My daughter Jillian and her husband had to put everything they own into storage so they could move to St. Kitts for her to attend vet school. Ninety-five percent of what they had in their apartment went into my parent’s basement. The other five percent or so is made up of the winter and warm clothes they did not need to take with them. All that clothing is in Jill’s bedroom upstairs at our house. They also packed up and brought to our house all of the dry goods that came out of their kitchen cupboards and other closets. They didn’t want to simply throw all of that useful stuff out. Every day, before they actually left the country, it was like I had closet fairies because every time I opened one of my closets or drawers I would find something new. As I reached under my sink for the dishwasher detergent, I would find 2 new bottles of dish soap. One linen closet suddenly had several new bars of soap and a liquid soap dispenser and the other linen closet got an almost full bottle of Tums. Mystery boxes of tea appeared in the kitchen cupboard and my pantry – well it was bursting at the seams with all sorts of new groceries.
The other day I finally conquered the stacks of toppling food packages in my pantry. There was so much stuff! Some of the items that I knew I would never use got donated to a needy family. Then there were intriguing and useful new items (courtesy deposits made by my closet fairy) like Arborio rice, bulgur wheat, organic quinoa, and a sack of potato starch. Wanting to put them to good use, I started searching the internet for recipes using these ingredients. I found a Potato Quick Bread recipe that would make good use of the potato starch – it’s a gluten-free bread recipe that makes two loaves. I figured I would try it and pass one of the loaves to my neighbor who eats gluten-free. I was able to gather all the ingredients except one – Xanthan Gum. Huh? What the heck is that?? I was pretty sure I had seen it on food labels before. But I had no clue what it looked like, where to get it, or why I even needed it.
Here’s what I found out about Xanthan Gum: Xanthan Gum is used by people who are allergic to gluten to add volume and viscosity to bread and other gluten-free baked goods. It is made from a tiny microorganism called Xanthomonas campestris and is a natural carbohydrate.
The potato bread recipe only calls for a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum – but it sounds like it will make a big difference in the results of my bread. There are a few stores that may actually carry the stuff and I will check them out tomorrow after work. After all, I do want this bread to have volume and viscosity!
Naturally, this little Xanthan experience got ‘ole Laurel thinking…
I had no idea what ‘Xanthan Gum’ was. I read that I needed it. I didn’t know exactly why I needed it, but I had to find out more about it. And where to find it. This mysterious new thing was intriguing me and I wanted to find out more. I knew that with it, I would have a better loaf of bread.
It made me think that many non-Christians often realize that they feel the same way when they hear about Jesus. Taking my paragraph from above, they just might say:
I had no idea who Jesus was. I read that I needed Him. I didn’t know exactly why I needed Him, but I had to find out more about Him. And where to find Him. This mysterious new Jesus was intriguing me and I wanted to find out more. I knew that with Him, I would have a better life.
So – now I have made you all a little bit wiser with your new-found knowledge about Xanthan Gum. Aren’t you excited! If you have a friend who doesn’t know Jesus, why don’t you share with them a little bit about what you know about Him. You just might get them excited.
Sometimes in life we don’t know all that we need. Like, what the heck is Xanthan Gum and how do I get it for my recipe? Or, if life is giving you challenges and you don’t know what to do or who to turn to, maybe you need to look for a little bit more Jesus in your life. He’s an ingredient you can’t live without.
btw – I’ll let you know how the bread turns out.