Kindling the Fryer of Desire


I'm proud to announce that I’ve joined the ranks of e-readers.

Thanks to your encouraging comments on my last post and recommendations on books and e-readers, {along with a timely email from Amazon with a special price}, I took the leap and bought a Kindle Paperwhite.

When it arrived -- with the pretty blue watercolor cover I spent far too much time deliberating over -- I was eager to set it up.

But just a few seconds after turning it on, I accidentally chose Chile as my home country and Chilean Spanish as the language for my new Kindle.





Since I don't speak any other languages, I was soon wishing the Kindle could also conjure up a handsome Chilean Spanish man to read me the instructions I couldn’t comprehend.

After 45 minutes of Google searches, I never imagined I'd find it so difficult to change the language settings. Then I discovered I'd apparently also downloaded the Chilean Spanish version of the Kindle user guide.

That’s why I like books.

They're pretty self-explanatory. Instructions aren't needed to open the cover, turn the page and focus your eyes on words.

In just a few seconds, you’re off and reading.


When I need instructions or don't know what I'm doing, I’d often rather just steer clear of the whole experience.

This introduction to the Kindle was hot on the heels of being assigned to the fryer in my cooking class a few weeks ago.

I'd registered for a class on preserving and pickling. From the straightforward title, I figured I'd learn how to make jam or turn cucumbers into pickles.

But while the rest of the class stirred berries on the stove for our fruity clafoutis {did you know that rhymes?} dessert and seared peppers on the grill for our bruschetta appetizer, the chef waved his whisk at me and told me to start battering up the okra that had been previously pickled before our class even started.


I was reluctant to admit I'd never deep-fried anything in my life, let alone okra, a peculiar vegetable I rarely eat.

Besides, I have a bit of an aversion to frying.

Growing up, whenever my mother fried anything in our house, I'd swear I could smell the grease in my hair, on my clothes and once I even got a whiff of it on my purse, so I decided never to fry if I could help it.

And now here I was standing in front of the fryer with a chef telling me to shake the basket of okra and lower it into the oil.

I had no idea how long it takes to fry okra or how to tell if they were done.


The man standing next to me at the stove {blissfully grilling his pretty peppers} took pity on my plight and helped me load and unload the fryer basket.

Four baskets later, my hands were spattered with grease and I'd long given up on my hair and clothes emerging unscathed.

Then the chef told me to go ahead and do the chicken too since I was already standing at the fryer.

I was pretty sure my jam-making dream was completely fried by now.


I wouldn't have thought that Kindles and fryers have that much in common, but they both invited me to step into tricky territories where I'm uneasy, uncomfortable and unskillful.

And I'm convinced that is exactly how it should be.

Because it's what I need.

And maybe it's what we all need sometimes.

To accept the invitation to not know what we're doing and see where that uncertain journey leads us.


A Kindle and a fryer may be trivial tools but I'm seeing how almost every situation, every circumstance in our lives offers a unique invitation.

Will I open the door to possibilities of turning an awkward introduction into a novel encounter that could bloom a colorful change?

Will I peel off the all-consuming thoughts of how I look to others and instead look outside of me for what's inside the heart of others I meet?

Will I attempt to see my life differently -- through a higher perspective, one that God has of me and for me --  so I can be different?

This is my ongoing desire.



I’m not sure if I can truly call myself an e-reader yet since the only reading I’ve done so far on my Kindle is to skim through the user’s guide.

{I finally located the English version.}

But I'll fire up the Kindle soon so the next time I pack my travel bag, I’ll be ready to book a much lighter trip.

And in case you're wondering if I'd want to encounter the fryer again, let's just say that was definitely a flash in the pan for me.

Books are more my jam.





I'm joining my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart, and I'm also over at Culture with Travel, sharing more about cooking.


Comments

  1. Oh Valerie ... reading this was so much fun! I don't have a Kindle, but downloading the Chilean Spanish version sounds exactly like something I would do. (Then my techie daughter would have all kinds of fun undoing everything I did by mistake.) I've never used a fryer either, but stepping into "tricky territories where I'm uneasy, uncomfortable and unskillful?" Now THAT is something I'm all too familiar with lately. Moving forward, looking outward, trusting that God knows the route ... I guess that's what the life of faith is all about, huh? (Books are my jam too, by the way!)

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    1. Lois,
      I'm so glad you think you'd do the same with starting up the Kindle! :) I sometimes wonder how I can make simple things so difficult but maybe it's just so I can laugh at myself (later)! From one book-lover to another, thanks for commiserating with me! :)

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  2. Valerie I'm lovin' that post! The prose is adorable and rhymes make it fun. Praying you have an adventurously fun week with new opportunities to explore :)
    Much love,
    ~Sherry Stahl
    xoxo

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    1. Hi Sherry,
      Oh I love your prayer of new adventures! I'll be keeping an eye out for the unexpected ones and see if they can turn out to be more interesting than I thought! xo

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  3. Gosh, I love coming here! It's so good to hear from you again, Valerie, to rub shoulders and compare notes. I hear you about the Kindle, but really, Chilean Spanish? Fried okra? Only you, my friend, could weave your life experiences together in a way that makes us smile and gives cause for pause all in one post.

    Thank you.

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    1. Welcome back, Linda, from your summer sabbatical! :) So glad you are here to enjoy my oddly assorted mishaps! :)

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  4. As you would have guessed, I LOVED the puns. I laughed through both stories! Love that you had a great fry day! :D

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    1. Brittany,
      I learned the puns from you! And that's a good one -- fry day! :)

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  5. I love how you tell stories in such an entertaining way but also make a great point! It is good to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and try something new. I hope you enjoy getting to grips with your Kindle now that you've got it speaking English!

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    1. Hi Lesley,
      Love how you put it -- my Kindle is now speaking English! Wish I'd thought of that one! Love it! xo

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  6. Loving your puns today!! Books are your jam- what a hoot!! I can remember eating okra from my granddaddy's garden growing up but I was never a fan-- though frying may have changed my mind! Hooray for taking a risk and stepping up to the (hot) plate! I've read the Magnolia book - there were some lovely quotes in it and I'm with you that I'd rather hold a physical book for sure, but I can see how the kindle will lighten your load on your next adventure. Glad to hear the language issues were resolved though I was pulling for a handsome Chilean translator to pop up in your pickling class :) Here's to God's strength in all our weaknesses- just as it should be. ♥♥
    P.S. Praying for your safety as Irma sorts out her track! xo

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    1. Hi Heather,
      I've yet to meet someone who likes okra and if you had it fresh from the garden and still don't like it, that speaks volumes!! I don't think I could ever give up holding a physical book -- I love them too much -- their aroma, the feel of the pages, the beauty of the cover -- I can't get enough of a gorgeous book! And thank you for your prayers for a handsome cooking mate -- and for Hurricane Irma -- they are much appreciated! Sending much love to you! xo

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  7. I love your writing...you have such a natural, God-given gift!!! I am with you, sweet friend! Give me a tangible book that I can crack open every time...I am still among the few hold-outs on the e-reader bandwagon! I love to just sit down with a real book and turn the pages and there is just nothing at all complicated about that! Simple. That is what I seek these days. I must be getting old!!! I can't wait to see what amazing doors God is going to open for you....I feel it in my bones! I am praying for you and expecting some exciting news in one of these posts of yours any day now. :)

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    1. I love how positive you are, Cheryl! :) I'm with you on simple and uncomplicated where reading is concerned -- that's why we love books, isn't it?! :) xo

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  8. I couldn't resist commenting. Very well written!

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  9. sooo funny....love it

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  10. Hi Valerie! Your posts always make me smile. :) I don't like how deep fat frying lingers in the hair and clothes either. Or in the air. You are so brave to try out a new technological gadget. :) And to broaden your horizons in cooking. :) I don't have a Kindle, but I do have a downloaded app on my computer and ipad. I have several free books just waiting to be read, but the "real" books are my jam, too! :)

    I love your questions at the end. It is my ongoing desire, too, to look outside of me to what's inside of others and to see life through God's perspective. Blessings and hugs!

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    1. Hi Trudy,
      So good to see you here again! I hope you enjoyed your summer sabbatical -- I have missed you! And so good to know that you can relate to the aroma difficulties posed by frying :) and I love it that books are your love language too! xoxo

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  11. "Will I peel off the all-consuming thoughts of how I look to others and instead look outside of me for what's inside the heart of others I meet?" Yes! I love this Valerie. Being fully present to another is such a gift. Did you know it's actually been proven that retention is greater when reading from paper than from electronic devices? I do invest in ebooks with my apps with price being the dictator as ebooks are generally less, yet still prefer the ability to flip through pages. And my magazine addiction is definitely still glossy paper! Happy reading, my friend, whichever method you are using!

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    1. Hi Lynn,
      I didn't know that fascinating fact about reading from a paper copy vs. an e-reader but I can say I heartily agree (especially since I tend to skim a lot more when I read online). Oh I'm with you on glossy magazines! I can't resist a beautiful decorating magazine! Thanks for sharing your thoughts here -- xoxo!

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  12. Love the Kindle story! I go back and forth from Kindle to real books. Best of both worlds. :)

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    1. Sarah,
      Love that -- the best of both worlds -- couldn't agree more!!

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  13. Dear Valerie,
    I loved your post over on Culture with Travel last week--you bring such joy with your words and stories. And then you bring us along with you wherever you go! Whether it's across the ocean or just into your sitting room, you invite us along to learn the sweet lessons that God reveals to you. And I am so blessed because of your open and sharing heart. I am praying for your safety during this crazy, stormy weekend! My kids are trying to stay prepared over in Monteverde at YWAM. Oh, and p.s. I love okra, and I'm pretty hooked on my kindle app now that my hands and joints get sore holding a real book. But I still gather the paper books around me! :) Love and Hugs!

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    1. Hi Bettie,
      Thanks so much for hopping over to Culture with Travel! And more importantly, you LOVE okra?! :) Hoping your family is okay in Monteverde, as we manage through the storms of life together - -both literally and figuratively! xoxo

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  14. Hi Valerie- I love to hear your stories. They make me laugh - as I can so relate. I have not ventured into the kindle idea yet but I can only guess what language I might find myself getting mixed up with too! (the cover is so pretty!) This is so good to think about as I really don’t like that uncomfortable , I don’t know what I'm doing feeling! Good to be stretched though and to know this is where we grow. Like you said, when we let go of how we look and embrace what God has for us in those places. Thanks so much for these thoughts tonight that have helped me to change my perspective on these kind of experiences. Maybe , just maybe, I can think of welcoming that uncomfortable feeling as there might be hidden treasure there! blessings to you- I hope you weathered the storm ok. I have been praying for you! love and hugs xo

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    1. Hi Susie,
      So glad to hear that you can relate to the discomfort of feeling uncomfortable! It's so hard to adjust to those feelings and situations yet they happen so often I should get used to all the practice! I suppose it's all good growth, though and we encounter just what we need. Thanks so much for your prayers during the storm. It was a bit frightening but I was so grateful to come through just fine! Hope all is well with you and hoping you're back to sharing your art with us soon! xoxo

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