A different kind of taste

I took some time to ask a friend of mine some questions about how she uses cooking as a ministry. Rachel is the Main Cook at a youth camp in Wisconsin. She’s been working there for many years and has so much to share about the ways the Lord has opened opportunities for her using her cooking.

  1. Do you consider your food and cooking position to be critical to the ministry?

Yes. Very much so! Good food is good for morale, and one of our goals is for the campers to enjoy their time here. Generally speaking, if the campers are happy and taken care of, they are more attentive to God’s word. I think cooking for people is a simple way to show hospitality and care. One of camp’s verses, 1 Corinthians 10:31 ends with “whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” I think you can definitely cook to the glory of God!

  1. Do you purposefully cook or plan meals for specific events in effort to leave a different result or open door with the campers/visitors?

What comes to mind is a meal we try to have about once a year for our firefighters from Whitewater. They helped us a ton when a camp family lost their home in a fire, and we try to show our appreciation and build relationships with them. Also, I cook for a lot of people with food allergies, and even food limitations because of religious beliefs (Jewish, Muslim) and this is a good way to open doors to make friends. They are surprised that we will do this for them.

  1. Do you think people cooking at home can have a ministry too? In the actual making/serving of meals?

Yes, for sure, probably even more so than we do here at camp. I know it seems kind of old fashioned to have a good old sit down dinner and have your neighbors over, but I think it really speaks to people. The fact that you’re willing to give what costs you something is so foreign to many people. I know a missionary lady who has been welcomed into the locals homes because she’s learned how to make their kind of bread. They saw that she was making an effort to reach out and give of her time and talents.

  1. Are there other ways you get to minister or interact with people that have to do with food, but not limited to your position in the camp kitchen?

Not as much as I’d like. There are a few church things I’ve been able to help with, but not a lot of other outside things. Every now and then, I used to take something homemade to the orthodontist or ladies at the bank! J

  1. What is the greatest thing the Lord has taught you in your time as a cook/chef

Oh, man. This is hard! Ministry is glamorized, and I think I went into it with many false illusions. Cooking is definitely the easiest part of my job! I have failed so many times, in my relationships with people, in being efficient and dependable, in going the extra mile, doing my best, but God never stops using me. He enables those who he has called. Lamentations 3:23 says God’s mercies are new every morning, and he has taught me that though I am weak, he is strong…He is still God. He’s taught me that I can do nothing worthwhile without Him, but that I can do everything He calls me do through His strength. This all may sound trite and cliché, but I honestly never understood these truths before I came here and experienced God’s incredible working in my life.

Crafty uses for those kitchen items

Looking for that really random food or storage idea? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

I was recently in my kitchen and was trying to figure out how I could make a homemade frappe, when I remembered something someone told me: FREEZE COFFEE IN AN ICE TRAY! Of course, I’ve seen things like that on other sites and now was when I needed it.

So for those of you like me out there, here are some really awesome tips and tricks, because who knows what you could really do with a simple ice tray or muffin pan!

 

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Pour your coffee (probably a little cooled) into the trays and freeze them for whenever you need that cold coffee blend.

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Melt your chocolate on the stove or in the microwave and before it hardens, pour some into the ice cube tray and stick a washed strawberry in the center.

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Pour orange juice in the tray and freeze. Add the cubes back into your juice rather than watering your drink down with regular ice.

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You can do the same thing with lemonade or lemon water. You could even freeze them in a muffin pan so you can freeze whole lemon slices.

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Fill an ice cube tray with cookie dough and freeze it for when you absolutely need some cookies. Just pull it out, pop them onto a pan and there you go.

Condiments

 

Need something quick and easy for your barbeque? Just put all the condiments in a muffin pan.

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Put your meatloaf batter into a muffin pan. Would that make it a meatmuffin?

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If you’re in a rush and need a bunch of eggs for breakfast, do them all at once, in a muffin pan.

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When making cinnamon rolls, throw them into a muffin pan rather than a normal pan. Much easier to separate.

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You’ll never have to worry about cutting rice crispy’s into pieces if you put them into a greased muffin pan.

 

I hope some of these ideas are helpful to you. It’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many places to find creative ways to use some of your most common kitchen items. Enjoy!

5 ways to save money on groceries

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Sometimes it can be so difficult knowing you’re spending way more than you need to spend on your groceries. It can be extremely frustrating, trust me, I know! But it doesn’t have to be that way. You could save money in many ways, not even mentioning apps or coupons you could use. Here are just 5 easy ideas anyone could use to help save money!

  1. Create a simple budget. Know what you’re able and allowed to spend on groceries and food each week or each month. Plan it and stick to it.
  1. Join their loyalty program or cash-back rewards. Find out if the stores you love to shop at provide any additional savings on types of purchases.
  1. Try to do your shopping on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Those are the best days to get groceries nearing their “sell by” dates and are typically marked down to their reduced midweek prices.
  1. If you are truly wanting to get more for your money look for ways to skip the overly convenient items: instead of a bag of shredded lettuce, get the whole head of lettuce. Instead of prepackaged, sliced fruit, get the whole fruit.
  1. Plan to do your shopping in a specific amount of time. If you slowly walk down each aisle you will be more likely to find more things to buy that aren’t on your grocery list. Get in and out.