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basil pesto salmon cakes. 


Tears rolled down my face one morning while listening to a Focus on the Family podcast on marriage. At times, I still struggle with the power of understanding God’s love. I think that’s common for even the most deeply religious type of person. 

Love is a life changing leap. It is never easy. Secularism makes us wish to believe love is easy to embrace and secularism also can us feel guilty, alien and almost hates us when we struggle with embracing the message immediately. It is almost as if the message is being sent to us in a “take me or leave” format. Pressure much? 

Is that really love though? 

Some people grow into jaded belief that this must be love and they unfortunately adapt to what they feel the status quo is to be. A part of us remain optimists. And a part of us separate us and turn to God. God’s love is different because it is not secular. It doesn’t have expectations or much less feed our ego. 

We all have an ego and there’s no escaping it when we’re forced to confront it. It is like our wants, needs and desires on steroids. And if we’re not careful, it can be destructive. 

Christians are called to put our trust in God. Love is trust, trust is love. But these secularists, man…they complicate things. To a secularist, this seems like codependency. And codependency can be unhealthy too. But all Christians who must remember they are made in the likeness and image of Christ so nothing we are ever given or do can’t be without some credit to Him. 

Love is a partnership. During our premarital counseling sessions, the Orthodox gentleman and I have been told that love is a partnership. God’s love shows mercy on us at often the least unexpected time and still blesses us, but we’re expected to do our part too. Just like in a physical relationship. All of the work cannot just exist from one half. 

Otherwise, it won’t last for much longer. 

I was deeply rooted in secularism even into the early stages of my relationship with the Orthodox Gentleman. I went to church but lived very much of the world. I went read fashion magazines and blogs, listened to music in the car and carelessly never wanted to deny myself anything. 

The Orthodox Gentleman was very pious when I first met him.And then we met one day while he was visiting church, no expectations. But as he met me, he became absorbed into new secular experiences of mine: new restaurants, reiki, materialism, political conversations and soon we were always concerned of making plans in the midst of life. Church was put on the back burner.

It wasn’t until the last year and a half when I declared a spiritual father and began to turn my spiritual life around. But he risked almost losing the one other thing that brought up him solace from the world – yet he still chooses me.

My mind and logic makes me feel like a monster. I cannot understand why he still chooses me. And yet…that’s proof how boundless God’s mercy is. I have been working on my spiritual life for a few months and turning to Focus on the Family podcasts and sometimes breaking down into tears of bittersweet joy, enlightenment and courage that there is this gift of a new day to work on creating a better version of myself. 

Another thing I don’t understand is how my mom doesn’t brag about her cooking a bit more. One of my her favorite dishes are these salmon cakes that are made from pantry stock ingredients…she eyeballs most of her measurements. That’s how my mother cooks a lot and somehow her salmon cakes turned out restaurant quality every time. 

And you could probably substitute wild, fresh salmon for the canned salmon here but my mother always used to work with what was available to her…and I could never tell the difference! I only dressed it up with a simple garden basil pesto sauce because some recipes don’t stay in your childhood. They grow up with you. And fresh garden basil and salmon marry so well together. 

Momma’s Salmon Cakes with Basil Pesto Sauce 

Serves 4 

Price Range: $10 and under 

Ingredients 
Sea salt 
Garlic salt 

1 sleeve Ritz crackers 

15 oz canned salmon, deboned

1 egg

For Basil Pesto Sauce 

1 cup fresh garden basil leaves 

1/2 cup of walnuts 

sea salt 

garlic, 2 cloves 

Olive oil, 1/4 cup 

Method 
Put Ritz crackers in ziploc bag. Run rolling pin over crackers to crush crackers. Dump into bowl. Mix with other ingredients. Form into patties. When ready to fry them up, drizzle coconut oil in the pan and fry them up (4 minutes on each side.)

Make the pesto by combining all ingredients in the blender. Blend until you get a smooth consistency. 

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