Last week I was in Mexico where some friends took me out to eat the the upscale El Senior in Punta de Mita, and the owner made us the original, yes original, Caesar Salad. Gustavo told us the history of the salad, which originated in Tijuana, Mexico when his friend and mentor Caeser Cardini used to make it table side. Gustavo and was one of the people responsible for taking the salad state side many years ago. Gustavo took great care in hand mixing the ingredients at the table, which took 20 minutes. He then artistically arranged the romaine lettuce, fresh parmesan and croutons meticulously on our plates. An experience of love more than food. The art of table side preparation has been mostly lost in our fast food generation. It was one of the best salad’s I have ever eaten. This Caesar Salad was the real McCoy, a labor of love from fresh squeezed ingredients. Gustavo took his time with the simple ingredients but mixed just right it tasted delicious. I savored every bite.
Why on earth am I writing about a salad? Because as I sat there I thought about some life lessons I learned from that experience. The real thing always tastes better than imitation; life is simple, but simplicity takes time to create; things done with love are always better than things done with haste or disregard. There are oodles of brands of Caesar Salad Dressing on the market today all attempting to create that delicious taste of the original table side delicacy, unfortunately the salad was meant to be an experience and not just a quick bite to eat. I am quite sure I will never have another Caesar salad like that one, it just can’t be duplicated…..here’s the deal….neither can you, be duplicated, I mean! Why do we so often strive to be something we are not? We are so desperately wanting acceptance and love that we settle to be like the bottle on the shelf instead of living into our God given identity. We settle for an imitation self that looks like who we think we should be or wish to be instead of who we really are. We forget that we are God’ Masterpiece created to do good works that only we can do, but we must live into our true self if we are going to be any kind of poem. I don’t know about you but often I am quick to settle instead of taking the time to prepare my day with love and thoughtfulness and I complicate things instead of simply living…but when I choose to live into the real me it is simple, artful and loving…more like Jesus instead of an imitation!