A Time and Place for Everything Under the Sun or in Your pot!
INSIGHT OUT By Adina Morris
So today I ask of which camp you hold strong to? Are you of the feed the freezer camp or the fresh is best camp? A hornet’s nest of opposition I have stepped into! So many vociferous opinions out there!
I am of the ilk who “feed the freezer.” I make things in large batches and freeze them and I’m usually a month ahead of when I may actually need anything.
Yet, Hashem has interesting ways of arranging life for each of us. You see, we have been without a functioning kitchen for the last few months. I know, how are we possibly managing? Well, a little ingenuity, a lot of flexibility and definitely letting certain things go.
One of the most difficult parts for me has been ensuring a yummy hot dinner on the table for my family every evening and all of our favorite shabbos goodies each week.
However, as of late, we have been subsisting on two small pots, and a few small appliances. So not only can’t I bake much, I am totally unable to make large batches of just about anything. Virtually no advanced planning or preparing allowed. Very frustrating for someone like me.
I normally feel that if I am going to sit and make anything, it might as well last for a few meals. Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful I have the items I do in order to keep our hungry brood afloat, but it can be trying at times!
I have come to realize that this is one of those stretching moments Hashem sends with a great big ribbon on it directly to my front, or kitchen, door as the case may be!
As part of my advanced food prep philosophy, I like to plan ahead. This can be in the kitchen of course, but really it permeates all areas of my life. We take professional positions and plan a career, we marry and plan a family, we have strong ideals and beliefs and plan to impart them to the next generation. Along with all of this planning comes a lot of expectations. However, outside of our kitchens, those expectations are not nearly as often met as the large batch of chicken soup.
It can be difficult for someone like myself who is always on the go and moving at high speed with efficiency the name of the game, to have to slow down. It is difficult to be told, you can’t plan so far ahead because you have nowhere to prepare it or cook/bake it!
But what I have come to realize is that, it’s okay if I can’t prepare for everything in advance. Life doesn’t work that way all the time anyway. It doesn’t always go as smoothly as a whipped ice cream dessert! And no one expects me to be prepared for anything and everything at all times! Surprises are just that, a surprise, unexpected nor planned for.
There is also a feeling of liberation in not having to be constantly preparing and in control! What a novel idea to occasionally let a few things go! In some ways the pressure is off to produce.
Sometimes we get stuck in trying to be super productive and feel the need to do things only en mass while multitasking in order to feel calm and accomplished. But the freedom to be and let come what may has its time and place as well. The knowledge that we do the best we can with the tools we have at the moment we are in and then place our trust, faith and belief in Hashem can be one of the most calming and liberating of preparations.
Things are not always in our control. In fact most things in our lives we have little or no control over. The two things we do have control over is our attitude and the actions we take. We may not always like what is thrown our way or what lands at our doorstep, but if we remember that it is a gift from Hashem with our best interest in mind, then we may be able to take it in stride a little more easily.
So where does this leave me? Unfortunately with still no kitchen in sight for a few more months. I will be doing smaller tasks for a while. So along with my other small kitchen appliances, I am adding to my trusty tool kit, patience, the value of small tasks and the knowledge that I am only charged to do the best that I can with the tools that I am given at the time I am in, daven for the ability to make good choices and find success, and then I leave the rest in Hashem’s most capable of hands.
I still believe planning ahead is best and as soon as our kitchen is back in business, I will be feeding that hungry freezer of mine, however it may be Pesach goodies by then;) But I have learned to not only make room for Hashem’s plans as well, but to also remember Who really understands what is best.