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Young Christian Woman
THRIFT OR THEFT What are you justifying to save money?
How would Jesus Vote?
w w w. o n m y o w n n o w. c o m
Approaching Homosexuality with Empathy
Single! Young Christian Woman Sept 2012, Vol. 4 On My Own Now Ministries, Inc., Publisher Donna Lee Schillinger, Editor Donna Lee Schillinger with Daniela Bermudez, Page Design Kimberly M. Schluterman Editorial Support Contributors Julie Ann, Bishop David Kendall, Caroline J. Simon Except where noted, content is copyright 2012 On My Own Now Ministries. Articles may be reprinted with credit to author, Single! and www.OnMyOwnNow.com. On My Own Now Ministries, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with a 501 (c) (3) determination. Your donations aid in our mission to encourage faith, wise life choices and Christ-likeness in young adults during their transition to living on their own. We welcome submissions of original or repurposed articles that are contributed without expectation of compensation. May God repay you. Visit us at www.OnMyOwnNow.com.
An Election Year The Jesus-Voter Guide by Bishop David Kendall Straight Talk from the Proverbs Start a Moss Collection Today by Donna Lee Schillinger Center Ring Approaching Homosexuality with Empathy by Caroline J. Simon The Recap Bringing Sex into Focus Review by Donna Lee Schillinger Spare Change Thrift or Theft: What Are You Justifying to Save Money? by Julie Ann Reby Ray's Downhome Healthy Cookin' for One on a Budget Short Cut to Santa Fe: Corncakes with Nopalitos and Chipotle Roja
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An ElEction YEAr
By Bishop David Kendall
oes Jesus really care about what happens in the U.S. elections? Do his person and work offer much help to his followers who will or will not vote later this year? What does Jesus know and what might Jesus contribute to this sharpening and exhausting environment of debates, ad campaigns, and mudslinging contests? One group of people supposes that Jesus is pretty much clueless on all these matters. Or, if not clueless, He is careless, since he has more important, other-worldly matters to pursue. Another group looks to Jesus for a kind of tipping point support. The arguments are quite compelling as they are, but just to clinch matters, add a saying from the Bible, attributed to Jesus. For them, Jesus spreads on a little frosting to make things sweeter. A third group comprised of some of the most active on the political scene these days believe in absolute truth. They also believe they have found absolute truth on most matters that are before an unsuspecting or deceived public. For these activists Jesus steps up as the Ultimate Sponsor of their views. He who is the way, the truth and the life obviously would vote this way or for this person. For earnest Christ Followers, I would suggest, the first two groups have it all wrong. The Lord and Master of all has much to say about just about everything. If He is who we claim then we must not treat Him as though He has only “religious” or “spiritual” advice for any who might be interested. No, He is the smartest person we know. As such, we who follow Him should do just
that—follow Him and embrace His wisdom as He gives it and as it applies to whatever the issues might be. We can count on Him for more than an endorsement of our already good ideas. For Christ Followers, the third group is undoubtedly correct in saying truth is, well, real or true—in some solid and objective way. They are also right to insist that it is possible to know the truth, and they no doubt affirm that Jesus embodies truth and wants to lead all who will follow to the truth. But we must take care that we actually follow Him and must guard against remaking Him to suit some party-line. I’ve been thinking about what sort of Voter’s Guide Jesus might write for us and offer to us as we approach next November. Before I give you an outline of what I think might be on such a guide, let me acknowledge that many will be disappointed by it. They will be disappointed because the candidates and issues at center stage do not claim the attention and importance for Jesus that they may for us. In reading a guide of His making, we will no doubt sense that He offers it with other priorities and concerns in mind than we often have when we think (or fail to think) about political, electoral matters. You are warned. So, here goes. First, two general observations about what would guide the specific items Jesus would recommend to us as part of the more general electorate. To begin, I would not expect very many, if any, detailed action plans. This is so for two reasons: first, the most important issues are complex and addressing them is often not reducible to one
An ElEction YEAr
simple “action plan” (see below for examples). Second, all the time Jesus is more interested in moving His followers to full maturity, to help us to grow up in Him, to realize our full potential as children, servants and colaborers with Him. Growing up and reaching maturity requires the ability to think, to choose courses of action, to develop/express faith, and to act on conviction–all of which works best when we do not see everything as clearly as we might hope and yet must act with courage and resolve. Maturity and fullness come only in such ways. Second, I would expect a thoroughly Kingdom Perspective since the Kingdom is the gospel summary of Jesus’ message and ministry. A Kingdom Perspective embraces the whole world, and seeks His will done everywhere, not just here. Further, His Kingdom is founded on righteousness, or justice, and love so that no one will go without, and no one will be deprived. What this means, among other things, is that a partisan or parochial policy (addressing only a part to the neglect of the whole focus) will nearly always be incomplete and inadequate when assessed in light of Jesus’ Kingdom. Consequently, policies that aim only or exclusively at one nation’s well being will also fall beneath a Kingdom Perspective. You can see by this Kingdom Criteria how complex matters really are. For example, we must protect our borders—not only or primarily to defend our sovereign territory but also to defend people and families. However, not in ways that make it impossible or unlikely to care for strangers and the oppressed, and not in ways that place our exclusive or primary trust in police or military protection, apart from confidence in God’s word that in welcoming strangers we welcome him. Another example that comes to mind would be war in general, and the ongoing war on terror in particular. Kingdom people cannot be lovers of war and cannot commit to hawkish ways—period! I am not saying that all who commit to the Kingdom of Jesus will be pacifists and will disavow the use of force categorically. I am saying that the use of force must not compromise other clear Kingdom priorities and values. Force that is simply retaliatory or preemptive is on principle questionable for people committed to a Kingdom perspective. Military action as a first response would be similarly questionable. The disavowal of, or impatience with, diplomacy is likewise found wanting. OK, so what more specifically might be on Jesus’ Voter’s Guide? •What (candidate, position or policy) best values and makes possible loving God with our all and loving others as we do ourselves? (Seriously, now, consider this prayerfully and in community with other Christ-followers!) •What (candidate, position or policy) offers Christ-followers the best opportunities to assist multitudes of others in following Christ as we do? •What (candidate, position or policy) offers the most hope for the poor of the world and why do you think so? •What (candidate, position or policy) would seek the good as God defines it for people everywhere, such as justice, redress from oppression, freedom for captives of every sort? •What (candidate, position or policy) shows the most deference for the
most vulnerable? •What (candidate, position or policy) reflects purity of heart and life, not only negatively in terms of avoidance of things that defile, demean and damage but also positively in terms of passionate pursuit of human wellbeing and wholeness wherever the humans happen to live? •What (candidate, position or policy) advocates for and acts in the interest of biblical peace—shalom, not only conflict resolution and the overcoming of tribal/racial/ethnic divides but also the pursuit of conditions that encourage and resource human flourishing everywhere (think here of disparities of rich and poor, the many who are “have-nots” who go without adequate food, water, shelter, and care)? •What (candidate, position or policy) would applaud and collaborate with those with special concern and abilities to facilitate grace and kindness between parties who are estranged? •What (candidate, position or policy) reflects a spirit or tone in their advocacy that offers the best chance of finding the good and the wisdom in alternate or even contrary candidates and views? •What (candidate, position or policy) demonstrates an ability to stand on principle without demonizing those who disagree? •What (candidate, position or policy) shows a willingness to sacrifice self or group agenda for the sake of higher common good? •What (candidate, position or policy) best reflects the wisdom that human worth cannot be calculated at the cash register and viable human communities require ongoing self-restraint? Obviously the list could go on, but this is enough to indicate the tone and tenor of the guide. Now, please note that in all likelihood no viable candidate or party corresponds very well. The electoral situation is indeed complex and murky. As such, there is plenty of room for Christ followers to disagree and draw conclusions that are contrary to each other. So what should we do? Withdraw and not participate? Discern what corresponds most nearly? Determine what items are most critical now and see where closest alignment is? Collaborate with others in infiltrating all parties to work toward bringing all parties more into alignment with the Voter’s Guide in any way possible, so that no matter what party or candidate wins, there is greater possibility that policy and decisions will be shaped more nearly in conformity to Jesus’ Kingdom? Well, yes, exactly! You see the challenge and the possibility. With eyes of faith and hearts set on the things that inflame the heart of Jesus, you will see the possibilities. And you will do something. The Reverend David W. Kendall is a bishop of the Free Methodist Church. His ministry passion is to communicate the Scriptures as God’s Word in faithful and relevant ways to our world today; and to assist God’s people to be truly the church in the 21st century. He is a contributing editor to The Light & Life magazine, a regular contributor to Illustrated Bible Life, and the author of God’s Call to be Like Jesus: Living a Holy Life in an Unholy World, a 1999 publication of Light and Life Communications. Visit his blog at http://fmcusa.org/davidkendall/
Start a Moss Collection Today
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
o you know the expression, “a rolling stone gathers no moss”? It means that if you keep moving, you won’t accumulate excess baggage – stuff and things. Well, as it turns out, moss can be a good thing. Moss can be resources – both tangible and intangible – and we, as women, need to roll into one place and start collecting some of it. If we stay in the same house, city, relationship and job, we have a better chance at gathering the things we want in life than if we roll from one house, relationship or job to another. Change can be good if it means upward mobility. It’s OK to change jobs if we’re moving from one right into another that pays better and builds our skills and resume. It’s OK to move from an apartment into our own home. And it’s great to sell that first home for a profit
By Donna Lee Schillinger
and move into a larger home. These are upward moves and they actually help us accumulate moss. Yet often, we make moves not upward, but sideways or down, and sometimes we make them out of sheer boredom. The mobile character of our society breeds restlessness in us, making it harder to stay with something after the excitement has worn off completely. When we come to that point, instead of allowing our attention to be pulled to something new and exciting, we need to dig in our heels of commitment and remember how much we appreciated what we have when we first got it, how useful and good in our lives it currently is and how making a change will drain us of resources that we cannot afford to lose. Constant wanting and acting to satisfy those wants – for a new car, new job, new clothes – will drain a person of resources. A constant wanting for material things has negative consequences, no doubt. They are mild, however, compared to how a woman can undo her progress and limit her own opportunity in life by being restless in romance. Even without children, divorce is painful and costly, and despite what we may have heard, a woman usually comes out on the losing end of it. Except for those cases in which a woman is breaking away from an abusive spouse, divorce is a negative and devastating thing in a person’s life. The financial toll is the least of it. The real cost is emotional. And sadly this undoing often grows from the seed of discontent, tended and fed until it destroys what was once the most precious thing in a woman’s life. One of the best financial plans we can make for ourselves, one of the best ways to ensure happy golden years, is to choose a husband wisely and then remain in that marriage. Should feelings of “I could do better” begin to ignite, we
from the proverbs
must quickly stamp them out as if they were sparks that could destroy our whole life by fire. We can’t allow ourselves to be entranced by the ephemeral beauty of those sparks of discontent, allowing them to start a small flame which, out of fascination, we watch as it grows, thinking to ourselves, “I can put this out whenever I want.” In an instant, we can lose control of the fire we allowed to start and it will destroy our home and family – all for a little fascination because we were bored. It is a great skill to be able to appreciate the same old things anew each day. It’s called stability, and with it, we will gather lots of the right kind of moss. Donna Lee Schillinger is editor of the recent anthology Purity’s Big Payoff/Premarital Sex is a Big Rip-off, winner of the 2012 Christian Small Publisher’s Book of the Year. In 2008 she founded On My Own Now Ministries to
encourage faith, wise life choices and Christlikeness in young adults. On My Own Now publishes the free, monthly online magazines, Single! Young Christian Woman and Genuine Motivation: Young Christian Man.
I make calculated moves to better my life.
Hold this thought:
approaching homosexuality with empathy
Caroline J. Simon
omosexuality, perhaps more than any other sexual issue, has historically been couched in terms of what “we” should say about “them.” In order to guard against judgmentalism… all of us, gay or straight, should cultivate both empathy and humility as elements of our process of discernment. If you are heterosexual, try to imagine how your life
would be different if the world were turned upside down if… you often felt you had to conceal this pervasive aspect of who you are. How many small and large facts about yourself would you need to hide? Whatever you think about the issue of gay marriage, you should at least develop empathy for the extra challenges facing homosexuals. If you are homosexual, try to imagine how bewildered many heterosexuals are when they consider that sexual desires may be different for some people than everything they have known and have had culturally reinforced as both normal and normative. None of us comes to the complex issues surrounding homosexuality without a frame shaped by our upbringing and personal experience. I was raised in a sheltered, conservative environment where I was well into adolescence before I’d even had the category “homosexual” introduced to me. It was many more years after that before I knew of someone who was homosexual. Even now, when I have friends who I know are homosexual, I generally do not go through the world with the categories “homosexual” and heterosexual” enough at the forefront of my mind for it to occur to me to wonder about people’s orientation except under special circumstances—for example, when they bring it up. Looking back on my childhood, I realize that I must have hung around peer groups where either the other kids were just as clueless as I was or where the taboos were so strong that homosexuality was not mentioned. In a way, I think this makes me better off than my children, who by grade school in the early 1990s came home from playgrounds with distressing habits of using sexual slurs that I felt the need to stamp out. “Think about what yelling “You f--” does to people; think what it does to you.” (This is the kind of exhortations children of philosophers have to put up with.) My children grew out of these childish speech patterns long ago, but perhaps none of us is without baggage from the mix of insights, deficiencies and distortions that shaped our growing up. No matter what our differing personal experiences have been, I suggest that there should be one minimal ethical and Christian common ground: No one should demean someone because of their sexual orientation. Should we go beyond that, as some recommend, to viewing homosexuality as on a par with left-handedness? Should we all be okay with homosexuality? Being “okay with homosexuality” embraces a wide range of approaches—from not being a “gay basher” (either literally or figuratively) to unreserved affirmation of homosexual activity, whether monogamous or not, as a legitimate alternative lifestyle. Where on the spectrum should we be if we seek to be faithful to Christian understandings of humanity and sexuality? Is God “okay” with homosexuality? However we answer those questions, we need empathy as one tool for moral discernment about homosexuality, but our empathy needs to be expansive. Some of us need to work toward empathy for those who have same-sex desire and face all sorts of challenges because of that; others of us need to cultivate empathy with people whose convictions dictate stances with which we profoundly disagree. Personal narratives from divergent perspectives can help broaden the range of our empathy. Over a cup of coffee after a recent worship service, a man we’d just met told my husband and me that he had been an Episcopalian until a few years ago. He’d been raised an Episcopalian. But though he had resonated with the liturgy and theology of that denomination, he’d objected to the installation of an openly gay bishop by American Episcopalians. He emphasized that he is “not antigay.” He just thought that ordaining gay bishops was “going too far” and was saddened by the rift it had caused in the worldwide Anglican community. Most Anglicans outside the U. S. continued to object to sexually active gay clergy. He missed the denomination that he still felt was in some sense his spiritual home, but he felt as if American Episcopals had left him rather than the other way around. I have a friend whose convictions also motivated her to leave her church, but for a contrasting reason. She left the congregation where she was associate pastor. The congregation was evangelical, though part of a mainline Presbyterian denomination. Their elders decided to explicitly stipulate that no sexually active homosexual could be ordained
as elder or deacon. My friend is a straight, monogamous, knowing God’s mind on this (and many other issues). married woman in her fifties. One of her two sons is gay. Is dimness on this issue and other issues a result of the She decided to resign her position because she did not feel Fall? Or is this a disguised blessing? Could our divergence that she could, in good conscience, serve a church that her of perspective become a resource for Christian discipleson would view as yet another reason he had stopped iden- ship? When you love those who love you, what credit is tifying with the faith he’d embraced in childhood. that to you? When you love those who share your views One more story: I met a young man, John, who was on matters you think central to the faith, what credit is that debating a crucial decision. John’s father, a theologically to you? You don’t need grace for that. We do need grace and socially conservative Baptist minister, was dying of and mercy and wisdom, and a life saturated with prayercancer. For years, John had concealed his homosexual ful seeking, to live out life together in light of our very real desires and involvement from his father. He found it very disagreements. painful to think of his father dying without having known I’ve often thought about the parable of the prodigal son what John considered an important aspect of his identity. as a story that is meant to enrich our compassion for God. But John’s brothers and sisters When the prodigal returns, were begging him to keep his elder brother exits the quiet. They did not want their house as the father prepares Could our divergence of father unnecessarily upset in the welcome feast. How perspective become a resource does a father feel when he the short time he had to live. John was torn. Was it more for Christian discipleship? When cannot keep his sons both loving to talk with his father living in the same house, you love those who love you, and trust his father’s ability to having the same celebration? respond or to continue with Will a shared eternity of what credit is that to you? silence? Which would John enjoying God be possible for regret more—being honest all those whom God longs and possibly causing pain, or continuing the concealment to have fellowship with if we cannot love one another and that in his mind loomed as a chasm between his father and be in fellowship despite our differences? The kingdom of him? heaven is a realm in which all those present can be unconYou have your own stories about divisions over issues ditionally joyful about sharing the same “space.” Can we surrounding homosexuality… These debates encompass Christians take baby steps to being able to do that here on issues that are intertwined but do not sort themselves earth? Can those of us who think we know God’s will on neatly along the “conservative versus liberal” dichotomy this matter speak that truth involving ways that are not so often presupposed in the media… Why do Christians themselves arrogant or dismissive of alternative views? Can disagree about a matter central to living out the Christian those of us who find this issue profoundly confusing conlife—either their own life or the lives of others who claim tinue to seek wisdom rather than avoiding hard questions the name of Christ? and issues? Aren’t we obliged to take such steps by our Could God have brought it about that those who sincere- praying as Jesus taught us to pray: “Your kingdom come; ly seek God’s will would all come to the same conclusion your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”? on central human issues? We see ourselves and others in a Taken from Bringing Sex Into Focus by Caroline J. Simon. mirror dimly; I often find human life a riddle. God has also ©2012 by Caroline J. Simon. Used by permission of not brought it about that sincere Christians thinking hard InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. and prayerfully might converge on a shared confidence in www.ivpress.com.
The Quest Continues
The Recap on Bringing Sex into Focus: The Quest for Sexual Integrity
rom the title, I thought Bringing Sex into Focus; The Quest for Sexual Integrity by Caroline J. Simon might be a book to finally put sex in its place. I anticipated a book that would aid me in coming to peaceful and godly terms with sexuality, so I can get on with life. What I found instead was a book that stirred up already turbulent waters. Reading it did not help me come to terms with human sexuality, but it could possibly be one step toward that end. Bringing Sex into Focus is marketed as a Christian text, but I would argue it is more postmodern in its approach. Simon identifies herself as a philosopher and a Christian, but she effectively keeps her personal worldview at bay in this study. In fact, she puts her views on par with five others, which she calls lenses, or theories, of how we make sense of sex. The six lenses she identifies are (pithy explanations in parentheses are mine): covenantal view (become one flesh); procreative view (be fruitful and multiply); romantic view (save yourself for someone special); plain sex view (just enjoy it for what it is); power view (sex wields power); and expressive view (sex as a form of self-expression). As seen in the excerpt on homosexuality (see p. 8), Simon puts a variety of sex-related topics under the different lenses to help the reader understand the complexity of sexuality in our culture. The approach is a bit too myopic, however, in an underlying presupposition that we see sex through one lens. Primarily, perhaps; but this lens analogy would be more effective as a Venn diagram where there are large areas of overlap among several lenses. After all, a rapist can have a quiver full of children at home. In an effort to convey the complexity of human sexuality, Simon oversimplifies the matter. We need to have empathy for others’ background and experiences. I get it! Who hasn’t seen these different lenses at work in our culture,
Review by Donna Lee Schillinger
even among our friends and family members? This is helpful for informing actions and decisions, but it’s not to be confused with a standard by which we act and decide. Whereas it is not futile or even dangerous to briefly peer through other lenses to help us understand others and to prevent oversimplifying the issues, the lenses are no substitute for a standard of truth. No single lens that Simon proposes accurately represents God’s view of sex, so she was not remiss in failing to identify the 20/20 lens among her six. The problem was that she did not identify that there is a light, apart from the lenses, an objective truth – God’s word – which holds the key to bringing sex into focus and to sexual integrity in our lives. If the purpose of this book is for academic use in a sexual ethics class—the kind Simon actually teaches—I can understand (though I may not be able to excuse) why she shies away from absolute truth. But I cannot accept placing a view Simon identifies as Christian (covenantal) on par with sex as power, sex as pleasure and sex as self-expression. It would have been better to untag that view as Christian. The view with Christ’s named attached to it is unparalleled, fully in focus and the absolute truth.
Bringing Sex Into Focus: The Quest for Sexual Integrity by Caroline J. Simon ISBN: 9780830836376 IVP Academic ©2011 176 pp. $15.00
Thrift or Theft?
What Are You Justifying to Save Money ?
by Julie Ann
ave you ever been to a restaurant with a friend and watched him stuff his pockets with ketchup packets so he wouldn’t have to buy his own bottle? Maybe you’ve known a girl that buys a fancy dress, tucks the tag, wears it once and returns it. Once I even read about a woman who took discarded faux flowers out of the cemetery garbage bin for use in her craft projects (only slightly better than actually stealing the flowers off the graves). To one person, these may seem like good ways to save money, but to another, they are petty thievery. There is a difference between thrift and theft but sometimes it’s hard to see where that line falls. Let’s look at a few examples and try to find where thrift crosses the line and becomes theft. First, the ketchup packets, sugar, salt, sporks and napkins. Sure they’re out for the taking... for use with the food you just purchased! Do you think the restaurant intends you to stock up for tomorrow’s breakfast too? While the average cost (a few cents) of those sugar and ketchups packets, crackers and straws doesn’t seem like much, consider multiplying that by the hundreds of other people who also take additional condiments. The restaurant must recoup those supply costs and will eventually pass that price on to you. If you’re a loyal customer, you might be able to justify a few extra napkins to blow
your nose with later, but seeing the condiment bar as a free miniature shopping spree is just wrong. Say you never leave the restaurant with a stash of napkins? Well, do you leave a bunch unused on the table? Restaurants can’t collect unused sporks and straws and put them back for the next guy. If you’re taking more than you need and leaving it on the table, it’s just as much a loss to the restaurant as sticking it in your pocket. It’s the stuff sitcoms are made of: Girl buys fancy dress, hides the tags, wears it once and returns it for a full refund. Peruse Internet forums on this issue and you’ll find that most people agree that doing this will result in “bad karma” but many still admit that they’ve done this – especially when money was tight like during college. Given the very lenient return policies of some stores, it’s a very tempting gray area. Even our scrupulous editor admits to having “borrowed” a video camera for 29 days before returning it to a big electronics chain in time to get a full refund, a scam made famous by filmmakers of “My Date with Drew.” On the flipside, if you buy a pair of shoes and wear them once or twice only to discover they hurt your feet, you shouldn’t lose any sleep over returning them (especially if the store or brand offers a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee). Your intent
courtesy of Happy Worker.com
when buying the shoes was to keep them, and that’s what counts. When you walk into the store knowing that you’ll be back, you may not be breaking any laws, but you are certainly taking advantage of the store and breaking the golden rule. There are also things that people do to have money that aren’t just ethically questionable, but they are flat-out illegal. Swapping price tags, placing more expensive items into boxes for cheaper items, or lying to the self-checkout about the products you are buying could all hand you a “go directly to jail” card. Just because you are buying something doesn’t give you the license to cheat the store. And it’s not just at stores and restaurants where we try to save money but taking advantage of the system. Have you ever stolen a pocket full of paper clips from work? What about using the office copy machine for those flyers you printed to help you find your missing kitten? Yup, that’s all stealing from your employer too. You may think that steal-
ing a pen or two will save you a few bucks and your employer won’t notice it. But did you know that employee theft costs U.S. companies billions (yes, with a ‘B’) each year? And once again, those costs are passed on to you, the consumer. If you are feeling a little guilty right now (I know I am!) because you’ve got napkins and straws stashed in your glove box or are stealing from your employer by reading this article at work, stop, repent, and remember that there’s grace for you. However, always be aware that those little things that seem on the surface to be great money savers might actually be unethical or even illegal. And in the end, is it really worth saving a couple of cents and being in violation of one of the Ten Commandants (remember, “Thou shall not steal”)? There are plenty of morally acceptable and perfectly legal ways to save tons of money, so why slip into those gray areas? On your journey of thrift, stay way clear of the border of theft.
down-home healthy cook for one on a budget in’
Short Cut to Santa Fe
er years now, I’ve been curious about eatin’ cactus, but ever’ time I tried one, I end up tweezin’ spines out of my fingers fer hours. I sure wonder who needs a job bad enough to be the cactus paddle de-spiner! And some of you are probably wonderin’ who is hungry enough to eat cactus! Whereas it used to be a necessity among desert peoples, now it’s just good ole fashion comfort food in the Southwest. Nopales, as they’re called in Mexican, are slimy little slithers of cactus leaf, pickled, spiced, and of course, de-spined. If you like pickles or okra, add these to yur shopping list. Use ‘em like you would green beans, or use ‘em in soup or casseroles. I love ‘em best on top of griddle corncakes, topped with sour cream and chipotle sauce. This short cut to Santa Fe is an adaptation from a recipe I put off trying for more than 10 years because the dern thing wanted me to de-spine the cactus paddles! A jar of nopales got me over that hurdle and then I cut the time down even further by usin’ prepared griddlecake mix and chipotle sauce. Now in 10 minutes, I can transport myself to Santa Fe with this authentic flavor of the Southwest. This is so simple I ought not to insult yur intelligence, but here we go:
by Reba Ray
One package of Cornbread mix, plus necessary ingredients (Jiffy needs egg and milk) • Nopales • Light Sour Cream • Prepared Chipotle Salsa (My favorite is World Table Roasted Tomato Chipotle Roja) Place skillet or griddle on medium heat while you mix up the cornbread batter accordin’ to package directions. You may need to add more liquid to get the consistency of waffle batter. Pour batter into pancake shapes on your lightly greased (or sprayed) griddle. Flip when holes form in the top and the bottom has solidified. (You know how to make pancakes, don’t ya?) Go ahead and make the whole batch, then eatin’ leftovers will be as easy as warmin’ everthing up. While the griddlecakes are makin’, heat the nopales in a small saucepan until they boil. To assemble, place two or three griddle cakes on a plate, heap drained nopales on top, then place a blob of sour cream on one side, a blob of chipotle on the other side. As you eat, pick up a bit of each in every bite. If you’re eatin’ alone, you’ll have leftovers of everything that keep well in the fridge for a few more quick trips to Santa Fe. Reheat the griddlecakes in the toaster, griddle or microwave.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?