It’s about the stick

For the last two nights, I have been making dinners served on sticks. Last night was chicken and zucchini yakatori. The night before was chicken and tomato pesto skewers. My family loved both of them and they were both put on the “you can make this again” list. At first, I thought this is my first time to cook food on sticks, but then I began to realize it was not my first time to serve food on sticks. Numerous times, I have made popsicles, in which I have inserted a popsicle stick as it froze. I have also used straws and created breakfast skewers with donut holes and chunks of fresh fruit.

Food on sticks is becoming increasingly popular and is one of those things, which exists in every culture around the world. Eating food on a stick is efficient, cost effective, and enjoyable. As we joked about at our table this week, there is something somewhat primitive, or perhaps primal is a better word, about eating food on a stick. If we look back historically, people around the world have cooked food this way. People have put a wide diversity of food on a stick of some sort and cooked it over an open flame, or dropped it in hot oil, roasted, or even frozen them (popsicles and ice cream).

It seems like most of us, when we think about sticks, envision those bamboo wooden skewers or even maybe a popsicle stick. However, some sticks are not premade, nor are they long, nor are they wood. In fact, some sticks can edible. Vegetables and herbs like rosemary or garlic scapes can be used as “sticks” to flavor the food from the inside out. Some sticks are bigger than others are; for example, toothpicks are sticks and are much shorter than the bamboo or metal skewers used to cook food on a grill of some sort. Some sticks are thicker than others are. Cooking on a rotisserie is nothing more than cooking food on a bigger stick.

In our spiritual lives, we are blessed with our own kinds of sticks. Everything we read, hear, and experience in our lives can serve as a stick in our lives. Sometimes we need something small to carry us through a minor experience in our lives. Sometimes we need a longer and/or thicker stick to hold us together and bring us through the spiritual cooking process. Sometimes we need to have our own kind of stick of “rosemary” or “garlic scape” which helps to season us from the inside out. For some, this might be a sacred text, or spiritual belief system.

Each type of “stick” serves its own purpose in our lives. As you move through your life, be mindful of where you need some “rosemary’ and when you need a skewer, stick or toothpick.