Once on a very long road trip by myself, I passed no less than one hundred Cracker Barrels (as you do). It had my weary traveling soul yearning for their cornbread and biscuits. I definitely can get down on high end food, but never will I turn my nose up to The Barrel’s little bake-ables.
I stopped in and asked for a to go order of just a couple cornbreads and “biskies.” (I know, this is odd behavior.) To my delight they said I could just have them free of charge. I have never since tested if this is a consistent policy, but every time we pass a Cracker Barrel billboard I shout to my husband, “FREE BISCUITS FOR TRAVELERS.” Again, pretty sure this is not a real policy, but just some nice people somewhere in Kentucky. Or they just did not know what to charge for such a weird request and wanted me off the premises.
In line with this story illustrating my love of biscuits, I obviously make them often at home. I use this basic recipe and do all kinds of crazy things to them from there. Today, we make a biscuit sandwich.
It is easy to think what we know of something is all there is to it. As a new Christian, I thought what the church I went to was like was what Christianity is. In years since, I have zoomed out from that small frame of reference and come to see that what things look like in the American church and what things look like Biblically are not always aligned.
I was very sharpened by Michael Horton’s Christless Christianity in this regard. Much of the American Christianity is making things that are entirely antithetical to the Gospel part of a Church life. A whole Sunday morning service can become completely Christless. The illness that plagues us is named “moralistic, therapeutic deism.” This says God wants people to be nice to each other and for you to be happy. He does not need to be particularly involved in your life unless there is a problem. And good (whatever that means) people go to heaven when they die.
Rather, the Gospel has God as the judge and justifier. The good news is a work that is completely done by Christ as Savior. God descends to us; we do not ascend to him. Anything else is heaping on a burdensome standard we cannot fulfill (“everybody just be kind to one another!”) wrapped up as practical advice.
One aspect of this book I found difficult was the chapter organization. This is partly due to myself being at an introductory level in much of my study, and Horton writing books perhaps geared toward the intermediate reader. They are lengthy and without many headings which simple minded folk like me need. (Only recently have I graduated from needing pictures.)
I love the Church, and that is why I like books that seek to help purify it. There is only one solution to these problems (Horton emphasizes this greatly) and that is returning to the Gospel of salvation.
To me, the best cooking nights are when I have a meatless meal or have already prepped it beforehand. Something about not having to handle raw meat just makes cooking feel much faster and cleaner. Vegetarian cooking is really fun. (Sadly, this meat eater does not often find vegetarian eating that fun.)
But, when I do need to approach raw territory for my protein, I love shrimp. It cooks up so fast and is simpler to thaw and restain the mess. File this under “quick dinners” – tropical shrimp linguine.
TROPICAL SHRIMP LINGUINE Serves 3-4
1 pound shrimp
2 tablespoons wheat flour
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cups broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup restaurant style salsa
1 pound linguine
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toss shrimp in wheat flour and season with garlic salt and pepper. Fry shrimp for 2 minutes on each side, until no gray remains. Set shrimp aside. In the same skillet, bring broth, heavy cream, salsa, and linguine to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Top pasta with shrimp & cilantro.