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2 Peter 1:12

Dear Readers,

March 2013

“Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philemon 1:3). I pray that you are doing well; physically, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually. You may be experiencing difficult times, but you can be certain that God is good regardless of your circumstances. If you will take the time to look, you will find many more reasons to praise God than to be discouraged (Philippians 4:8). We have had some difficult times of our own, but God has been with us continually, and I am certain He is able to bring us safely to His kingdom. “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).


In This Issue:

The First Angel’s Message – Part 2

Lynnford Beachy

Young at Heart

Upcoming Camp Meetings

Lynnford Beachy

You May Freely Eat?

Jim Raymond 

The First Angel’s Message – Part 2

by Lynnford Beachy

 The first angel of Revelation 14 comes to share the everlasting gospel, “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Revelation 14:7). Last month we focused on the first part of this message, “Fear God.” We found that godly fear does not cause you to run and hide from God, but rather to love, respect, and trust Him, and it will lead you to abandon your sins.

The message of the first angel is extremely important for those of us living in the latter part of this world’s history, because very soon we will witness the terrible scenes described in Revelation 13 known as the mark of the beast crisis. The first angel’s message gives us clear instruction to enable us to be victorious over the beast and his image, the last day kingdoms that will war against God’s people. Not only is this message given to us to help us, but also so that we can share it with others to help them as well.

This month we will focus on the second part of this message, “give glory to him.”

Give Glory to God

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why am I here?” or “What is the purpose of my life?” God has given us the answer! He said, “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him” (Isaiah 43:7). Our purpose for existing is to give glory to God. It may sound like a selfish thing for God to make beings for the purpose of giving Him glory, but when we understand what this means we can be sure that it is the best and most fulfilling life we could possibly have. God is not selfish but completely full of love for us.

God said, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11). God loves us so much He has given His costliest gift to ensure our benefit and success. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17). “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). God’s love is amazing, and completely devoid of selfishness. Everything He does is “for thy good” (Deuteronomy 10:13). God knows that it is for our good that we give glory to Him.

David wrote, “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2). Another Psalm says, “Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness” (Psalm 150:2). Can we possibly give glory and praise to God enough to match His greatness? I like the song, “The Love of God,” that says: 

Could we with ink the ocean fill,

And were the skies of parchment made,

Were every stalk on earth a quill,

And every man a scribe by trade,

To write the love of God above,

Would drain the ocean dry.

Nor could the scroll contain the whole,

Though stretched from sky to sky.

These words were penciled on the wall of a narrow room in an insane asylum by a man said to have been demented. The profound lines were incorporated into this beautiful song.

God’s love and greatness is limitless. If we could praise and give glory to God every minute of every day, it would never be equal to what He is worthy of. David said, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).

Ways to Give Glory to God

The Bible describes several ways we can give glory to God. One example is found when Jesus healed ten lepers of their terrible disease. Only one returned to give thanks, “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” (Luke 17:15-18). Here we find that showing thankfulness to God is one way we can give Him glory.

Another way to give God glory was illustrated when Achan had stolen some items from Jericho and hid them in his tent. When his sin was discovered, “Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me” (Joshua 7:19). At this request, Achan confessed, giving glory to God. Here we find that confessing our sins gives glory to God. By doing this we are acknowledging that we are wrong and God is right and good.

John was given a vision of when the seven last plagues will be poured out. He wrote, “And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory” (Revelation 16:8, 9). Repentance is a way to give glory to God.

There will be a day when everyone will acknowledge that God is right in all He does. God said, “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11). Even the wicked will eventually confess that God is just in all His dealings.

God asked Moses to build a tabernacle, then He said, “And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory” (Exodus 29:43). The tabernacle was sanctified by God’s glory. When we allow God to live in us, we will also be sanctified by His glory and reflect that glory back to God. Paul wrote of a mystery, “which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Having Christ within is the only hope of truly having glory and giving God glory. When Christ is within His glory will shine out to others. “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).

What is God’s Glory?

To give God glory, it is important to know the meaning of the word glory. One of the best biblical explanations of glory is found in Exodus where we read of Moses saying to God, “I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy” (Exodus 33:18, 19). God defined His glory as His goodness.

The next chapter describes God fulfilling Moses’ request. “And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:5-7). When God revealed His glory to Moses, it was a proclamation of God’s goodness and some specific character attributes. God’s glory is His character.

Paul wrote, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). This is an amazing text, and an important principle to remember in our daily lives. As we behold we become changed. This is true regardless of what we are beholding. Keep this in mind the next time you are tempted to behold evil because it will have an effect upon your life.

The greatest thing about this text is that it shows us how we can be changed into God’s image. As we behold His goodness, love, righteousness, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, etc., we will be changed into the same image “by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is important to remember that this change from glory to increased glory can only happen by God’s indwelling Spirit. It is a fruitless excercise to attempt to be changed into God’s image without His Spirit living in you. It is through God’s Spirit that this change takes place from the first step to the last.

Paul said, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). God said, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” (Proverbs 23:7), and, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). What you put in your mind will come out in your life one way or another. Let Christ live in your heart, and direct your mind into the love of God, and His glory will be seen upon you.

Isaiah prophesied, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3). I pray that this will be fulfilled in you and me.

Where to Find God’s Glory

Paul explained where we can find God’s glory. He wrote, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). Christ is the light that shines out of our hearts. The church is the body of Christ. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God is to be revealed to the world through His people. Giving God glory is reflecting His character attributes back to Him. This can only happen by allowing Him to dwell in our hearts and shine His goodness out to others.

John wrote, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18). Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is the greatest manifestation of God’s character that mankind has ever been blessed to behold. He is the way for us to know the Father.

When explaining these things to His disciples, “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works” (John 14:8-10). If we want to see what the Father is like, we must look at His Son, who is “the express image” of His Father (Hebrews 1:3).

Notice how Jesus gave credit where credit is due. If He had taken credit for all the good things done in His life, while all the while His Father was doing the work in Him, it would have been unfair to His Father. When Jesus was here He continually uplifted His Father and sought to give Him glory. We are to do the same. Paul wrote, “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in [or ‘to’] Christ Jesus” (Philemon 1:6). The sharing of your faith becomes powerful when you acknowledge every good thing that is in you to Christ Jesus. Don’t take credit for what Christ has done. Jesus said, “He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John 7:18). It is not good to seek your own glory. Solomon wrote, “It is not good to eat much honey: so for men to search their own glory is not glory” (Proverbs 25:27).

Jesus explained, “All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27). Jesus wants to reveal His Father to you to a much greater level than He has before. As you behold Jesus, you are beholding the character of the Father.

I am always amazed by the thought of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet, and realizing that it was the Father in Christ doing that work (John 14:10). It is very humbling to think of Jesus washing my feet, it is even more humbling to think of God, the Father, stooping to wash my feet, but that is exactly what happened in Christ nearly two thousand years ago. When Jesus, after dismissing her accusers, said to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11), that was the Father speaking through His Son (John 12:49).

Beholding the True God

We have learned that we are changed by what we behold. If we invite Jesus to live in our hearts, His Spirit will direct our minds to behold the glory of God in the life of Jesus Christ and we will be changed into the same image. But if we behold a distorted view of God’s character, we will be changed into the same image. That is why it is so important to know the true God as revealed in the Bible. For centuries there have been many misrepresentations of God rampant throughout Christianity. The foremost is the doctrine of the trinity, invented by the fledgling Catholic church in the fourth century. This doctrine makes a mockery of God’s greatest manifestation of His love by stating that Jesus is not literally God’s Son and He could not die. Trinitarian Christians in general are so confused by the trinity doctrine that they have trouble knowing which person of the trinity they should address in prayer. Jesus said we should pray, “Our Father…” and, “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you” (Matthew 6:9; John 16:23).

Some have recoiled from the trinity doctrine so thoroughly that they end up in the ditch on the other side and deny the divinity of Jesus Christ. Satan has a multitude of false doctrines about God, all calculated to hide God’s love in giving His only begotten Son to die for us. Any false doctrine about God that denies the literal, divine sonship and death of Christ is certain to have detrimental effects upon your character development. For over a thousand years the world has witnessed the sad results of the Catholic Church’s false doctrines about God, which caused them to inflict horrible tortures upon anyone who would dare to reject her teachings. It was a direct result of beholding a false concept of God that changed their characters into unkind torturers who massacred millions of people. This dark history is often called The Dark Ages for obvious reasons. The Catholic Church’s power was weakened in 1798, but it is not gone. Bible prophecy foretells that it will rise again to do even worse than it has done before (Daniel 7:7-27; Revelation 13; Matthew 24:21). Don’t be fooled by the seeming humbleness of the current Jesuit Pope’s demeanor. You might be shocked to read the Jesuit Oath containing promises to brutally kill people to further the goals of the Catholic Church.

Do not settle for some man-made theory about God, but insist on the plain Bible truth about God. It will help to transform your character into God’s likeness more than any fable could ever possibly hope to do. (For a thorough Bible study on the God of the Bible, request the books, Understanding the Personality of God and God’s Love on Trial.)

Receiving God’s Glory

Jesus petitioned, “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). It may seem strange that the Father could give His own self to His Son, but this is exactly what He did. This is what God does when He gives His Spirit; He gives Himself.

John wrote, “For he whom God hath sent [Jesus] speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him” (John 3:34). God gave to His Son His own Spirit (self) without measure.

Later in Christ’s prayer, He said, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:21, 22). Notice the connection here. Jesus had just explained that the glory He received from His Father was His Father’s “own self.” Then He said that He gives this glory to us. Jesus gives us His Father’s own self, His presence, His Spirit. God’s Spirit is His “own self.” When God gives us His Spirit He is giving us His glory.

Next, Jesus said, “I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me” (John 17:23). Here we find the purpose of receiving God’s glory. God gives us His glory, which is His Spirit living in us through Christ, so that His amazing love will be revealed to the world. Jesus said that God loves us “even as” He loves His only begotten Son. That must be true because God gave His Son for us. God’s love is amazing, and He wants His love, His glory, to be manifested to the world through us. What a privilege!


The first angel of Revelation 14 calls us to fear God, give glory to Him and worship Him. The only way we can give glory to God is to receive the glory that God gave to His Son, and that His Son gives to us. To obey this text we have to receive Him first. That is the only way we will ever reflect that glory back to God. Let us make sure we are beholding the right glory. We don’t want to be beholding a God whose character is skewed, because then our own characters will be skewed. God has made His own self available to us.

Shortly after Jesus had explained that if you have seen Him, you have seen His Father, Jesus informed His disciples that His Father would send them another Comforter. One of His disciples became confused by what He said, so he asked Jesus to explain Himself. “Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:22, 23). Who is going to come? Both the Father and the Son are going to make Their abode in us. If you abide in this doctrine you have “both the Father and the Son” (2 John 1:9).

Isn’t it amazing that God wants to make His home right here, right now, in you and me! Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). When Jesus comes into your heart, He does not come alone, because His Father is in Him. This is the only way we can give Him glory; we must let Them in to live in our hearts. When we open the door, then the glory comes shining in because He is the glory. His own self is that glory. If you want to obey the first angel’s message you must open the door of your heart, and open it wide. Say with David, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalms 139:23, 24). David was opening the door, not just a crack, but all the way, asking God to search him and find out if there is any wicked way in him so that he could be led in the way everlasting.

Friends, I pray that you would do the same. Invite Jesus to come in, not just for a visit, but to live and make your heart His home. Open every part of your life to Him and keep it open for Him to abide forever.

“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). 

Something for the Young at Heart

This month we are continuing a series of crossword Bible studies based on the book, Bible Handbook, by Stephen Haskell. In order to maintain the flow of the study, this crossword puzzle is not split into Across and Down sections—Across or Down is indicated at the end of each line. (The KJV is required.)

[Download the pdf version for the crossword]

Things Angels Know

›.“He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy ____...” Acts 10:3, 4—1 Down

›.“...and thine ____ are come up for a memorial before God.” Acts 10:4— 5_Down

›.“And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose ____ is Peter:...” Acts 10:5— 9_Across

›.“He ____ with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.” Acts 10:6—10 Across

Note: Angels can know what and when we pray, when we give alms (donations), our names, and where we live.

›.“And the angel of the Lord appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt ____, and bear a son.” Judges 13:3—2 Down

›.“Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any ____ thing:” Judges 13:4—8 Down

›.“For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a ____ unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.” Judges 13:5—4 Across

Note: Angels can know future events that God reveals to them and give instruction on raising children.

›.Elijah slept under a tree, “then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a ____ baken on the coals,…” 1 Kings 19:5, 6—2 Across

›.The angel came again and said, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee. And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the ____ of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.” 1 Kings 19:7, 8—15 Across

Note: Angels are good cooks.

›.King Ahaziah fell then “he sent messengers, and said unto them, Go, enquire of Baalzebub the ____ of Ekron whether I shall recover of this disease.” 2 Kings 1:2—11 Down

›.“But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say unto them, Is it not because there is not a God in ____, that ye go to enquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron?” 2_Kings 1:3—13 Across

›.“And the Lord sent an angel, which ___ ___ all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land.” 2_Chronicles 32:21 (2 words)—3 Down

›.The angel of the Lord “said, ____, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go?” Genesis 16:8—14 Across

Note: Angels know when a person calls upon a false god, and they know a person’s name, rank, and position.

›.“Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the ____, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?” Ecclesiastes 5:6— 6_Down

›.“Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a ____ of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.” Ecclesiastes 10:20— 7_Down

›.Solomon prayed to God saying, “thou only, knowest the ____ of all the children of men.” 1 Kings 8:39—12 Down

Note: Angels can hear us when we talk and can even know our thoughts when the Lord reveals them, and they can record what we say and think. Only God can read our thoughts, but He can reveal those thoughts to others when He chooses. 

Upcoming Camp Meetings

by Lynnford Beachy

 Camp meetings are a time to recharge your spiritual batteries and enjoy Christian fellowship. For most of us it is very important to make use of these opportunities. This year there will be at least three camp meetings where I will be speaking, and some of them may be close enough for you to attend. My family and I look forward to seeing you at camp meeting this year, if not sooner.

Georgia Camp Meeting

Talking Rock Sabbath Chapel will host its 2013 camp meeting at the beautiful Amicalola State Park Lodge in the mountains of north Georgia. It will begin Wednesday, June 12, at 7 p.m., and continue to Sabbath, June 15, at 7 p.m.

This year they have reserved two conference rooms combined, for seating up to 150. Speakers include Lynnford Beachy, Nader Mansour, Imad Awde, Lorelle Ebens, Michael Delaney, Jeffrey Barrett and Lenny Frankson.

Lodging: You may stay at the lodge or in one of the camp sites. If you wish to stay in the Park Lodge (where the meetings will be held) call 1-800-864-7275 to make a reservation. Lodge rooms begin at $80 a night. Please register if you wish to stay in a camp site. Camp sites are $28 a night.

Motels in nearby Dawsonville are also available in the $60 range: Comfort Inn 706-216-1900; Super 8 706-216-6801; Best Western 706-216-4410.

Please plan on providing your own food. They will have a group potluck on Sabbath in a pavilion they have secured near the falls. If you have any questions call 706-692-9476.

West Virginia Camp Meeting

Smyrna Gospel Ministries will be hosting their annual camp meeting from Tuesday, June 25 to Saturday night, June 29. If you have any questions call 304-732-9204.

Tennessee Camp Meeting

The Roan Mountain camp meeting takes place September 17-21. Those who wish to reserve a cabin, campsite, or RV site at Roan Mountain State Park should do so now. The telephone number is 800-250-8620 or 423-772-0191. If you have any questions call Malcolm McCrillis at 423-772-3161 or 423-612-2944.

You May Freely Eat?

by Jim Raymond

Turmeric–Put it on the Menu-pt. 1

Turmeric, the plant, a native of Indonesia and southern India, has been cultivated at least as long as such things have been recorded. Introduced to Europe in the 13th century and valued domestically and commercially as a culinary seasoning, food colorant, fabric dye, and healing herb. Today’s leading turmeric producers include India, Indonesia, China, the Philippines, Taiwan, Haiti and Jamaica.

Turmeric can grow three to five feet tall, with dull yellow flowers that do not produce seed. Because it is a sterile hybrid, propagation is done using rhizome pieces similar to using seed potatoes. A rhizome is an underground root-like stem. The rhizome has both culinary and medicinal value. The rhizome is similar to ginger but thinner and less branched. It is adorned with closely spaced and slightly ridged rings, which are where the old leaves were attached. The rhizome skin texture is like paper: smooth, thin and tough, with a semi-translucent tan coloration that lets the inner flesh lend an orange-hued blush. Many of the rhizomes taper on both ends and, when coupled with the rings, give the appearance of a chubby grub worm that does not know which way it’s going. Typically, after harvest the rhizomes are boiled, dried and ground to make the yellow-orange turmeric powder. It is best known for its culinary use as a condiment, and for the role it plays in the near infinite dry powder or paste spice blends (including curry) commonly used in Asian, Indian and West Indies (especially Jamaican) cooking.

Leaf to rhizome, each part of the turmeric plant plays a culinary role. The fresh green leaves and flowers are used both as garnishments and in cooking, but their availability and use in western culture is rare, and little has been shared about potential therapeutic or preventative benefits. Neither leaves nor flowers will be discussed herein. Turmeric rhizome has two culinary forms—dry and fresh. Both forms have distinctive flavor as well as preparation and performance differences. While the taste of dry and fresh differs, both forms have similar affinity for the same companion flavors and foods. How these differing characteristics relate to recipe performance and conversion to support a specific culinary objective will be discussed. This culinary objective is: To produce menu items with authentic taste, that present the full retinue of assumed health benefits linked to turmeric in every serving: for family, friends and customers.

Getting the right thing is the critical first step to ensure consistent and reproducible culinary and health performance. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae) and is commonly called Haldi in India. Its scientific name is Curcuma longa (C. domestica, C. aromatic). Having dozens of common and cultural names makes it confusing, but there are three herbs very wrongly called, and sometimes sold, as turmeric: Goldenseal, Javanese Turmeric, or Zedoary. These are three totally different herbs, each with uses of its own. Mistakenly relying on any of these herbs to taste like or to do what turmeric will do, will give turmeric an undeserved bad name.

Quality of the dry form is marked not by color, but by condition and purity. The natural color of turmeric has a definite orange tinge that can vary by region or even from crop to crop. So the next step in the attempt to make sure it’s the right thing is to check the ingredients label on the package of the dry turmeric powder for added colorants. The laws in several countries require these sorts of additives to be listed. As part of their market plan, some processors/packers try to limit the variation by adding coloring agents so their brand has a consistent “look” in the marketplace. These color additives can carry a load of side effects of their own. A bright, almost flower-pollen yellow product is a clue to keep looking. Because laws are not always obeyed, buy a brand, or from a seller, that is trustworthy.

For fresh rhizomes, choose those that are plump, firm, smooth-skinned between the rings, and mold-free. The fragrance should be pleasantly earthy. Avoid any that smell of mildew, although essence of cardboard box is acceptable. Store fresh rhizomes in the refrigerator, wrapped in a layer of paper toweling, in a loose-fitting bag. (Tip: The rhizomes are easily grown in containers, or in the ground, as appropriate to climate. The green leaves of the plant are also edible and serve a culinary role where they are obtainable. If interested in information, call or write for specifics.) Turmeric powder is damaged by light and humidity and should be kept in an air-tight container, in a cool, dry place away from direct light exposure.

Whether buying dry or fresh, local Asian, Caribbean, or Indian markets are usually the best sources. They usually have a variety of excellent turmeric products. Most of their clientele really know what they are buying; not a few have actually grown up with the products. Ask the proprietor (or a customer or two) for a recommendation for turmeric brands with authentic taste and the full retinue of health benefits that is affordable for long term use. These markets sell much more than general supermarkets. Occasionally the product is ground and bagged on premises. Vigorous sales indicate a fresher product and lower costs—usually significantly less. A recent trip to an Indian market in a nearby larger city secured a 400 gram (14.01 ounces) bag of turmeric that restocked the home supply for $4.94. While waiting for this trip, an emergency turmeric purchase, from a local supermarket, was needed to fill the outage. The gap was bridged with 2 ounces (56 grams) of a big name brand in an attractively shaped and labeled bottle with a flip-top shaker lid for $4.97. Bags are less costly than cutesy bottles. Doing the math on this requires that we remember from last month’s YMFE installment that there are 2.27 grams of turmeric in one teaspoon. Using turmeric to treat chronic indigestion requires that each teaspoon is divided into four doses daily. So: 400 grams/bag ÷ 2.27 grams/tsp = 176 daily doses/bag; at a daily cost of 494¢/bag ÷ 176 daily doses = 2.8¢/day. Where does one find medicine this effective for less than three cents a day that tastes so good? Not to mention the long list of wonderful “side effects” like cancer prevention, lowering of cholesterol, a brain that forgets it’s getting older, joints that hurt less and move more, and so on. Oh yes, the cute bottle from the spice collection in the giant supermarket costs 20¢/day. Even this is much better than Rx meds or supplements.

Companion flavors — Like all the gingers, turmeric is very gregarious and blends well with other flavorful herbs and spices including: basils, butter (or ghee—reduces bitterness), cardamom, chilies (red and green), cilantro, cinnamon, cloves, coconut (milk and/or oil—reduces bitterness), coriander, cumin, curry leaf, fennel seed, fenugreek, galangal, garlic, ginger, lime (juice and leaves), lemongrass, mustard seed, onion, paprika, pepper, rosemary. Surely many others are awaiting the opportunity to be auditioned for this list.


Turmeric Companion Flavor-Balancing Guidelines

(Subjective Upper-Limit)

5         whole     cardamom pods

1/8      tsp          cardamom, ground

1         2” pc       cinnamon stick

1/8      tsp          cinnamon, ground

3         whole     dried red chilies

1         tsp          cumin seeds

¼        tsp          cumin, ground

1         tsp          coriander seeds

¼        tsp          coriander, ground

1         tsp          fenugreek seeds

1/8      tsp          fenugreek seed, ground

1         tsp          mustard seeds

¼        tsp          mustard, ground

1         tsp          whole peppercorns

¼        tsp          pepper, ground

½        tsp          paprika, sweet

5         cloves     garlic, small, whole

2         cloves     garlic, small, minced

1         tsp          ginger root, minced

For recipe development the sidebar list offers a suggested upper range to keep companion flavors in balance when using one teaspoon of powdered, or two of fresh, turmeric. Obviously, freshness of the spice, personal taste, main ingredients of the dish, and the type of preparation will need to be considered. Better to start around the midpoint with new or unpracticed items; it’s always easier to add than remove. The flavors will extract better (and be stronger) in a stew compared to a stir fry. To reduce bitterness, add a small amount of beneficial fat such as coconut oil or even coconut milk, ghee or butter. Notice the ground products require less than the whole counterpart. This is because ground spices and herbs extract faster than whole.

For texture preferences of western palates the spices, especially whole, can be placed in a device, such as a bouquet garni (cheesecloth wrapped and tied around the spices) or a fine-meshed infusion ball (usually made of stainless steel). These porous devices permit flavor extraction to occur and also allow the spices and herbs to be removed when the desired flavor intensity is achieved. This works well for advanced cooking, where two or more occurrences of the same dish is planned on the menu (within a reasonable time). By controlling flavor extraction, two or three batches may be prepped and/or cooked to the appropriate degree the same day. While one batch is finished and served, the over production is packaged and chilled or frozen for its next menu showing. Leaving certain spices in the advanced production for the entire storage time could permit spice intensity to rise to intolerable levels.

This stuff can stain your disposition! Some historians suppose that turmeric was first valued as a dye and was later found to be both tasty and medicinal. Should this be true, few make these discoveries in this order today! This warning applies to fresh rhizome or rehydrated dry turmeric. Whether tea-, water- or oil-based paste, poultice or extract; preventing the spill and preventive planning for routine surface contact is the best (only) way to go. Swirling a cup of turmeric tea while wearing white (anything but jet black) is tempting fate. Oh, and taking it along for the commute?* [Footnote: While on the subject of commuting, one additional warning is: The oils in fresh rhizome tea appear to partially dissolve the plastic (probably styrene) lids that fit disposable hot beverage cups. The lid can develop holes and dribble or fail to seal to the cup rim and fall off—guess when! There is no guessing as to how wrong it is to drink dissolved styrene.] Well that is sheer daring! Mincing fresh turmeric rhizome on favored demonstration cutting board? May as well wear that heirloom apron as well! The color can be permanent, so it is probably of little consolation that it is really a very cheerful yellow.

Oops! Now what? Out of the plethora of “sure-to-work” methods boldly touted about, the only thing that really works quickly, and on first pass, is bleach. If it is cloth, give it a brief bleach presoak followed by a washing as usual. If the cloth won’t tolerate bleach, get to work on it as quickly as possible with lots of soap and cool tap water and as much scrubbing or agitation as the product will tolerate. On some fabrics it might work, at least to decrease the color intensity. The next best thing is an enzyme stick treatment and presoak, but do not machine dry until the stain is gone. Wash and repeat as needed or until the limits of patience are reached. Oh, well. Sew on a big appliqué, or tie-dye the thing using fresh beet, carrot, and additional turmeric juice as needed. There is a better chance for removing the stains from counters and utensils if they can be scrubbed with plenty of soap and water before the turmeric stain begins to dry out. Some brush bristles seem less willing to let go of the color and so get a little prettier with every use.

The rhizome juices can stain the skin and nails too—especially fake. Washing up with soap and water using a short-bristled nail brush, while the juice is still damp, will get most of it. That which remains will usually dissipate during the next two to four hand washings, so all should be well within a couple of hours. If skin is dry, or nails are cracked and broken, it may take a few days to go away completely. Wearing rubber or plastic gloves when cutting or grinding the rhizomes can prevent the stains on the hands, but, until washed, the gloves will act as rubber stamps leaving cheerful yellow spots on whatever they touch. The two fingers and thumb that hold the product while making pulp bear the greatest risk. To keep these fingertips from staining, pick up some of those little finger boots from an office supply store. Wearing these on the thumb and gripping fingers will protect from stains and blood-letting abrasions.

When pulping the rhizome, the object is to make only as much fresh pulp as needed for the dish or concoction at hand by rubbing one end of the rhizome on a natural stone, one of various ceramic ginger-juicer shapes, or garlic-grater plates (those with spiny teeth are also used to zest citrus). Grinding only one end of the rhizome until it is all used or needs replaced will minimize oxidation. Store the used piece in the refrigerator. The remaining intact root and the grinder can be fitted into a sealable container designed for standard sandwiches or sliced deli items and stored in the refrigerator ready for the next use. Some cooks report that a Microplane® Grate-N-Shake (designed to grate and store whole nutmegs) provides similar success. The down side: It’s not ceramic, it’s not stone, it’s not truly making pulp, so it may not be right for the purist. The upside is that it comes with a cover, a very fine metal grater and its own handy little storage box. It all snaps together in one neat little package. So it’s small, it’s neat, it makes a fine crumb-like citrus zest just right for gremolata, it’s cheap, it works perfectly—almost.

To be Continued…


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