By Mark Traphagen on February 28, 2009
According to Margie Haack, this is more than a recipe for her Lemon Dilled Rice:
Lemon Dilled Rice (Serves 3-4)
1 cup rice
4 T. butter
1 small onion, diced
1 t. salt
2 t. dill weed (or 2 T. fresh dill, chopped)
2 c. water or chicken broth
1 lemon, juiced
In a saucepan, melt butter. Add rice and onion. Sautee for 4 minutes until rice turns opaque and onions are translucent. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Cover and turn heat very low. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and moisture is absorbed. (Brown rice takes longer and may need a little more water.)
I tend to do just enough cooking to keep myself alive when my wife is out of town. Truth be told, for me microwaving some Trader Joe’s mini meatballs and a little sauce from a jar over rice is “cooking.” On the other hand, back when we lived in Philly I had two friends my age for whom cooking was an art form on the level of oil painting or symphony composing. As much as I enjoyed consuming their creations, some of my fondest memories of them are the times I got to be with them in the kitchen. Whether it was Jeff showing me why the way the food is arranged on the plate is as important as its taste or Mike demonstrating how turning the vents of his Weber grill the right orientation to the wind draws the smoke from the applewood chips over the meat, I knew I was in the presence of artists.
What Jeff and Mike did with food wasn’t art because they were great technicians (though they were). It was art because they were able to transform the ordinary into something that raised all who came into contact with their cooking beyond the level of “we must eat to live” to something truly human.
(Margie Haack and her husband Dennis co-founded and run Ransom Fellowship in Rochester, MN. Through their magazine Critique, other writing and speaking engagements, they seek to navigate the intersection of faith and culture.)