Christian Chefs Newsletter
October 2004

Subscription/Unsubscription/Address Change/Contact Information can be found near the base of this newsletter.

      Main Course
           Christianity in the Kitchen - "Things Happen Around the Table"
           Culinary Learning - "Watermelon Carving"
           CCF Trivia
           Recipe - Buttermilk Cranberry Bread
           Recent Job Listings - 5 New
           Seeking Employment
           Recipe Contests
           Hints and Tips
           Featured Website - FACTNet
           Chef to Chef
           A Little Something Extra
           A Merry Heart

   A P P E T I Z E R   

We have good news for those of you living in and near Phoenix, Arizona: Christian Chefs of Arizona is up and running! A statement of faith, a mission statement and other information can be acquired by contacting "J. Robert" in Phoenix, Arizona through the Memberlist. More information will be posted through the following link. Information about getting a group of Christian cooks and chefs together in your area can be found here as well:

We are still having scheduled weekly chats for you to be able to better get to know, encourage, support, bless, and be blessed by your fellow Christian cooks and chefs. This coming month we will be meeting on Tuesday evenings from 8-10pm CST (GMT -06:00, PST 6-8pm, EST 9-11pm). Login to the Members area during that time if you'd like to join in:

God Bless,
Ira Krizo

   M A I N    C O U R S E   

><> ><> ><> ><> CHRISTIANITY IN THE KITCHEN <>< <>< <>< <><

Things Happen Around the Table

Back in April some friends and I went to San Francisco to celebrate my 40th birthday. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, "Park Chow", and the 18 of us had a time that was more than just special. See, I had just moved back up to northern California about a month before and I had not seen most of these people for almost a year. As it turned out, most of them had not seen each other in almost a year. As all the different conversations around the table were transpiring, relationships were being restored and friendships renewed. Ever wonder why Thanksgiving is such a great holiday, or going out to eat with friends and family is such a good time? A friend of mine named Charles says it is because everything happens around the table. In the Bible, Jesus himself taught one of his last major lessons to his disciples around the table. John Chapters 13 through 17are dedicated to The Last Supper.

So what makes eating together such a special time? Why is it that we have wedding banquets and most corporate meetings come with some sort of food? Look out at your dining room this week. Look at the people fellowshipping and laughing. It is not because of the food -- it is because as we sit down to eat together, we share together, laugh together, and cry together. Food is a part of almost every celebration we have including funerals. As food service professionals, we get the opportunity to contribute to these events. We get to share in the blessing of each person in the dining room.

The food we make is just a tool that God uses to bring people together. He has gifted each and every one of us for the task at hand. If you work in a five star restaurant or a school cafeteria, God has placed you in that position to do just the things you are doing. After 20 years of food service, I can look back and see how God has used me in different situations. One such time was when I was working as the Food Service Director of a Christian school in Watsonville, California, not far from where I grew up in Santa Cruz. It was 7:00 a.m. on the fourth of July in 2001 and a student walked into my dining room all by himself. He came over to me and asked, "Are you a Christian"? I said, "Yes." He then asked me how he could become a Christian and there in the kitchen I showed this young man the way to the Lord.

God can use us in almost any situation if we are willing to be used by Him. This week take a look around the dining room and see the people that God is working with. Even if you work in a non-Christian place, God is still working in those people's lives. He is working in the back of the house as well as the front. He is working in your dishwashers' lives and in the busboys' lives. We serve in a noble profession that God uses to bring people together and to teach the lessons of life. Be blessed and know that God has picked you for such a time as this.

Richard Ignizio, Christian Chef
Santa Cruz

If God is speaking to your heart about these things, and you need somebody to talk with, please don't hesitate to e-mail us about your need and somebody from the Fellowship will contact you as soon as possible. If you have a prayer request or would like to start a theological discussion on this or any other topic, please feel free to post it in our Message Boards:

><> ><> ><> ><> CULINARY LEARNING <>< <>< <>< <><

Watermelon Carving

You will find that there are many gadgets and tools to help you carve fruits and vegetables, including a very "cute" pumpkin carving kit marketed for Halloween every year. But I have found that most of your common garnishing and cutlery tools that you possess will do the job more than adequately...and if you have a bit of creativity and/or are artistic, even fewer are necessary.

I use a real nice paring knife from Chicago Cutlery with a wooden handle and a thin blade, both in thickness and width. I picked it up in Wal-Mart for about 4 or 5 dollars. My other "expensive" paring knives are too thick in width for carving smaller items. A wooden skewer is what I use to pick, pull, or poke pieces out while I am working. And last but not least, an X-Acto craft knife (the kind you buy or use for hobbies) for beginning a drawing or pattern that has detail that can be cut out later by the paring knife.

There are some really good books out there on carving and garnishing. However I must admit I learned by playing around in my spare time and haven't really bought or owned any of those books. Please consider though, if a book has templates for you that these are almost always irritating and confine you to trying to find the average/normal size watermelon.

Here are some basics for what I call "traditional" carving:
1. For some reason (that Harold McGee or Alton Brown could probably tell you), a watermelon sometimes has some pressure, so if you know of some areas that you can cut out go ahead and do so. You can leave the meat (fruit) but remove the rind. This keeps the watermelon from splitting or cracking while you're carving a design when starting with a whole watermelon (thus ruining it except for eating the remains).
2. As in step one, do your carving and remove the rind around it but leave the meat behind it until the absolute last minute. This keeps your work stable, keeps the watermelon in good physical shape, and leaves less of a chance that you will damage that section while working on something else. I have done carvings stretching them over several days only to hull the cavity out at the last minute -- everything was good and stable, the watermelon did not wilt, curl, and/or droop while waiting for presentation/completion.
3. Wrap the watermelon in plastic wrap/film in between working on it and/or storing (store in refrigerator). By using the above practice in step two, I have kept watermelons several days while carved and/or working on them. I have found that using lemon juice or any other fruit stabilizers doesn't prolong the life of the watermelon any more than the practices I currently use, so I don't brush carved areas with any kind of acidic juice to retard colorization. I have not had that problem with a watermelon.
4. I hardly ever use the meat inside a watermelon that I am carving (except for snacking on). It seems better to me to fill it with different color and texture contrasting fruits to eat and not to incorporate the watermelon meat itself back in (that's just my professional opinion). Backyard entertaining? Suuurrre, that would be fine!
5. Watermelon can be stood upright or lying down but if you are using it to hold flowers, be sure to remember to leave a good bit of the watermelon meat in the basket or vase style carving you have. It works well to hold everything in place; not to mention provide water/nourishment for the flowers if real.
6. I practice carving the "empty" space out first -- then detail or outline around it later. This keeps from a mass amount of mistake by misjudging the room that you will need to complete the design.

Actually explaining all the ways of carving a watermelon could get extremely extensive. Hopefully, these basics will help get you off to a good start while practicing your own graphics or designs. I also use my apple corer for cutting circles and for making heart or teardrop shapes with additional cuts. Using your zester (5 hole kind) works wonders for creating a basket look by alternating one inch zests horizontally and vertically. And if you have multiple size and shape metal or plastic cookie cutters you can press them firmly into the green of the watermelon creating a bruised/dark outline on the skin to use as a guide to cut whatever shape you used out of the rind.

Right now I know of 3 different types of watermelon carving styles which I have named myself because I am not sure if there is even a classification:

1. Traditional - this is what everyone is used to seeing whether it is simple or extravagant.

2. Whittle - I named this according to what it looks like, the green is whittled away to the white but not carving into the meat/flesh. This leaves a carved look -- like the surface of wood carvings.

3. Inverse - I am currently working on improving my technique in this area. Unlike Traditional, this relies on using the white rind (no green, or very little) and the flesh (red) as a supporting color and carved area giving more of a depth to the carving. As you could imagine, this one would not be hulled out or the flesh eaten at all.

While any one of these styles are great, I am seeing that more and more the styles are being combined for even more elaborate pieces. One book that I have recently run into is called Fantastic Food Decorating by Manuela Caldirola & Sergio Barzetti. It covers a section for melons and many other things but also comes with good tool and food science help for making your carvings successful.

Tyrone Barton
Chief Cook
Mercy Ships - Anastasis
Europe & West Africa

Questions about this article or any other culinary-related subject can be asked via the "Culinary Q&A" Section of the Message Boards:

><> ><> ><> ><> TRIVIA <>< <>< <>< <><

First, this newsletter's question:

What Scandinavian "table" claims to offer you sandwiches, while in reality, its great variety of delicatessens doesn't include bread at all?

E-mail your answer to "" with "Trivia Answer" in the subject column. Also, please tell us what brief title(s) ("Sous Chef," "Dallas, Texas," or whatever - see examples below) you would prefer for your name being listed in the next newsletter, as well as how difficult you found the question (so we can improve future trivia questions).

Solution to the last newsletter's trivia question:

How many times is Jesus referred to as "The Word of God" in the Bible?
A) 1
B) 2
C) 4

B) 2

Additional information found/submitted on the subject:
John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Revelation 19:13 - He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

The first people to answer this question correctly:
(There were no correct answers this month.)

><> ><> ><> ><> RECIPE <>< <>< <>< <><

Prefer your measurements in a different format? (weight vs. volume)

Buttermilk Cranberry Bread
Author: Chef Bob

The Lord gave me this one after trying to come up with a bread for my roasted turkey breast that tasted like southern dressing but was a bread. Well, my experiments never came out good enough so this is the one I developed about 5 years ago when I owned a bakery - and that's another story.
With love,
Your brother Bob

1 qt (950 ml) spring water
1/2 qt (475 ml) whole buttermilk
2 1/2 oz (70 g) salt (sea or kosher)
10 oz (280 g) brown sugar (1 lb/500 g is too much)
6 eggs, extra large (12 oz/340 g)
5 lb (2.27 kg) high gluten flour
1 lb (450 g) whole wheat flour
3 oz (85 g) saf instant yeast
8 oz (225 g) shortening
approx. 5 lb (2.27 kg) of pot fermente (dough from previous days batch)
2 1/2 lb (1.14 kg) craisins (dried cranberries)

1) Mix water, buttermilk, salt, sugar, and eggs by hand in a 30qt (30 L) mixing bowl
2) Mix flours, yeast, and shortening with dough hook 2-3 minutes
3) Add pot fermente and mix dough 5-8 minutes on 2nd speed
4) Add craisins and mix until gluten is developed (4-8 minutes)
5) Turn out onto lightly oiled bench. Lightly oil dough and cover with large plastic bag (no polyurethane please)
6) Let rest 45 minutes
7) Scale into 24 oz (680 g) and round up. Place 5 to a sheet pan lined with cornmeal or parchment Proof 45 min to 1 hour
8) Bake at 375'F (190'C) for 30 min
Note: Don't forget to keep out 5 lb (2.27 kg) of dough for next production. If you are not going to make bread soon, freeze pot fermente. Cool and slice for sanwiches. Use cranberry sauce on one side and herbed mayo on the other. Garnish with assortment of chips, shredded lettuce on the side and Alabama tomatoes with salt & pepper.

We prefer to list recipes from Christian Chefs rather than from other sources, so if you have any good recipes of your own, please post them in the "Recipes" section of the Message Boards.  Please include an introduction to the recipe with your personal comments of the stories that make them special, and if your recipe is chosen, it will be listed in our website forever and in our next newsletter.

><> ><> ><> ><> RECENT JOB LISTINGS <>< <>< <>< <><

More information on each of the below Job Listings, such as the job's timeline, responsibilities, pay, and how to contact the employer on each of these, can be found within the Employment area of our website (link below). There you can also find jobs that have been posted in previous months that haven't yet been filled and you can also post any job openings you have to be listed there and in this newsletter for FREE!

Name = Pioneer College Caterers, Inc.
Location = Langhorne, Pennsylvania (USA)
Position = College Food Service Director

Name = Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center
Location = Cresco, Pennsylvania (USA)
Position = Food Service Manager/Head Cook

Name = Michindoh Camp & Conference Center
Location = Hillsdale, Michigan (USA)
Position = Chef/Food Service Administrator

Name = Black Forest Academy
Location = Kandern (Germany)
Positions = Head Chef/Food Services Manager & Assistant Chef

Name = Residence of Archbishop Jimmie L. Smith
Location = Conyers, Georgia (USA)
Position = In Home Chef

><> ><> ><> ><> SEEKING EMPLOYMENT <>< <>< <>< <><

If you are looking for kitchen staff and want to view more information about anyone listed below, each of the following listings is posted in the "Resumes" category of the Message Boards. If you are looking for employment, it's a free service to post your resume. Just make sure you include your name, location desired, and position desired in your post.

Name = Valerie Ann Grimes
Location Desired = St. Louis, Missouri (USA)
Position Desired = Managerial culinary position

   D E S S E R T   

><> ><> ><> ><> RECIPE CONTESTS <>< <>< <>< <><

Please note: Contest Listing(s) below are for PROFESSIONALS ONLY in the culinary industry. There are many more contests available for nonprofessionals as well, some of them ongoing or being repeated on a monthly basis. If you're interested in those, here's one excellent website to check out:

Eligible Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipe Categories are: (1) Low-Carbohydrate Main Dishes or (2) Slow Cooker Innovation Dishes (Defined as: Gourmet-style dishes or recipes other than Stews, Casseroles, etc. that are not traditionally prepared in a Slow Cooker). Recipes will be judged in varying rounds with differing criteria (see rules).
DEADLINE: Begins Oct. 4 and ends Oct. 31
PRIZES: Grand Prize(2): an 8-day European Taste Tour for two to Italy and France with cooking lessons, tours, entertainment and $750 spending money (ARV. $10,000).

All contests listed above are provided by the company listed, NOT by CCF. For additional information on each contest, please contact the designated company for that specific listing. Enjoy!

><> ><> ><> ><> HINTS AND TIPS <>< <>< <>< <><

To easily chop raisins (or other dried fruits), place a small amount of butter on both sides of the knife.

Permission given from the "Tips and Shortcuts" area of the Message Boards:

If you know of any great hints or tips, please post them in the "Hints and Tips" area of the Message Boards. Of the ones posted there, one will be featured here in our newsletter.

><> ><> ><> ><> FEATURED WEBSITE <>< <>< <>< <><


Would you like to know more about a church or a ministry you have heard about? At FACTNet you can post your questions at their discussion board and get answers from people that have personal experiences from various ministries. You can post anonymously if you so wish. You can also find a guide to cults, a free cult newsletter, and just about anything else you may want to know about cults.

><> ><> ><> ><> CHEF TO CHEF <>< <>< <>< <><

"No-Boil Noodles"

"I noticed in the catering question Kathleen was telling Ira about Barilla No-Boil noodles...on the ship we order mass amounts of over ten different kinds of pasta as a starch supply with potato, corn, rice...etc.

But NONE of our noodles are no-boil, never have been (even when I was at home shopping I just buy the regular lasagna) but I use them the same way, baking them in the pan without even presoaking them and have never had any problems...I even faked a lasagna with layers of eggnoodles that cooked out flat after layering with bolognese and bechamel..etc without pre-boiling or soaking.

So my question is - Do they really do anything different to the pasta when they classify them as No-Boil?"

You are welcome to respond to this message in the "Culinary Q&A" section of CCF's message boards:

If you're searching for particular instructions or cooking techniques or maybe have a special need, you can post these on our message boards. If you've done that and are still in need, please e-mail us and let us know so that we may highlight that need in this section of our next newsletter.

><> ><> ><> ><> A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA <>< <>< <>< <><

The resurrection cannot be tamed or tethered by any utilitarian test. It is a vast watershed in history, or it is nothing. It cannot be tested for truth; it is the test of lesser truths. No light can be thrown on it; its own light blinds the investigator. It does not compel belief; it resists it. But once accepted as fact, it tells more about the universe; about history, and about man's state and fate than all the mountains of other facts in the human accumulation.
-Life Magazine

Borrowed with permission from "This Day's Thought"

><> ><> ><> ><> A MERRY HEART <>< <>< <>< <><

Forbidden fruits create many jams.

   T O O T H P I C K   

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God Bless,
Ira Krizo, Director
Christian Chefs Fellowship
Phone: (619) 429-0705
Fax: (508) 462-1068

Christian Chefs Fellowship
PO Box 608
Crestline, CA 92325

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. -1 Cor 10:31 ESV

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