispered that in joy and in sorrow there are still 10,000 reason for our hearts to sing. This time... the end of the day was abundant, overwhelming, tears of joy. But... that joy came after 108 years of waiting until next year. 

"Dear Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Let all that you grant satisfy our souls. Let us be grateful in abundance and content in the circumstances we wouldn't choose. Let us learn to trust you more.When you pour out abundance in our lives... show us your face and bring us closer to you as we learn to share and give. May your Spirit guide and direct our paths. May the glory always point to you as we seek to know you more. In Jesus, we find new life and give you the glory.  -amen

Today, I am grateful for fresh salsa... friendships grown in kitchens and our daily bread!

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