While lying in bed, a thought came into my mind one night. The “stew” in “stewardship” has something to do with the cooking method and the whole “stewardship” word.
Stew is a dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a closed dish, the Oxford Languages defines.
Practically, it’s easy to understand what it means because many of our dishes are made by stewing. Most favourite Filipino dishes are stews – adobo, kaldereta, kare-kare, pinangat, to mention some.
However, I learned the actual context of “cooked slowly in liquid” as an eater.
My wife, a certified passionate cook, loves to stew meat, fish, or vegetables for us.
Before, I wondered when my wife lowered the stove temperature to simmering, put the timer on, and did something else.
I would get an “it’s not done yet” warning if I plead to have a taste and comment that the dish looks cooked already.
She explained that she was reducing the stew to bring out the ingredients’ flavours, and the sauce would be concentrated.
I am not demanding, but I feel I am being tortured, smelling the stew’s aroma while my hunger pangs increase.
Sometimes my hunger had its way, and I would eat the cooked but unreduced stew version.
Now, I learned that to taste the best stew; I must wait for my wife to turn off the stove and say, “It’s done. Let’s eat.”
So what does stew have to do with “stewardship” other than finding “stew” in it?
The root word of “stewardship” is “steward” and not “stew”. 🙂
I searched the meaning of “stewardship”, and Wikipedia begins with “Stewardship is an ethical value that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.“
Further, I come across the history of the term, to wit:
Stewardship was originally made up of the tasks of a domestic steward, from stiġ (house, hall) and weard, (ward, guard, guardian, keeper). Stewardship in the beginning referred to the household servant’s duties for bringing food and drink to the castle’s dining hall. Stewardship responsibilities were eventually expanded to include the domestic, service and management needs of the entire household.“Stewardship” – Wikipedia
Stewardship is primarily about quality service and an ethical value that embodies the responsible planning and management of resources.
What making the best stew got to do with stewardship?
- Making the best-tasting stew begins with quality service in mind. Your ultimate desire is to be blessed seeing cheerful people enjoying your dish.
- You implement the best practices in cooking based on the winning recipe you’re following and the many instances you have stewed.
- Commitment to fulfil the reduction or simmering period to bring out the concentrated flavours. No shortcut, whatever.
- Hunger must not be allowed to eliminate the reduction process.
- It is not done yet until the expert cook says so.
Applying stewardship to our lives
Imagine you are the cook, but instead of food, you are dealing with people or organisations (church, community, or school).
We can achieve the best people or organisations by applying the stewardship rules above. Agree?
Please don’t let your nor anyone else’s “hunger” destroy the true essence of a good “stew”, which is patiently waiting for the liquid to reduce and attain a concentrate of flavours.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms (1 Peter 4:10).
PHOTO CREDIT: Image by HANSUAN FABREGAS from Pixabay