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Christianity in the Kitchen - "Testimony: Minge Pointer, Bakers on Wheels"
Culinary Learning - "Horseradish: Hot Stuff!"
Recipe - Horseradish Sauce & Horseradish Crusted Filet with a Bleu Cheese Sauce
Current Job Listings - 31
Featured Website - Mercy Chefs
Chef to Chef - "Culinary Mystery"
|A P P E T I Z E R|
I apologize in not keeping up with the CCF Newsletter for quite some time. Having our own restaurant/B&B and family has taken 110% of my time. Susanna and Jonathan are still putting up with me (Thank God!), but God made it clear for us to close the restaurant and move on. We currently live in Portland Oregon and I work as a head chef of a large catering company. I know there are quite a few of you living in the area, so if any of you cooks and chefs are interested in getting together for a Bible study or just to hang out, contact me.
If you are interested in starting a group in your area, see our Local Group information.
As for the direction of CCF as a whole, we're planning to get the newsletter back on a routine schedule. For the time being we want to at least have the newsletter come out quarterly.
The new Job Listings area that we mentioned in our last newsletter has been working great too! Thanks to some automation, jobs are posted much faster than before, look better, are easier to update, and always kept up to date. We've even added the capability so that internet job search engines (like www.indeed.com) now share our job listings to a much wider audience. FYI, job search engines there only give an introduction to a job listing and link back to our website for the full review. We have also added a map in the Job Listings page so that you can get a visual overview of where the various job listings are.
In addition, instead of checking the Employment area over and over or waiting for the newsletter to come out to see what jobs are new, we have added functionality so that job listings can get e-mailed to you when they are validated on the website. To sign up for this go to the CCF Members area, click to "Edit My Subscription", and select "Yes" to the "Would you like e-mailed every time a new job listing is posted?" question. As always, it's still free to both view and post job listings at CCF.
|M A I N C O U R S E|
Find the answer to this month's trivia question here:
My name is Minge Pointer, and I thank you for letting me come here today to speak with you! I want to share with you the story of how I ended up living a life dedicated to service to the Lord.
Let me begin by saying that I was raised in a Christian home, attended church every Sunday, was heavily involved in all youth activities around the state as a teenager, but did not have a relationship with Jesus in my heart. But as I have aged, my interest has increased. My faith was rekindled about 5 or 6 years ago, and I began a serious journey of faith that kept bringing me closer and closer to a committed relationship with Christ. I attended church regularly, and for the right reasons – because I wanted to be with others to pray together and praise together, and learn together.
My health had been bad for many many years, and I had been told in 2000 that I had probably about 6 months to live. But that stretched on and on, until the spring of 2002 when I fell into a coma from which they never expected me to awake. Daily, even hourly reports were grim. But I did wake up after a little over a month, and gradually regained some strength, enough to walk around in an apartment, to a car, in a grocery, but my health never fully normalized. I went to church, had a healthy prayer life, but devoted little time to anything other than being extremely ill. Again it was the 6 months left routine, over and over. I stayed in bed from Christmas of 2003 until the 2nd of May 2004, all that while, feeling so bad I almost wished I had died either when they first started saying I would, or at least while I had been in the coma. But on the 2nd of May, I was taken to the hospital and before I remember even being talked to in the ER, I fell into another coma.
This time my health was even worse during the coma, if that was possible. Hourly, or more frequently, my parents were being told that this was the last moment of my life. Over and over, on and on, I was on this death watch until I woke up at the end of May 2004. When I woke up I couldn’t move anything. And comas have some pretty weird affects on your brain too. But I spent 3 months in a nursing home, and at the very end of that period, I had finally learned to sit up so I got a wheelchair and I went home.
There was still very little I could do with my body, but I was determined to do whatever I could to use the rest of my life in service to the Lord. It was not a decision based on being saved from the brink of death, but on the knowledge that I want to be working for God every minute until my last day in this life because I don’t want to miss a single moment of the joy you get from a Christ-centered life. I live on Social Security Disability, unable to work at all for years, as the history I’ve just given you demonstrates. But when I decided to devote myself full time to God and whatever He wanted me to do, I found myself being more and more able to do things. I prayed and prayed for Him to lead me to a way I could serve Him, according to His will. And that’s where the current part of the story picks up.
I started and now run a bread ministry named Bakers On Wheels, which has two purposes – the first is to demonstrate Christian love, and share that love though the giving of the gift of home-baked bread.
The second is to empower other adults with disabilities, through mentoring them in the art of baking, which may lead to earning a wage through their own effort and ability, and most importantly, hopefully increase their self-esteem by gaining what society prizes so much – a purpose in life. But currently it’s just me. And here’s the bottom line - I bake bread and give it away – it can’t be any simpler than that!
I wanted to share the love I have for God, and the love He has for me, and I chose giving the gift of bread as my way to demonstrate the concept of Christian love. The gift of love and grace given to each of us by Jesus Christ was and is given freely. Bakers On Wheels gives our gift of bread freely, and we hope that in addition to satisfying a physical hunger, it may also feed the spirit.
The question is often asked: “Why bread”? Well, bread has meaning on so many levels:
Let me tell you a little more about Bakers On Wheels. Since currently it is only me, beside the board of directors, I try to concentrate my time and effort on what I know how to do – bake bread that is out-of-this-world good! About half of the bread I bake goes to outreach programs run by faith-based organizations – they already have the distribution network in place. The other half goes to individuals, families, groups, or businesses, that for one reason or another I have felt led to, without regard to the usual parameters, such as income level. Bakers on Wheels sees need in a different way – we all need a reminder that we are loved by Jesus and our neighbors from time to time, and I let God lead me to those people, carrying bread, which I joyfully hand over, with nothing more than a quiet “God loves you and so do I”. Now bear in mind that what I am trying to do is to touch the heart of someone who may feel distanced from God today, or lonely, or frustrated, or abandoned– we’ve all felt something like this. I try to leave myself as open as I can to hear the whisper of the Holy Spirit and feel the gentle nudge of the will of God as I am led to those people I just described. I am more than pleased to fill an empty belly, but I feel more led to feed that hungry soul.
A quick explanation of how Bakers On Wheels operates. We are a non-profit organization (incorporated) that exists SOLELY on private donations and donations from my Social Security Disability check when needed. 100% of the donations are used in the production of the bread. Individuals as well as churches an organizations that support our mission make contributions, which are used to buy the ingredients necessary to bake bread; the bread is baked and then given to those God sends my way. If you feel led to join me in this mission to spread God’s love through gifts of home-baked bread, please make a donation in the amount your heart tells you to. We need your contributions to continue this work, this good work.
The last few years have been, hands down, the BEST years of my life, even though these years have included some pretty scary physical situations, and learning to use this delightful wheelchair to get around, but these are so minor in the scheme of things that I rarely think of them at all. God has rained unbelievable blessings on me and I praise Him endlessly. But sometimes praise alone doesn’t feel like enough. I encourage you to find a way to let God use you as He has used me.
If you have any doubt as to my choice of bread for my ministry, remember that Jesus, the “Bread of Life”, the “bread of Heaven”, was born in Bethlehem, the “City of Bread”, and that what He asked us to do in remembrance of Him, was to break bread together.
If you have a testimony that you would like to bless Christian cooks and chefs with worldwide, please contact us:
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:
My family has been growing and marketing fresh horseradish for generations. So when an old friend complained that the horseradish in the stores wasn’t hot enough for him, we gave him some of our own product. His wife later described his reaction to the first bite:
“Whoo, that’s good!” — red-faced, eyes watering, smoke practically blowing out his ears.
Horseradish is a long, fleshy root, which most sources kindly describe as “pungent.” Anyone who’s cleared their sinuses with a whiff will agree. Horseradish is one of those foods we use to heat life up a little bit. It’s native to Central Europe, and has a long history of use, both culinary and medicinal. Like potatoes, horseradish is grown not from seed, but from a piece of last year’s root. Here in Virginia, we plant in May, and harvest the following winter.
A fresh stick of horseradish isn’t very prepossessing. It’s off-white in color, has a fist-shaped head and a thick, straight tail. An average root is some twelve inches long and weighs around one and a quarter pounds. Even after they’ve been trimmed and washed, horseradish roots have a rough, barky appearance. This roughness equals hardiness, though; when refrigerated, an unpeeled stick will retain its flavor just fine for months.
Horseradish’s claim to fame becomes apparent the minute you cut into it. Be prepared for watering eyes, although horseradish doesn’t irritate the skin the way some chilies do. Here’s the simplest method I’ve found for preparing fresh horseradish: Peel the root and cut it into one- or two-inch chunks. Place these in a blender or food processor, add white vinegar until they’re barely covered, and then blend until the consistency is as coarse or fine as you like it. Horseradish prepared this way can be used just as it is, or mixed with other ingredients – cream, mayonnaise, sour cream – to make a variety of sauces. Tightly sealed and refrigerated, it’ll last for several weeks, but its potency will diminish the longer it’s kept.
I’ll admit I’m a snob when it comes to fresh horseradish versus the bottled stuff. But processed horseradish can certainly be used in any recipe, though you may want to step up the amount. Dried ground horseradish is another alternative. This has to be reconstituted by soaking it in water; the general rule is 1 tablespoon of dried horseradish equals 2 tablespoons prepared.
Horseradish traditionally accompanies beef. It also goes well with pork and other heavy meats, either hot or cold. It’s superb with seafood, good in a potato salad or a slaw, and makes excellent dipping sauces for raw vegetables. Try adding it to your meatloaf ingredients, or topping baked potatoes with it. Some cooks like to grind a raw beet in with the horseradish, to give it a nice ruby-red color, but be warned: this may get mistaken for cranberry sauce.
What I like best about horseradish is the fact that its bite doesn’t linger. Chilies can leave you burning for days, but the blast from horseradish fades fairly quickly, leaving your tongue ready for another mouthful. The heat doesn’t overpower horseradish’s natural sweetness, either.
Horseradish is sometimes used as the bitter herb (Exodus 12:8) of the Jewish Passover. As part of the Passover meal, horseradish is not just a condiment; it’s a symbol of the captivity in Egypt, of the bitterness we sometimes face today, of obedience to God’s word, and the promise of God’s deliverance, in the past and the future. That’s a pretty big job for such a humble root! Think of this, the next time you dish up a serving of horseradish. And remember the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise – Jesus.
Jessica Van Dessel
Christian writer and farmer
Questions about this article or any other culinary-related subject can be asked via the "Culinary Q&A" Section of the Message Boards:
Author: Jessica Van Dessel
Christian writer and farmer
6 oz (170g) of horseradish root
1/2 cup (118ml) light cream
1/4 cup (60ml) vinegar
1 tsp (5ml) salt
1 tbsp (15ml) brown sugar
2 tsp (10ml) prepared mustard
1/8 tsp (.6ml) pepper
1) Peel and coarsely chop horseradish root.
2) Place all ingredients in blender and blend until the horseradish is finely ground. (Do not expect the mixture to look very smooth.)
3) Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan and cook over low heat until warmed through, being careful not to let it boil. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator. Makes about one cup.
Author: Ira Krizo
Chef/Owner, White Pine Products
Chef, Catering At It’s Best
I made this recipe for a winemaker’s dinner in our restaurant in 2005. The menu was a hit and it matched perfectly with Del Rio Vineyard’s 2001 Claret. You can use more affordable cuts of meats than filet, such as a Ribeye Steak or even Tri-Tip.
Yield: 4 servings
4 each, 6 oz (170g) filet mignon steaks
4 oz (113g) Tulelake Organic Horseradish, fresh root, peeled & grated
2 cups (473ml) heavy whipping cream
2 cups (473ml) chicken stock (or high quality chicken broth)
1/2 cup (118ml) dry white wine (chardonnay is good)
4 oz (113g) high quality bleu cheese (my favorite is Rogue Creamery Crater Lake Bleu)
Salt and Pepper
1) Combine cream, chicken stock and white wine in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Bring to a boil and let simmer until thickened to a gravy-like consistency, stirring frequently.
2) While the sauce is reducing, crust the top and bottom of your steak with the grated horseradish and season with salt and pepper. Get a sauté or cast iron pan hot on a stove at a medium-high temperature. Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add your meat. If it doesn’t sizzle the second you put the meat in the pan, remove the meat immediately and turn the heat up. When the bottom of the meat is dark brown (but not burnt) turn the meat over and sear the other side the same. Remove the meat from the pan and finish on a baking sheet pan in a 350'F (177'C) oven to desired doneness.
3) Finish the sauce just before service. Bring sauce back to a boil on the stove and then turn the stove off. Coarsely crumble the bleu cheese and stir half of it into the reduction. Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper if needed. Ladle the sauce over the steaks and garnish them with the remaining bleu cheese.
Serving Suggestion: over au gratin potatoes with green beans almandine (green beans sautéed in butter with toasted almonds)
Prefer your measurements in a different format? (weight vs. volume)
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.
|D E S S E R T|
Following are all the current job listings on our website. More information on each of the below Job Listings can be found within the Employment area of our website (link below). Employers can also post any job openings there for FREE!
|Canada||British Columbia||Langley||Restaurant consultant/manager||Experienced Chef|
|Caribbean||Caribbean||Ports in the Caribbean||Certified Cook (Logos II)||Galley Staff|
|United Kingdom||Scotland||Inverness-shire||Development Chef/Cook||Assistant Chef/Cook|
|USA||Alaska||Glennallen||Food Service Manager|
|USA||California||Cold Springs||Food Service Coordinator|
|USA||California||Fresno||Food Service Director|
|USA||California||Idyllwild||Head of Food Services|
|USA||Colorado||Almont||Food Service Manager|
|USA||Colorado||Bailey||Full Time Cook|
|USA||Colorado||Buena Vista||Second Cook|
|USA||Colorado||Norwood||Cook & Cook's assistant|
|USA||Florida||Leesburg||Assistant Food Service Director|
|USA||Illinois||Palos Heights (by Chicago)||Production Manager|
|USA||Iowa||Okoboji||Sous Chef (3)||Line Cook|
|USA||Maryland||Baltimore||Head Cook||Bed and Breakfast Staff|
|USA||Maryland||North East||sous chef - dinner chef|
|USA||Massachusetts||Monterey||Food Service Director/Chef|
|USA||Mississippi||French Camp||Director of Food Services|
|USA||New Mexico||Ruidoso||Executive Sous Chef|
|USA||New York||North River||Head Cook||Assistant Cook|
|USA||New York||Schroon Lake||Sous Chef||Pastry Chef|
|USA||Oregon||Portland||Catering Prep Cook|
|USA||Oregon||Salem||Food Services Director|
|USA||Texas||Columbus||Full Time Cook||Cook|
Submitted by Leo Griego
I would heartily recommend something that has been on my heart and mind of recent. That is the wonderful Ministry of Mercy Chefs. The Lord is doing some awesome things through Chef Gary LeBlanc. Basically it is a ministry of responding to emergencies with the ability to prepare and serve hot professionally cooked food! Simple as it sounds but wonderful in that it is God working through Jesus in US. Truly it is something that we can be proud of and that we can identify with. Pray about supporting them or as I have offering myself should they need staff for the "next emergency". Recently they went to a Tornado ravaged town in AR. Being a blessing until power and water services were up and running. Some they fed hadn't had a hot meal in days! I encourage you to check the website out and sign up for email notices. and send an encouraging email to Chef Gary. Taste and See that the Lord is good! And by ALL means pray for them as they share their gift of being a culinary professional in service to Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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.
|T O O T H P I C K|
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