Kitchen Gadgets and the Family of God

[Updated from the archives. This originally appeared as a guest post at Keri Wyatt Kent’s blog.]


Keri and I recently traded emails about kitchen gadgets. Why? Doesn’t matter. I mentioned a potato peeler, she compared it to a mandoline slicer, and soon we came to this as I responded:

Ah yes, the age old rivalry between the simple potato peeler and the elegant kitchen mandoline. But even though theirs is a relationship fraught with turmoil, woe betide the food processor who tries to show off in their kitchen. Mandoline and peeler are a terrible force when united against a common enemy.

The elegant kitchen mandoline

She suggested a series, with the next installment concerning the merits of a hand masher versus a stick blender. I think she’s on to something. But this post is going a different direction.

My wife and I watch the Food Network. A lot. The competitions like Iron Chef, Chopped, Cupcake Wars, as well as the ones that explore new ways of looking at food like $24 in 24 hours and Good Eats. That last one is Alton Brown’s showcase for all things quirky yet practical.

Alton Brown explaining food

Alton’s show (I can’t refer to him as Brown, because he always seems to be hanging out across the kitchen counter from me) goes into food history, chemistry, and gadgetry. And when it comes to gadgetry, Alton has one basic rule: avoid one-use items. Stand mixer good/bread machine bad, that sort of thing. Kitchens only have so much space and Alton advocates using it as sensibly as possible.

Alton’s take on kitchen gadgets reminds me of the family of God.

Jesus told us that in his Father’s house there are many rooms, and that he is the one who prepares a place for us in his home. (John 14:1-3.) And unlike Alton’s limited kitchen space, dictating that only the most useful items have a place, Jesus makes a place for all of his people no matter how little use we might be in his family.

Because really, none of us are of little use in our Father’s house. On our own, yes. Jesus said “apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5.) But he also assured us in that same breath that because we abide in him we will “bear much fruit.”

Somehow it all comes back to food, but in Jesus it is the food of the Father’s will (John 4:34) and the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-25.)

That’s a food network worth being in for eternity.


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11 Responses to Kitchen Gadgets and the Family of God

  1. Aimee Byrd says:

    Tim, you are something else! I think you can spin a spiritual metaphor from just about anything. Love your rivalry poem.

  2. Jeannie says:

    I like the idea of there being lots of space for each of us, even if we’re only good for one thing! 🙂

    • Tim says:

      And just like that potato peeler that I also use to open plastic packages sometimes, each of us has uses beyond what we think we can do, right?

      • Jeannie says:

        That’s right! Just this morning I used salad tongs to get a thermos jug off a shelf that was just out of my reach. Now I have to start thinking of new uses for my bread maker — besides making delicious bread 2x a week … and pizza dough 1x a week…. 🙂

  3. Laura Droege says:

    I’m so thankful that God has a use for all of us in his family (even those who seem destined to be bread-makers and not multi-purpose instruments)!

    Sometimes, the various “gadgets” behave a little like there’s a rivalry between the “mandolins” and “potato peelers” (as if our spiritual gifts are at odds with someone else’s), or we deem the lowly bread-makers not as important as others, or we look at that odd, “as seen on TV!” gadget and judge it as worthless because we don’t see the value of whatever gift that person has. (I’m typing this comment in the kitchen, waiting on a cake to cool so I can frost it. Can you tell?) But God doesn’t see us that way, thankfully!

    • Tim says:

      a) You have cake?

      b) Acting as if our spiritual gifts are at odds with each other is nuts.

      c) Did you know that nuts go good on most cakes?

  4. Pastor Bob says:

    Ah, spiritual food among the gadgets. (fyi ‘mandolin’ –
    a plucked stringed instrument related to the lute, having four pairs of strings tuned in ascending fifths stretched over a small light body with a fretted fingerboard. It is usually played with a plectrum, long notes being sustained by the tremolo
    a vegetable slicer consisting of a flat stainless-steel frame with adjustable cutting blades

    Yes, I am a persnickety leader.

    Perhaps the spelling missed the cut?

    • Tim says:

      Getting punny there, PB!

      On spelling it with an “e”, though, that’s how the folks who sell the things spelled it in that link I used above.

      • Pastor Bob says:

        Looked at the link – and really looked at the photo below (word focus has its drawbacks) This is a recognized device for bleeding in the kitchen. If purchased/used, do so with GREAT amounts of caution!

        The old Army Medic coming back….

        • Tim says:

          Whenever Alton Brown sees a chef on TV use the mandoline without the safety guard he always says, “Don’t try that at home, kids!”

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