One Texas tradition I’ve always enjoyed is fried foods. It may just be a southern thing to some folks, but being a born and bred Texan, I’m like a lot of others with this background who just feel nobody “fries” stuff like a Texan. The State Fair of Texas is always a big crowd pleaser for their contest promotion of crazy and new concoctions of fried foods. Here are the eight finalists who competed for the awards of Best Taste and Most Creative on August 28th at last years State Fair:
- Deep Fried Bacon Burger Dog Sliders on a Stick
- Down Home Chicken Pot Pie Pocket (with ham’n cheese dip)
- Fried Jell-O
- Deep Fried Pulled Pork “Funyun” Dings
- State Fair Cookie Fries
- Southern Fried Chicken & Duplin’s
- Caribbean Pineapple Korn-A-Copia
- Injectable Great Balls of BBQ
Best Taste went to Ruth Hauntz for Fried Jell-O, and most creative to Isaac Rousso for State Fair Cookie Fries.
My enthusiasm for fried food notwithstanding, I didn’t try any of these fried food inventions this year, and the simple reason is… I didn’t go to the State Fair.
This past year I’ve been on a wandering mission to find myself, and the next phase of my life, and where God will send me to spread His Word. I know that statement may be out of left field, but it applies to the topic, I promise, just stay with me.
Part of being a believer in Christ, and a part of the family of God, is believing the whole Bible, not just the favorite parts we like to read, or quote. Sometimes believers get bogged down reading the Old Testament, where God gives the Hebrew people all these laws which we don’t understand today. There have been a good many books written about food, and dietary restrictions given to the Hebrew people in the Old Testament. “Kashrut” comes from Kaf-Shin-Reish, meaning fit, proper or correct. You may be more familiar with “Kosher.” One common misconception is, there is no such thing as “kosher-style” food, because kosher is not a style of cooking. Chinese food can be kosher if it is prepared in accordance with Jewish law. Yet, here’s the thing, the short answer as to why Jews observe these laws is: because the Torah says to. God didn’t give explanations as to why these rule came into existence for Israel. They are just the law.
This is why Jesus would say, when the Pharisees attacked Him because He and His disciples were eating their bread with impure hands…
After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man.
Is Jesus negating thousands of years of Hebrew Law, and going against the commandment of God here? NO!!! Jesus is only explaining what I said a few minutes ago, that Kashrut is about obedience. But oh be careful here! Stubborn compliance born out of legalism can be just as displeasing to God as not following those laws in the first place. Jesus says, obedience is a HEART issue.
Which brings me to my wandering mission. This year I’ve learned to cook in a way that allows me to have “fried food” flavor, but without all the grease and harmful things that come with deep fried foods. I discovered the “Air-Fryer.” There are many versions of this now available both retail and on-line. I purchased mine through Amazon.com. It may sound odd, but I discovered this year that I can have fried meals quicker, with less mess, while not sacrificing taste in the process! And… it can help me fulfill a great scripture as I cook:
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
“Do your work heartily…” is about being obedient in a way that pleases God, honors God, and brings glory to God. When I cook, I want to be healthy, wise, and eat well. The image above is a great Salmon recipe, that I cooked in my Air-Fryer! How amazing is that? I’m delivering Fried Chicken wings, Baked Potatoes, French Fries, and a host of other foods… all without the grease of deep frying.
Have I given up Chicken Fried Steak at Cotton Patch Restaurant? Nope. I’m not perfect.