S.A.L.T

We took a break from university for a short holiday over this period of elections and that came with 3 things for me;

  1. voting for the first time (my generation and I were the ones filling social media with all those inked finger selfies! 🙂 )
  2. reading for my end of year exams and lastly,
  3. house chores, especially cooking.

Let me expound on cooking. Being the only girl at home, it’s only fair that I’d be the one to cook most times. Well, I must say that I enjoy it. I get to whip up some finger lickin’ good food, especially with Pinterest recipes up my sleeves. This time I created a duty rota and my brothers too, were able to show off their cooking prowess. They did a really good job but hands down, mama’s cooking will always be the best.

Just a few days ago, I decided to cook up a storm with the bringles we had at home. For those unsure of what these are, they also go by the name brinjals, eggplants, aubergines or biringanya. I found an online Italian recipe here for eggplant meatballs in Marinara sauce. ( I know right! That name makes it sound so exotic. Marinara sauce! Hehe…)

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If I said I got an apron and kitchen mittens, I’d be lying. With plain ol’ cooking utensils and an adventurous heart; I got down to it. I was so excited to see it coming together; they actually did look like meatballs. Yaay!

Now now, I must give a warning. I have been learning how to salt my food well. Sadly, I’m a tad bit too generous when salting food and we all know how over-salted food tastes. Didn’t my family have a rough night! Unfortunately, I’d put salt in both the meatballs and  the marinara sauce, so everything was…a dabo-dabo! :/ The first person to bring this to my attention was my dad. My heart sunk. I hadn’t tasted the food yet but it felt like all my time and effort had gone to waste.

It’s good my family doesn’t hold this habit over my head, but it sure did leave me thinking about salt. What’s so big about these tiny crystals made of sodium and chloride ions? Well, ‘salt bae‘ did become a sensational figure earlier this year. With a delicately effortless flick of his fingers, he made it snow Sodium Chloride, and the world collectively swooned. ( on a light note! 😀 )

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Remember how in primary school Science, we learnt that salt can be used as a food preservative? It made it possible to ship food over long distances and hence eliminated the dependence on seasonal availability of food back in those days.

So guys, here’s where you get more interested…

Salt created and destroyed empires. (And no, I’m not exaggerating! 😉 )

Salt mines in countries like Poland led to it growing into a vast kingdom in the 16th century. Then came the Germans who destroyed it when they introduced sea salt (which was seen as more superior to rock salt.)

Unlike today, salt was difficult to obtain and thus, was a highly valued trade item. Certain peoples also considered it a form of currency. In fact, the word “salary” comes from the Latin word salarium , which has the root sal, or salt. The reason for this is unknown but legend has it that Roman Legions were sometimes paid in salt.

Seems common table salt has quite the pivotal history!

Interestingly, it also influenced the naming of some cities. In Britain, the suffix “-wich” in the name of a place means it was once a source of salt, for example, Norwich. That may ring a bell to those familiar with Nairobi CBD; Norwich Union towers. 🙂

Anyway, enough about salt history. How is it relevant to us now, besides its use in our food?

Well, the Bible does mention that we are the salt of the earth. The Message version puts it quite interestingly;

Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.Matthew 5:13

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Salt seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth.

But, of all spices, why salt?

Just as salt preserves, we are to preserve society from moral decay. The world around us is getting darker and darker by the moment. Reports of how we act towards each other seem oddly distasteful- more the reason why we need to be the salt-seasoning that brings out God’s flavor.

“Real” piety, true religion, is of vast value in the world. It keeps it pure, and saves it from corruption, as salt does meat; but a mere “profession” of religion is fit for nothing. It does no good. It is a mere encumbrance, and all such professors are fit only to be cast out and rejected.

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Just to season this conversation with a bit of medical jargon (see what I did there 😉 ) ; Sodium ion (Na+) is the single most abundant cation in the extracellular fluid. It plays a major role in maintaining water distribution in the body, because it’s the only cation to exert significant osmotic pressure. Simply said, sodium pulls water with it wherever it goes.

This should be the same case with us! Be the salt of the earth and draw others to the Living Water of life.

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What happens if we lose our seasoning? The world plunges deeper into evil. We are called to make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:16) But what good are we if we lose our saltiness?

 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Luke 14:34-35 (NIV)

The question He asked however is, “What good is salt if it has lost its flavor?” In other words, if a Christian has lost his or her gusto and fervor, then what’s the difference between the old grain of sand they once were and the so-called salt they are now? The answer is: very little.
 Daphne Delay

Just as salt in the hands of one cook can make perfectly salted food, the salt in the hands of a cook in training (ie. me) could lead to destruction. We must be willing to be used by our Master Chef, Jesus, to season the earth as He wills. Right up until our last breath.

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