Peek and Poke

Many men and women thoroughly enjoy cooking and baking, not me. It is a chore and a necessity; only on very rare occasions do I get my kicks in the kitchen. I have never won any blue ribbons but my easy to please husband usually pushes away from the table with parting words, “Mighty fine!”

Some cooks and chefs strictly follow recipes to the minutest detail but multitudes who have achieved recognition through their craft wing it. They add a pinch of this, a dash of that and one for good measure. Seldom do they fix it exactly the same way twice, which makes it difficult to share the recipe with friends. Perfect timing is also a talent.

A timer device may be handy and even used, but nothing is reliable as peeks and pokes. Cooks open the oven door or lift lids to take a sneak peek at their work in progress. They need to check to see if their food is finished cooking. They poke it with a fork or toothpick and estimate the time of completion. Even confident cooks repeat the process when baking a cake; in disappointment, they sense the need to pop it back into the oven.

Writers often feel the same disappointment when working on an article or a book. They are anxious to complete the task and to bask in the accomplishments of perfection. Yet, sometimes we have to deal with discouragement, stay in the kitchen and pop it back into the oven. “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times (Psalm 12:6 KJV).” Seven times an artisan popped silver in the furnace. Patience paid off!


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