I love the elegant beauty of simple shapes repeating, forming a pattern. My favorite Christmas light display each year is located a few blocks from our home where, year by year, one gentleman has recruited more and more neighbors to hang simple spheres of lights in their very tall trees which line a couple of blocks. Each year, more trees sport these simple lights sparkling high in the dark, night sky. I love the display since it is simple, elegant, and repeats the same theme, block by block in all four directions now.
Whenever I see a beautiful, orderly design, I am reminded that there is a designer who carefully planned this work of art, which may also have a useful function. When I see a beautiful piece of jewelry, or a watch, or a pineapple, I appreciate the thoughtful, careful work that went into the design. The simple repetition of a theme is beautiful.
My friend, Merri, grew up in Vietnam and some years ago, taught me an efficient way to process fresh pineapple. She had learned this technique from her family’s house helper in Vietnam. In case it’s helpful to you, here are the simple steps to remove those eyes of the pineapple which are so pleasing to the eye in their repeating pattern on the fruit, but aren’t so pleasing to the mouth. 🙂
First, choose a pineapple that is ready to be purchased. A fellow shopper told me that if I could pull one of the leaves out, the pineapple was ready. So, when my local Sprouts has the pineapple available for 99 cents each, I like to pick one up and if I can pull one leaf out, I choose that fruit.
My brother’s in-laws taught us that turning the pineapple upside down for 24 hours before cutting it would allow the tasty juices to distribute evenly throughout the whole fruit rather than being concentrated in the bottom portion of the fruit. So, I usually remember to do that. Look at the beautiful pattern of the eyes on the pineapple!
Next, cut the top and the bottom off of the pineapple.
Then, turn the pineapple right side up and cut strips of the skin off the fruit in a downward motion.
After all the strips have been cut off, you’ll just have the tasty fruit and the eyes.
To efficiently remove the eyes without loosing too much of the fruit, cut a little wedge out of the pineapple following the natural diagonal path connecting 2-3 eyes.
With each cut, you can usually remove 2-3 eyes, depending on the length of your knife. I have found the most useful knife for me is my serrated utility knife, and I use a sawing motion for each cut.
After you’ve removed the eyes following their natural diagonal path, you’ll be left with a tasty piece of fruit with a beautiful, swirling pattern.
At this point, I usually turn the pineapple back to its side and cut off slices. We eat some pineapple as a sweet treat, but most of the time, if I pick up some pineapple, it’s going to be used for pizza.
A friend once asked me if I wrote about my mistakes in the kitchen. I thought for a moment and then answered that my book, A Recipe for Survival, does contain some “Lessons Learned” sections explaining how I arrived at some of my techniques after a disaster or two in my learning process. Her question made me think that perhaps others would find encouragement in knowing that my recipes don’t generally reach their final state on the first try.
So, in case it’s encouraging to you, here are some pictures of one of my disasters in experimenting with a new technique for making pizza, without using any gluten, corn, potatoes, or onions. Although it looked horrible, it tasted wonderful, and I’m glad that Brody is easy-going and encouraging regarding my experiments. I don’t think I’ll follow the same procedure that produced this again! I will continue to experiment until I find the right recipe for pizza for Brody.
I’m glad that God, the Designer of all things, from the pattern on pineapples to the permitted problems in my life, is the only Being who is totally free. He is NOT experimenting, NOR discovering! He has had a plan since eternity past, and He has been working it out in everyone’s life throughout these thousands of years from Adam to Zibiah (mother of Joash) and from Athaliah to Zechariah. He is at work now, even in the moments of your life that are “prickly” and His plan will prevail.
Thinking of the difficult months when we didn’t know why Brody kept becoming ill from food, I remember thinking that I would never have chosen those challenges. During those difficult times, remembering the Gospel encouraged me to keep trusting that God IS loving, even when I was experiencing suffering. Now, I see that God was at work for both of us to grow spiritually. It’s still hard to say it, but I am thankful for the hardships that were used by God to show me areas of sin in my life and to increase my trust in Him.
I imagine that you, too, can look back on your life and see His hand at work. Perhaps at the time, you didn’t have the perspective that you do now, but now you can see great beauty in His purposeful, orderly design of your life.
The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation.
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.