Enjoyable read and family-friendly.
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I am not promoting the sale and use of wine or any alcoholic beverages but, I am promoting harmony and a time to slow down and enjoy your family, loved ones and true friends around the kitchen and dining table. There will come a day when all you have is memories, because one day the chain will be broken.
In my home as a child and some of my adult life I can remember meals at the table just like on a television show "Soul Food." There is nothing like good food, loved ones around at the table laughing and some sad when a loved one has passed on.
Bread: I Corinthians 5:8 ... Sacred Seasons; Historical Sacred Seasons; The Passover Becomes a Christian Festival ................ I Corinthians 10:16 ... Sacred Rites & Forms; Sacraments, Worship, & Church-Fellowship; The Lord's Supper, Its Significance
Wine: Wine Prescribed; Abuse of It; & Prohibited to the Priesthood When On Duty .... Psalm/Tehillim 104:15; Joel 2:24; I Timothy 5:23; Titus 2:3; Ephesians 5:18; Ezekiel 44:21
Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity.
Shauna Niequist mom's dad is Irish, a storyteller and her mom is German, a rose gardener and meticulous baker. They were married just before her grandpa joined the navy, and her mom, their first child, was born at Pearl Harbor.
Neither of them grew up in religious home, but when they married, they decided that religion was important, and that they wanted to join a church. They visited all sorts of churches before settling at Lake Center Bible Church.
There is a difference between religious and righteous.
They were meat and potatoes people, men who work long days on the farm and ate accordingly.
Six brothers - Shauna's grandfather and her dad's five uncles - all died of heart attacks before they were fifty-five. When she was born her parents knew something had to change.
Because of Shauna's dad scary family history, her mother became a health food person before it was fashionable.
Now that Shauna is an adult, she can appreciate how much effort this entailed, how expensive it was for her to feed them that way.
Sunday afternoons were family time - private, casual, silly.
The Cooking Club began when Aaron and Shauna moved back to Chicago from Grand Rapids three years ago. There are six of them in the Club.
They met once a month, and sometimes more, and whoever's hosting the theme and cooks the main course, and then the rest of them fill in - appetizers, side dishes, desserts.
They have attended funerals and birthday parties together, reported bad tests results, gotten advice about sick children, made trips to the ER, walked together through postpartum depression. They have talked about faith and fear and fighting with their husbands, sleeping through the night and anxiety and how to ask for help when they needed it.
It all started around the kitchen table, once a month and sometimes more.
Each of us should be able to nourish ourselves in the most basic way and to create meals and traditions around the table that tell the story of who we are to the people we care about.
Marketing and advertising campaigns are created to influence us to eat our or buy prepared foods. They want us to think that plain old cooking is difficult and not worth learning. In order to sell canned food and cake mixes, advertisers had to convince American women that cooking is too hard and troublesome for our modern world. But it wasn't true then, and it isn't true now.
When you're dependent on prepared foods, you don't get to decide how something is seasoned. You don't get to add flavor according to your geography, your story, your table.
Shauna started buying cookbooks and reading them cover to cover in bed before turning out the lights at the end of the day.
In my case, I have my bigmomma cookbooks which some of them might be older than I am.
Our goal is to feed around our table the people we love. We're not chefs or restaurateurs or culinary school graduates, and we shouldn't try to be. Make it the way the people you love want to eat it, and the way you love it.
During a three-month period after Shauna's last book came out she traveled to twenty-two cities to speak at forty-four events.
Near the end of that season, she became aware that her appetites were escalating. The longer she was away from home the more intensed her appetites became.
She was all feasting and no fasting - all noise, connection, go: without rest, space, silence. At one event, she licked the icing off a cupcake right as she walked onstage to speak, mouth full of sugar and butter as she walked up the steps to the podium. She lost her manners and lost her ability to slow down.
You say grace before meals.
But I say grace before the concert,
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink. - G. K. Chesterton, "A Grace," Collected Poetry
Shauna feels that women feel shame about two things: their bodies and their homes. She feels men have no shame about their homes. She thinks for men its about paychecks or cars and these are stereotypes, but in her house, they hold true.
When she and her husband were first married, they lived in a one-bedroom town house so small they couldn't sit at their kitchen table at the same time, and the only place for her husband grand piano was their bedroom. It was mostly a big piece of furniture on which to pile their clothes, but sometimes in the middle of the night, Aaron would terrify her out of sleep by sneaking out of bed to play "Great Balls of Fire" at a shattering volume.
Their first home was not fancy, but it was their first home together.
In the years they lived in that tiny home, they must have had a hundred parties.
You'll miss the richest moments in life - the sacred moments when we feel God's grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love - if you're too scared or too ashamed to open the door.
She doesn't knock herself out for picky eaters. Homes are are not restaurants and your host is not a short order cook.
Depending on medical condition of your loved ones and friends some may not be able to eat certain foods so that should be taken into consideration when inviting guests into your home. I know of one person who was taking radiation and was at a business meeting and he could not eat smoked meat. He was doing well until he went to this meeting and he thought that the turkey meat was baked and it was smoked. He had a little back set, but he is doing well now back in his office.
Shauna is learning that feasting can only exist healthfully - physically, spiritually, and emotionally - in a life that also includes fasting.
Some things only come by fasting and prayer.
A few years ago she went to a natural health doctor, after a particular indulgent summer. She was getting sick more easily than usual.
No one changes their life until the pain is unmanageable, and in all sorts of ways for her, the pain level had reached the unmanageable point. She followed his advice for more than four months. She felt great. She lost some weight, started sleeping better, didn't ache at all.
Her work these days is to find that fine balance - allowing her senses to taste every bite of life without being driven by appetites, indiscriminate and ravenous.
Me, myself I am not having any problem staying on my level. For it is just the way I was raised to eat and I have lost weight and losing weight. I am not starving and I am not on any weight loss medications - injections. Just back to the basic. My doctor placed me on the diet that I am on and then I decided to take another look at my bigmomma's cookbooks and nutrition list.
During Christmastime we find ourselves most tempted to abandon Christlikeness in favor of overspending, overdoing and overconsuming, but she finds it to be true: the season that centers around the silent holy night; the humble baby; and the star very quickly becomes the season in which we over - everything - overspend, overeat, overindulge, overcommit, all int he name of celebration.
Let's honor the story - the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the humble birth, with each choice that we make.
Food and cooking are among the richest subjects int he world. Even more, they sit us down evening after evening, and in the company that forms around our dinner tables, they actually create our humanity. - Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb
For more than thirty years their church has been giving food to families in immediate need all over the city.
Hunger upsets her. It upsets her and makes her angry.
The Church is at its best, in her view when it is more than a set of ideas, when it is a working, living, breathing, on-the-ground, in-the-mess force for good in our cities and towns.
The last several times the Cooking Club has gathered, they've talked about hunger. They are moms, and aunts, and sisters. As they talked about hunger, privilege, waste and wealth, they talked about how easy it is to settle into a lifestyle of accumulation.
This is how they arrived at the Cooking Club garage sale and bake sale with all the proceeds benefiting the Care Center.
They earned a thousand dollars for the Care Center.
A thousand dollars in the face of a problem like hunger in a city the size of Chicago isn't that much. It's so easy to think that because you can't do something extraordinary, you can't do anything at all.
She wants to be a part of making sure the kids in her town, and in every town, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and she wants to be clearer about what money can and can not buy.
Gather the people you love around your table and feed them with love and honesty and creativity.
I was sent an advanced review copy of this book from Zondervan.
Shauna Niequist is the author of this book as well as Cold Tangerines & Bittersweet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Aaron, and their sons, Henry and Mac. Shauna writes about family, friendship, faith, and life around the table.