Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Dinner and The Letter 'C'

While last night I struggled all night with my back, poor little Jonathan struggled with a fever and the beginnings of a stomach bug. I knew when he woke up from his nap (yes, our entire family usually takes a nap on Saturdays), he just looked so worn out & then we he took one bite of dinner and got up crying he wasn't going to eat, well, out came the thermometer and he had a temp of 101.

Last week we missed church because of my back, the pain was so bad if you recall, I could barely move, but we held church in our living room and stuck very much to the way it is done at church. Prayer requests, reading our study, talking about Jesus and a snack. Today, we will hold Sunday School in Jonathan's room.

Yesterday, my oldest called me and said he was driving around town and saw lights on at a local church and stopped in at a Seventh Day Adventist church and attended services and wanted to know if he had broken any of Gods laws by going to church here. I know he has been struggling for years with God and what to do. He has read the Bible many times, the Koran, books on Buddhism, etc. My oldest is a very philosophical, deep thinker and he suffers from extreme bouts of depression and he wants answers that only being a part of a church can help him with.

So, we will use the letter 'C' today for church and for cooking. Yes, I feel those two can be closely related. Maybe someone else is struggling with this as well. I have always felt church is where I belong and brought my children up to feel the same, but I can't make them accept the Lord as their Savior and I am by no means the expert on answering questions about church. But I believe that Acts 2: 42-46 defines the church as I feel it is in my heart.

The church is to continually bring its members and seeker together and devote themselves (ourselves to teaching, prayer and breaking bread together), to praise the Lord and all that we have, to share with others not only the gospel of Jesus Christ, but share what we have. Where else can you go for wonderful pot lucks and fellowship? So many places have banned pot lucks stating health issues, that it is sad. Our local Christmas tree farm can't even give away free hot chocolate any longer because they need food handlers permits, license and insurance in case someone burns their tongue. That is so sad to me, but it is how our society has abused the courts and used government to control our lives.

Our churches theme this year is: Prayer/Share and Care. Pretty much sums it up doesn't it? So I explained to my son that church is a personal decision for all that attend. I told him I had a wonderful church in Arizona, but it got so big so fast, I never felt like I belonged. Then, I found a small rural Baptist church and loved it. I was home. That church continues today to help my youngest and his wife as they are going through their struggles (takes them food baskets, stuff for the new baby, helps them spiritually). No, he wasn't going to go to hell for attending church on Saturday & I encouraged him to find local churches in his area and attend e
ach one several times. God will let you know when you are home.

So, I feel very strongly that cooking/food and church go hand in hand. Where Christ's believers are, there He is and nothing is more important to me in this day and time of economic struggles, uneasiness, all of us moving at warp speed is gathering my family together at dinner time. I am so opposed to having family members eat in front of the television, eat on the run, eat at their computer. TAKE TIME TO EAT TOGETHER!!

I know that some of you will say that is impossible, but is it really impossible or have you changed your priorities? Is this the picture of what your family eats most nights on the run?

I know families that never have a meal together because they are to busy keeping away from each other. From early in the morning to late at night it is work, then sports games, recitals, practices, homework, it is join this club, become a member of that group and not only do the kids looked exhausted, but the parents are exhausted. STOP THE MADNESS, GET OFF THE TRAIN! Prioritize what is really important, talk to your family and your children and you may be surprised to learn they aren't as happy running all day and night as you think they are.

I know of a friend who makes their child decide what they want to do. If they want to be on a team or more than one team, they give them the tools they need and a few days to think and choose one over the other. If they are playing a musical instrument and want to switch, they are given the tools to make the right decision for them, not for their parents. Another family I know has eight children. Each child is involved in something, just not all eight at the same time.

Growing up, my brother was in little league, we had practices every night and games during the week-ends and I never remember NOT sitting down and eating as a family. The only exception to that was on my parents date nights, but we as children sat together and ate.

Proverbs 3:15 tells us, 'She rises while it is still night and gives food to her household.' In the Lords eyes, mealtime is important, it is a time for gathering together. When we first moved to Washington, we had a card table and 4 chairs and my husband took his dinner in front of the computer. When we bought our table and chairs, he wasn't thrilled that I insisted we all eat together (he likes his quiet time) and he isn't happy when we pray over our meals, but deep down, I believe he knows this is important to us as a family.

Cook ahead of time if that will work better. Plan a tail gate party at practice or at the game, meet your family half way at a local park in the spring/summer and have a picnic, but eat together, it is so important. Unplug the telephone, turn off the answering machine (my husband will jump up each time the phone rings, turn it off!), relax and enjoy a meal together.

Today is Sunday and I am once again going to post our Sunday dinner. While Jonathan isn't feeling well, I will probably make him soup and he can at least sit with us if he feels up to it. Today we are having fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh green beans. YUM!

I am including two recipes for today's post on the letter 'C.'

Jeans Fried Chicken:

  • 1 family sized package of chicken legs (or your favorite chicken pieces, but boneless skinless chicken doesn't work well for this)
  • Buttermilk (as much as you need for dunking chicken into)
  • Flour (I eyeball it)
  • Crushed Cornflakes (it is so much cheaper to buy a large box, crush them up and put them in an airtight jar, the kids love crushing them) about 2 handsful
  • Spices to your taste (I use Cajun seasonings or Paula Deens spices)
  • Oil for frying
Rinse the chicken well and pat dry. Dunk in buttermilk and roll in flour/cornflake/spice mixture.
Place in skillet of hot oil and cook until done. If you like a crunchy crust, you must keep the skin on.

Easy Pineapple Pie:

  • 2 pre-made graham cracker crusts
  • 1 8 ounce package *Philly Cream Cheese (*only use Philly, store brands don't work as well) softened
  • 1 can crushed and drained pineapple (I place mine in a strainer and them use the bottom of a glass to push all the juice out)
  • 1 cup sugar (Can be decreased to 3/4 cup depending on your tastes)
  • 1 large container Cool Whip (thawed)
Place softened cream cheese and sugar in large mixing bowl and cream with electric beater until soft and mixed. Add pineapple and hand mix (the mixture will look a bit runny, but that is okay) until cream cheese covers pineapple. Add in the cool whip and hand mix together, the mixture will become a bit thickened during this stage. Divide equally into 2 pie crusts, cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Happy eating! For more about eating together, check out Susan Alexander Yates article in Today's Christian Woman online magazine at:

Perhaps you can't eat every night together, then set at least one or two nights that you can and while you are at it, invite someone you know that might be eating alone:
  • A widow or widower
  • A latchkey teen whose parents work late
  • A bachelor/single woman
  • A single parent and their family
  • Your pastor and his wife
  • An elderly neighbor
Whether it is Sunday or Thursday, take your night eating together and make it special, dig out the good china, a few candles, those cloth napkins you have saved for years, theme dinner, make it enjoyable and have a blessed Sunday!


John said...

I just love your 'Sunday Dinner' themes.

Rannyjean said...

You are to kind!

Melinda Cornish said...

This is a great post Jean.....You are dead on and I sent a prayer up for your boy....Melinda