Everyone who loves steamed crabs has done something to make it their own. While there is a “standard” recipe for steamed crabs, individuals and families have added or changed something to demonstrate that it belongs to them, and them alone. They have taken a generic gathering over a meal and personalized it. They’ve added their own touches, traditions, and twists as a sign that this is theirs.
Beer – some use a particular brand of beer. Our “twist” was using cheap beer that had been opened and allowed to come to room temperature. This “flat” beer supposedly enhanced the flavor of the crabs.
Seasoning – while most people swear by Old Bay, there are a number of other spice mixes available on the market. Others make their spice mix by hand.
Additions – some people add dry mustard, bay leaves, and other spices to their crabs.
In addition to cooking traditions, some have added other elements to the steamed crab personalization. Some people eat steamed crabs only in the kitchen, down in the basement, outside on the porch. Others have standing steamed crab celebrations on the 4th of July, Labor Day, someone’s birthday.
Many of these personalized touches were started long ago. No one can exactly remember where they started, or who first tried it. These personalization changes happened over time. No one can remember why they started either. It’s been lost over time, across generations.
But we follow the way we’ve been doing steamed crabs. We may make small changes around the edges, but the basic cooking recipe and family gathering formulas remain intact. It’s something that we’ve come to expect, to depend on, to repeat, year after year, after year.
We personalize hope in the same way. We add our own special twists, touches, and traditions to it. When we personalize hope, we make it our own. Our hope becomes more secure. It belongs to us and us alone. No one can steal, kill, or destroy it.
Take today’s hope and personalize it, making it your own.