I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. Psalm 139:14
I was trying to do something different. I made the recipe to take to a friend who had had surgery. It was around the Thanksgiving holiday and so I tried to steer clear of turkey-related dinners, guessing that they might have had their fill. I also wanted to keep a distance from what is at least my old standard, lasagna, imagining the possibility of their having eaten it for a solid week. I was trying to come up with something they might not have received by other well-wishers like me, so I tried this dish. Pork Chops “Old Faithful” . . . I hit the jack pot.
They seemed to be thrilled with the dish and, in fact, had not received pork chops before. With it, I brought cranberry relish, homemade bread and blueberry spice jam. It was a hit. My friends, who are very kind, raved over the meal.
In this case, I had made an intentional effort to be unusual. I deliberately endeavored to create something that would be unlike others. Often, we do this without trying. Each of us is given our own unique character, perspectives and ways of doing things. By just being ourselves, walking around in the world and filling our roles of worker, parent, student, citizen in the ways that come most naturally to us, we will be distinctive, individual, unlike anyone else.
This seems like it should be easy, but it isn’t. We live in a world that encourages us to conform, to do what everyone else is doing, just like they are doing it. This expectation is often unspoken, but still powerful. If we are true to ourselves, living from the deepest places God created in us, we will naturally fall out of the mold sometimes. Some of us will do it a lot. This can be challenging, even painful, when there is pressure to go with the flow but it is also something to be celebrated. Our uniqueness is literally God’s gift, not just to us but to the world. Our individuality has been placed in us on purpose and is meant to add color and texture to the landscape of humanity.
We can honor God the best by being our most true and original selves. We will fit right in at times, and on occasion we will stick out like a sore pinky finger. But if we do stand out, it should be because we are being the best and most authentic version of the person that God created. Anything else would be as dull as a week of lasagna. Praise God from whom all blessings flow. One of those blessings is you.
While I have this recipe on a typed index card with hand written notes, it references Peg Bracken. Many thanks to both her and Mom.
PORK CHOP “OLD FAITHFUL”
6 tbsp. raw rice 2 ripe tomatoes
1 can consommé, broth, ½ green pepper, in rings
or bouillon 2 tbsp. fat
1 tiny pinch marjoram Salt & Pepper
1 tiny pinch thyme
Brown chops in fat (or Pam) in skillet. Meanwhile put rice in bottom of greased casserole dish and slice the vegetables. Then lay chops on the rice (salting and peppering as you go) with slices of onion, tomato, and green pepper. Pour consommé in, add marjoram and thyme. Cover and bake 1 hour at 350o.