Christian Chefs Newsletter
December-January 2004-2005

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

      Main Course
           Christianity in the Kitchen - "The Gift of Scripture"
           Culinary Learning - "Ginger and Plum"
           Recipe -
           CCF Trivia
           Recent Job Listings - 7 New
           A Little Something Extra

   A P P E T I Z E R   

Welcome to the December-January CCF newsletter! As you may have already noticed, it's quite a bit later and shorter than usual. I'm personally working about 85 hours a week as I just started as the head chef of a new restaurant. I'm learning a lot from it, but as many of you know, it's not easy. The restaurant is already extremely busy and we haven't even put signs or advertising out anywhere that we're open. Hopefully, in a few weeks things will settle down a bit more so I can update the website more often and keep up the newsletter. Speaking of that, if any of you have any specialties in food and cooking, we could really use some culinary learning articles for future newsletters. If you're curious about how the restaurant itself is going and/or have questions about that, I've been sharing some stuff about that occasionally in the 'Prayer Requests' section of the Message Boards:

Our subscription to the professional cooking contests is about to expire, and we're wondering if that's been a section of our newsletter that has been something you all have been able to take part in. Please e-mail us soon so we can know whether to renew it or not."

I pray everybody had a great Christmas and wish you all a happy New Year! I'm starting to get caught back up with e-mails and everything else, and am expecting all will be back to normal with the February issue of the Christian Chefs Newsletter.

God Bless, and I and my family appreciate your prayers,
Ira Krizo

   M A I N    C O U R S E   

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

The Gift of Scripture

"When you work, you work hard!
When you PRAY, God works."
Hudson Taylor

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." -James 15:16

Boy, I know about "WORK," as I am sure you do too. I have always been a 110% person. What do you think Hudson Taylor was talking about? I know my Lord has directed, and continues to direct, my life and career as a cook and as a servant of Christ. But, I must confess, an awful lot of my work was done by "self" at work. I knew my Lord was my strength and source of wisdom BUT I often was so BUSY I left Him on the back burner, so to speak. How easy it is to skip that one quiet time and most of all the precious time of prayer. How PRIDEFUL it is for us to think WE can move in our own power. Only the Lord can give us the wisdom and strength to carry on.

I have a prison story to share to illustrate my point. I retired from being a Prison Chef a few years back. I used to work with up to 70 inmate workers and maybe, if I was lucky, a fellow paid cook. We had no guards in the kitchen with us. Needless to say, this was a very stressful job at times. Consider what it would be like in this kind of setting if shipments didn't arrive on time, workers rioted, food did not get out on time, or equipment malfunctioned. So many factors can affect the stress level in the kitchen. It was MY job to keep things running smoothly.

One day, it seemed everything that could go wrong did. Then to make things worse, my boss was having a real difficult day himself dealing with all the challenges. He got on my case. Well, I just could not take anymore pressure so I slipped into the walk-in and started to cry out of pure exhaustion and frustration. I have been a Christian for many years, but I had been too busy to spend time with my Lord that day. Low and behold, the Lord sent my fellow cook in to me. My dear friend, Cory, was also a Christian. He whipped out his trusty New Testament with Psalms and began to read to me. He gave me a gift of scripture which was just what I needed to hear. As Cory read, he would stop after each verse and say a sentence prayer about the content. This incident changed my life. Let me share that precious gift of scripture with you.

"1 I love you, Lord; you are my strength.
2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the strength of my
salvation, and my stronghold.
3 I will call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
for he saves me from my enemies."
-Psalm 18 (New Living Translation)

Since that day, I carried a pretty little polished stone in my uniform pocket to remind me of Christ, my rock. When I would be dealing with the various situations at work, I would often have my hand in my pocket and hold onto that rock, my reminder of who my real boss was. Jesus Christ!

Have you ever prayed back scripture to God? What a blessing it is. Have you ever thought of sharing scripture as a "GIFT" with a fellow worker? He might be a baby Christian in need for just such a gift. Or, he could be a mature Christian like me, in need of encouragement at that moment. What Cory did for me that day was a "gift" beyond measure. We were allowed to carry little testaments in our uniform pockets as long as we did not bring up the subject. The inmates always wondered what made Cory and I so different from most of the other "paid cooks." We could then share and pray with them when they asked questions, as long as it did not interfere with getting our job done in a timely manner. Often my men would ask me about the pretty shiny pebble I always carried. Word got around about my faith in Christ. I prayed with many men in that walk-in myself.

"Thank you Jesus, for your gracious, faithful, care of this servant of yours."

Diane Boone

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 <>< <>< <>< <><

Ginger and Plum

A Finnish Christmas Tradition

Piparkakku (Ginger bread cookie) is an old Finnish Christmas tradition that has a steady hold on the culinary aspect of the annual celebration, much like the Christmas ham.

Before the Ginger cookie was invented, the Finns indulged themselves with honey cookies, made of only flour and honey, for honey was the only available sweetener. But as soon as the Orient began to supply the world with exotic spices, they were also included in the dough, thus creating the ginger cookie.

Ginger cookies were introduced to the northern part of Europe probably through monasteries. These cookies were known in Finland during the end part of the medieval times. In the beginning, only the rich and the church baked ginger cookies but when the middleclass began to drink coffee during the eighteenth century and the rest of the population picked up the habit by the end of the nineteenth century, the ginger bread cookie found its way to the common table.

The recipes used vary a great deal depending on the country and culture. The Scandinavians prefer plenty of butter in their dough, while the Germans use almonds.

The ginger bread cookies are not used only as a dessert in Finland: the Finns have decorated their Christmas trees with ginger bread cookies for a long time. Nowadays the cookies that are hung on the trees are also made of scented clay.

Another great favorite during Christmas is the Christmas tart (or plum tart). Unfortunately I couldn't find any history about this desert but it has been around for at least a century and is regarded as an immovable Christmas tradition by most Finns today.

Blessings from above,
Susanna Krizo

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

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

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

Christmas Tart
(Plum Tarts)

This is one of the most well-known dishes in Sweden and is served on a smorgasbord, for lunch, or as a late night supper. It can be prepared ahead of time and then reheated later using a little extra cream or milk.

10 1/2 oz (300 g) margarine or butter
2 1/3 cups (5.5 dl) flour
1 tsp baking powder
7 oz (2 dl) (cold) water

8 3/4 oz (250 g) plums
3 tbsp sugar (fariinisokeria)
7 oz (2 dl) water

If you don't have time to make your own dough, use good-quality frozen puff pastry.

The Dough:
1. Mix the flour and baking powder with the softened butter and blend it in roughly with your fingers until it is sandy.
2. Add the cold water and mix quickly with your hand to make the dough smooth.
3. Let the dough rest in a cool place for an hour or two.
4. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a large, even square about 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick; and fold in three like a letter.
5. Roll the dough out in the opposite direction; repeat the folding and rolling process several times to create the puff pastry.
6. Let rest in a cool place.

The Filling:
1. Cut the plums into thin slices, add the water and sugar and cook on a low temperature for 20 minutes.
2. Let the filling cool down.

1. Cut the pastry into 3-inch squares and place a mound of filling in the center of each square.
2. Split each corner from the top to within 1/2 inch (12 mm) of the center.
3. Fold one half of each corner of the square to the center, thus forming a star.
4. Moist the corners with waters to keep them sealed.
5. Egg wash the tarts and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
6. Let stand in room temperature for 10 minutes before baking.
7. Bake in the oven 425' F (225' C) until the surface is golden brown, approximately 15 minutes.
8. After cooling, you can powder the tarts with powdered sugar to make them more appealing to the eye.

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.

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

Solution to the last newsletter's trivia question:

What berries are also called bounceberries?


The first people to answer this question correctly:
(Many of you got this right. Sorry, I was unable to make the list this month.)

><> ><> ><> ><> 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 = Mercy Ships
Location = Worldwide - visiting ports
Positions = Cooks, Assistant Cooks, Galley help, Executive Chef/Chief Cook

Name = Pioneer College Caterers, Inc.
Location = Hillsboro, Kansas (USA)
Position = College Food Service Asst. Mgr.

Name = Camp Manitoqua & Retreat Center
Location = Frankfort, Illinois (USA)
Position = 2+ Cooks

Name = Brightwood Ranch
Location = Evansburg, Alberta (Canada)
Position = Assistant Cook

Name = Gartmore House
Location = By Stirling, Scotland
Position = Cook

Name = Willowbank Resort
Location = Bermuda
Position = Head Chef

Name = Noah's Ark Whitewater Rafting Co.
Location = Buena Vista, Colorado (USA)
Position = Head Chef

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

The will of God will never take you where the grace of God will not protect you.

   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

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PO Box 608
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