I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
Just before I went to bed last night, I saw that Catherine at Catterel had attempted my cinnamon roll recipe. I knew that she was going to run into trouble with it for two reasons: one, apparently some ingredients aren’t available in Great Britain, like shortening, and, two, our measurements are different. Just how difficult it was going to be I had no idea, but you can read about it at “Cinnamon Rolls Cross the Pond.” I’m amazed at her tenacity and perseverance.
While I didn’t eat any cinnamon rolls before bed, I did go to sleep thinking about substitutions and a story I had heard while in college.
I had a Sunday School teacher in college named Ming Li. Ming Li was a Chinese woman with a heart that was roughly the same size as the country of her origin. She showed that she loved us in so many different ways. She talked to us, listened to us, invited us into her home, and cooked for us. In fact, the first time I ever had an egg roll, it was made, with love, by Ming Li.
Ming Li wrote a cookbook on Chinese cooking. One day she told us this story:
I was at the grocery store the other day, when a woman came to me and said, “Ming Li, I made your Beer Duck recipe from the cookbook, but it didn’t taste anything like what you make.”
So I asked her, “Where did you buy the duck?”
She told me, “Oh, I did not buy duck. Too expensive. I bought chicken.”
I asked her, “What kind of beer did you buy?”
She told me, “Oh, we do not buy beer. We are Christians. I used Coca-cola.”
I told her, “No duck. No beer. No wonder it not taste right.”
We all laughed, but we got the point. When we substitute, we change. And if we substitute the very essence of something, of course it is not going to be the same. She was warning about substitutions for our faith. I can still hear her voice when I think on that story.
The thing is, I’m afraid of substitutions in the kitchen. Maybe it was Ming Li’s story, but I think it has more to do with my personality. I depend on recipes in the same way that I depend on sheet music while playing my flute. There are those who can improv, but I am not one of them. The only place where I don’t depend on formulas, recipes, and written instructions is when I’m teaching. Hmmm… I wonder what I was meant to do…
And so, I dreamed of Ming Li, as I thought about Catherine and her cinnamon rolls.
I doubt her rolls taste anything like mine, but they still look delicious and I’m sure they tasted wonderful..
Daily Prompt: Silver Screen