Sunday, October 23, 2011

Go Big or Go Home

3:50 p.m. Today's project was to type up my recipe for "Killer Chicken Soup" for Heart to Home on Tuesday. Wendy Simmons, Kay Wardell and I are teaching the class "Welcome Winter with Delicious Soups" in the kitchen at Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley. At the last count before today's sign-ups, we had six ladies coming. We can take up to 12 because Wendy, a professional kitchen manager at University of California Riverside, is going to show them how to prepare her "Hearty Hodgepodge." Kay will bring her "Spaghetti Soup" and her "Tuscan Potato Soup." The two of us will bring our soups prepared and keep them warm to serve in sample portions. They'll taste Chef Wendy's soup too.

Christians value our fellowship meals together, a tradition begun in the Early Church in the Book of Acts. Acts 2:42, 44-46 says of the apostles and the three thousand new believers who responded to Peter's sermon,

They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. ... Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

You'll notice the double emphasis on "breaking bread" together. It's so enjoyable to share a meal with Christ at the center. With family, or with my Christian family, there is a delicious bond!

As a food lover, vegetable gardener, wife and mom, I love to cook and entertain; and as a Bible teacher and retired elementary school teacher, I love to show meaning and methods to others.
The little problem I had with offering my chicken soup recipe is that up until an hour ago, there was no recipe!

After several decades of cooking beginning during my own elementary years with my mother until today, I've gone from absolute following of recipes to the letter--and I still do with some dishes--to ad libbing, substituting and changing recipes to suit our food allergies and preferences. I've personally been eating low-carb style for at least 5 years, and my recipe reflects that. Right now, as Steve and I have only ourselves to worry about, I often throw stuff into a pot or pan and see what emerges. Then I season it nicely, make adjustments and voila! Another dinner invention! For us old hands, that's fine, but I wouldn't suggest that to new brides or young wives! Why be discouraged by the results of an experiment when you can just open one of the many cookbooks you received as wedding gifts and be assured of success?

At Home Fellowship, it was Kay's turn to provide the meal. Her taco pie and 7-layer dip with chips and salsa were amazing. Can't wait to try her soups. Of course, now I need to figure out something acceptable for the group a couple weeks from now!!

On the way to Sprouts organic supermarket, I told Steve how wonderful it was that the Lord led him to take our family to Calvary Chapel for the last eight years of his illness, where he has been able to make more friends in a smaller setting. Those friends are coming alongside us both in prayer, encouragement and practical help, just as scripture teaches us as a church to treat one another. (And as we have done for others in the past).

So we don't just meet around food, or worship, or formal Bible study--we meet to express the heart of Jesus to one another!


  1. Glad you had a calm Sunday and wonderful fellowship. If your soup or other recipes turn out, hope you write down the recipes.

    We usually eat together at our church each Sunday after worship and before the class on Christian counseling. I get our food ready on Saturday. I shared a two ingredient coconut fudge yesterday and everyone loved it. This recipe is from a new Alzheimer's book I will review. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips and stir with one cup of coconut oil. Freeze in ice cube trays. Coconut oil is good for Alzheimer's patients and I finally found a recipe that works for my ALZ husband.

    Hugs and prayers,
    P. S. Do you have to have a "project" on the Sabbath day of rest?

  2. Hi Carol, you're the second one to mention coconut oil. Yes, the Lord is always showing me something, around the clock, and a "project" can be hospitality, and He's called me to write. For example, yesterday, my daughter's sister-in-law and father-in-law came to pick up our extra Dogloo, so I went to the garden to pick some veggies for them and my son who came to visit from Long Beach. Or the Lord gives me a biblical concept to share.

    I guess I'm like a farmer--must get the cows milked, even on Sunday!

  3. I would be the other one to have mentioned coconut oil! I first heard about it on Dr. Oz for belly fat. After I ordered it, I found on the Internet that it may be helpful with Alzheimer's. Since my husband and I both have a family history of that, it was double incentive to start using it as a preventive measure. When we have oatmeal, we stir a tablespoon into each of our bowls. We use it instead of butter on toast, pancakes, potatoes. At night, I melt some and stir in some peanut butter and we use it as a topping on sugar-free ice cream. I'll now be trying Carol's recipe with chocolate chips on ice cream. (Coconut oil has a melting temp of 76 degrees, so at room temperature it's soft.)

    Dana, Dr. Newport is a neonatal doctor whose husband (a former accountant) developed Alzheimer's in his early 50s. She had been taking him to try to get him in a medicine trial, but the first day he had scored to low to get in the trial. Somewhere she had seen about coconut oil being a main ingredient in some medicine (not sure--maybe the trial they were trying to get him in?), and she gave him a little more than two tablespoons the next morning. His score a few hours later was five points higher. They're now doing some tests in the UK. I don't remember all the details, but she has several youtube videos.

    Coconut oil can give you diarrhea, so they suggest you start out slow and add a little a day.

    You can buy a 2# tub of coconut oil at Walmart for around $6. We use that for baking and cooking. I've made some really good cookies with it. You use 3/4 as much as what it calls for in shortening. I buy virgin organic oil on Amazon for what we take "raw."

    If you want to try it, I would go ahead and use the Walmart brand (Louana) while waiting to get the other.

    When at my in-laws this past weekend. I made the oatmeal for all of us. MY FIL said he didn't eat oatmeal (he got tired of having it every day while growing up), but I went ahead and put some in front of him (brown sugar makes it really tasty), and he ate the whole bowl. We left before we could see if it helped him any, and he just had a tablespoon in it anyway.

    It's worth a try!