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Cesar’s Conversion to Cabbage

Posted: May 20, 2015 | Author: Fr. Leo

A few weeks ago, I cooked a dish at the beautiful home of the Villafranca Family. They are the owners of Cuquitas Restaurants & Four Corners Cafe in Dallas, TX. They wanted to share some of their authentic Northern Mexican foods for a kick-off event for The Table Foundation, my new non-profit that connects food and faith in dynamically charitable ways.  Learn more about and contribute to the Table Foundation and help us in our mission to elevate culture and family life one meal at a time.

Me with Elizabeth Villafranca, owner of Cuquita's and Four Corners Cafe.

Keeping true to my fusion style of cooking, I created a recipe that would compliment the delicious grilled skirt steaks that Mr. Enrique Villafranca prepared on his amazing grill.


Enrique Villafranca cooking up on his awesome grill.

To keep things fresh but taking advantage of this incredible backyard grill, I made a grilled Cabbage Mexican Asian Fusion Salad.  It may sound strange, but people loved it!  One guy, named Cesar, told me that he "hated" cabbage, but he "loved" this salad.  He proceeded to go back for seconds, and even took some home with him. I take that as the ultimate compliment!

Me with the "Converted" Cesar who couldn't get enough of my Cabbage Mexican Asian Fusion Salad. 

Cabbage, like Brussel sprouts, has a very bad reputation. Perhaps it's the funky sulphuric smell or that it turns mushy when boiled. Maybe people were forced it eat it as kids. Either way, it has a bad reputation.  But, with another application, maybe people can experience a miraculous conversion, just like Cesar.  

We're a bit like cabbage.  Sometimes we can be off-putting, or we may even have (or know someone with) a bad reputation.  We all need to be transformed, converted, and become someone better for others and ourselves.  Cesar was willing to try something he didn't like.  With a different approach, he experienced a conversion.  Let's try and figure out different approaches to sharing our faith, especially with people who may not like us for their own reasons.  Hopefully, we can help people taste the goodness of the Lord.  It just requires us to prepare and serve it well!

I just saw that the Archdiocese of Detroit will take steps to help future priests learn how to preach with more conviction, style and technique - the same techniques that actors use to help them convince people that they're not acting. In our case, as preachers, we aren't acting!  We love Jesus.  What we preach, we believe!  But why doesn't it have a powerful impact like a well-acted movie?  It's because priests lack effective techniques in communication.  We also have a disconnection with the minds and emotions of our listeners.  As a preacher who tries to effectively communicate God's word to all groups of people, I found this news to be very encouraging.  Tell me what you think?  

And, if you ever heard me preach, tell me if I do an "ok" job.  If so, why?  If not, please give me critique to it better!  Honestly, I'll only be better at preaching God's word if I'm making that connection to your heart and mind! Click here for the article.  

A Western depiction of the Pentecost, painted by Jean II Restout, 1732. Courtesy of Wikipedia. 

Let us Pray

The work of conversion is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit, which you will send to us at Pentecost. Yet, we are called to manifest this power to change hearts by first changing our own.  We know our world needs conversion, but it will only begin with one heart at a time.  May we continually seek to become better people who know your Laws, follow your will, and love one another as you love us.  We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Your responses help us to stay in touch, so please share your insights, comments, critiques and questions.

(1)  How do you prepare cabbage so that people will like it?  Please share your recipe. 

(2)  Do you remember the moment when you experienced a conversion?

(3)  What techniques do you use to help people who don't like the Catholic Faith to appreciate it better?


Cesar's Cabbage Mexican Asian Fusion Salad

In honor of helping Cesar experience a "conversion" to now liking cabbage, I dedicate this recipe to him.  Click here for the recipe.