Technique                                                 December 2018

Momma had her sayings, but Daddy had his little inventions. I still use his “how to vacuum seal your food to freeze it without a machine.” Put all your items in a gallon Ziploc bag, move them around until they form one flat uniform level, and insert a straw into the bag until it is between two pieces of fruit or meat or vegetables. Zip it closed except for the part where the straw goes through.  Take three deep normal breaths then exhale completely. Using the straw, suck all the air out of the bag. When it tightens up, simultaneously pull the straw out and finish the zip up. Lay it flat in the freezer until you need it.

After chopping vegetables for my Sukiyaki recipe one afternoon I was overstocked on the good stuff and I used this technique. All progressed nicely until I got to the final ingredient – onions. While chopping them, I went to great lengths to have a lot of fresh air flying around the cutting board; this to avoid tears and a runny nose. Then I used the Ziploc vacuum technique to save the remainder. When I sucked I got a full onion’s worth of the vapors and it felt like I had been kicked in the head by a mule.

The technique had work perfectly on water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, beef strips, and rice. Onions were another story. Sometimes our techniques mostly work, but there are exceptions.

It is the same with people. My joke among friends about the attorney in the barn guarantees many laughs, but may be a dud at a Bar Association luncheon. What influences one person in a positive way may depress another horribly. It has everything to do with the very personal experiences of your audience, congregation or small group. How your listeners react to your words and actions has  more to do with their history than with your own. This is why a one-on-one relationship is so rich. We learn a great deal about each other and can then guide our words in a specific and significant way. That really is one of the finest treasures upon this earth.

When thinking about the best words to say think in this way, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

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