I recall with pleasure working side by side with my mom in the kitchen, spilled flour on the floor and messy dough on our hands. “Just a good pinch of baking soda will make a cup of flour rise if you add a sour liquid,” she would say. She would give me a reason for every ingredient that went into the bowl. Mom never followed recipes, so not everything she cooked turned out tasting just right, but then I would learn why, and what I could do to change it to make it be perfect the next time.

By the time I was 13 or 14 years old, I passed her up in the culinary department, especially when it came to using herbs for seasoning. Dad bragged on my cooking so much that Mom would have me season everything she cooked. It gave me ample opportunity to learn what herbs complemented certain foods best. I became a real chef. I simply LOVED to cook. I also learned another important lesson, and that was how to teach others. Mom’s way of teaching made it natural for me to want to teach others. I remember vividly the pleasure I had after tasting, touching, smelling, mixing and cooking, and then hearing Dad’s praise when something tasted wonderful. The same thrill I felt as a child comes back to me now when I am teaching others. Mom gave me two special gifts—cooking and, more importantly, the love of teaching others.

Kids run off when they hear their parents say,

“OK, it’s family time.”

“OK, it’s time for homeschool.”

“OK, it’s Bible-study time.”

“OK, let’s spend some quality time together. I want everyone to come into the living room and sit down.” Just hearing those words are enough to zap the fun out of life and shut the brain down so it can’t learn.

Real fellowship and teaching says, “Hey, who wants to help me make a delicious, fabulous, wild, fruit salad with real rose petals in it?”