It was mid-January here at Vanaprastha when I watched the video. The temperature was moderate for a winter day. But the extended forecast called for snow, and comfort food was on my mind.

“Hi, I’m Nica Waters, and welcome to Tasty Thursday.” That day, Nica showed her viewers how to make a great sandwich using a Panini maker. And, yes, she said, the gadget was worth it. (Check out the video and others on Nica’s YouTube channel.) I’m always on the lookout for yummy recipes and helpful tips for better living, but another kitchen gadget?

Fast-forward six months.

One of my projects this summer is to transcribe all my notes from the local Women’s Bible Study, which I’ve been attending for the past two-and-a-half years. (Thank you to our gifted teacher Cathie and my friend Vicki for reviewing and editing.) By fall, I should have all the lessons of the Old Testament in one searchable document, including a table of contents.

Among the lessons I reviewed this past week was Proverbs, a follow-up to last week’s post. The final chapter of the book is about the ideal wife or Wisdom as wife. (See my friend Sarah Myer’s Noontimes post about Proverbs 31:10-32.)

In Hebrew, this passage is an acrostic poem of twenty-two lines, each beginning with a successive letter of the alphabet. The poem does not deal with the wife’s physical appearance or feelings (“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain… 31:30) but on her capabilities and deeds.

She is a blessing not only to her family but also to her community. She provides food for her household (31:15), is prudent in business (31:16), girds herself with strength (31:17), weaves cloth for her family and to sell (31:19, 22, 24), opens her hand to the poor and reaches out to the needy (31:20).

Another summer project, on which my husband and I are collaborating like we often do when cooking, is a top-to-bottom sort, de-cluttering and organizing. This we do periodically, and the decision guidelines are simple: keep what we use or must have on hand, give away usable items to charitable organizations, and dispose of trash like responsible stewards.

So. Did I buy the Panini maker?

paniniOver the months, I occasionally pondered whether I should add another kitchen gadget to the ones we have—crock pot, food processor, bread maker, rice cooker, ice cream maker—all of which we use. Then one day two weeks ago I took the plunge. Since then Keith and I have enjoyed several kinds of grilled sandwiches, a good way to jazz up leftovers—roasts, cheese, veggies, salad fixings—winter, spring, summer, or fall.

So we’ve decided to keep the Panini maker and our other kitchen gadgets—as long as we use them.


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