Jan 31, 2019

al dente

"cooked so as to be still firm when bitten".

At the risk of being corrected, I will instruct all of you eager readers as to how to cook pasta…I say risk because every cook and chef across this world of ours has an opinion as to how to correctly cook pasta. 

And each one thinks that he or she is correct.

I press on...

1.) In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil; 
2.) Add salt and bring to boil again.
3.) Add package of pasta to boiling water.
4.) Stir pasta until all of the pasta is submerged.
5.) Bring to a rolling boil again.
6.) Cook pasta for approximately 10 minutes; stirring frequently.
7.) When pasta is al dente remove from heat.
8.) Pour pasta into colander and drain water.
9.) Serve.

Al dente means that the pasta is not overcooked; for that would make it limp, gummy, and hard to chew. 

Al dente means that the pasta is cooked perfectly with a bite. The pasta has gone from a dried, hardened posture to one that is pliable, flexible, and open to receive a sauce. Ora di mangiare! (time to eat).
Pretty simple procedure: Boil water, place inflexible and dried product into the boiling water until it flexible and open to receive something to make it better. 

Most of us who cook never really over-analyze this process or ponder it for that matter because it is the necessary process pasta must go through...

So, challenge accepted! I will ponder or should I say chew on this process...

Did you ever notice how closely this describes the process we sometimes goes through to bring real change in our life? And yet, when the process happens in our life, we see it as something strange that is happening to us. 

We start off in some areas of our lives; stiff, ridged, inflexible, and seemingly impervious to receiving good things in our life.

So, we are placed in "hot water" and the heat gets turned up...until all around is turbulent; or least it seems that way as we try to contain the rolling surroundings that seem to be spilling out everywhere. 

Salt is added to preserve, season, and bring flavor, but we can't see the value because it often comes in the form of tears and other times stings as it is poured into our gaping wounds.

The long process seems like an eternity as we are tossed to and fro trying to make sense of it all...yearning to get out of our circumstance...as the relentless waves continue their (seemingly) merciless agitation.

"What is going on?!?" We cry out to a chef whom we cannot see...wondering why He has walked off and left us alone to take another ride on this furious wave.

And as quickly as the process seemed to come on, it ends as we are removed from the pot as the hot water is drained and we breathe a sigh of relief.

"What was that for?" We ask without realizing that in the process we have been changed into something different than we were before. 

We've taken on a new posture; where we were once stiff, ridged, inflexible, and seemingly impervious to receiving good things in our life…we are now flexible and pliable and able to receive life.

Yes, it was longer then we would've liked, but it really wasn't too long (not overcooked). The timing was just right for what was necessary to change us into one who could be used by the Chef as He intended; as He purposed from the time that we were made.

"Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12).  

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4)

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