Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Menu and Table Matters


       
A house becomes a home when each room is clothed in peace,
       each wall is covered in laughter, and each heart is filled with love.
Of all the domestic activities a mother partakes,
one in particular that I savor is preparing a nourishing
and delicious meal for my family,
then presenting it in a lovely manner that conveys my esteem for them.
  A beautifully set table, candles, cloth napkins, pretty serving dishes, prayer, singing, laughter and conversation are important aspects of everyday dinner at Providence Lodge. 
Not just for company, or for “special,“
for what could be more exceptional
than sitting down with your beloved family every evening? 


Our home life began to take on shape, order, ease,
and beauty as I implemented a simple menu scheme 
that our family enjoyed. 
Over the years, we have altered it from time to time, 
but it is still basically the same. 
   
Monday is pasta.  For each day, I have four favorite dishes, one for each week of the month.
Tuesday is hamburger night, hamburgers, German Buns, meatballs, or sloppy joes.
Wednesday is soup and bread, many to choose from.
Thursday is Chicken, again, four of our favorite dishes from chicken.
Friday is taco night (we love tacos, Indian style, “dirt cheap,” original, and burritos).
Saturday is a miscellaneous day, we may have hot dogs, or salmon, or pork, or ham.
Sunday, I desire to be restful, so this is the day we use paper plates, have sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner.
Homemade pizza is incredibly easy to make,
creates very little mess in the kitchen,
and the children love to put on the toppings,
 which makes it all the easier and fun for me.  

This plan not only allows me to know what we are having tomorrow 
so that I can get appropriate meat out of the freezer to thaw, 
but has made grocery shopping a whole lot more simple, 
and saves money. 
Having all the right ingredients on hand 
and knowing what you are serving eliminates costly trips to the store
to grab something for dinner because of lack of planning, 
or needing to purchase just one thing that is more expensive locally.
  I now have a basic monthly grocery list 
that needs little change on shopping day.

 

Order is synonymous with harmony. 
 
Order generates ease and simplicity.

  I am inspired at the thought of my kitchen being a haven 
of harmony and simplicity.

Even the most humble of meals, 
such as macaroni and cheese with a salad,
is served  with beauty and care. 
When the plan, the order,
the creativity and the delicious morsels come together at the table, 
when your family is enamored with each meal,
when you sit down and observe the sweet atmosphere,
the eager faces, breathe in the aroma of baked cheese,
 notice the glimmer of lighted candles, 
then you will know in your soul
that your time and attention were well worth it.  

 “The table should be made the center of the social life of the household.  Every wise-hearted parent will seek to train his household to converse on subjects that will yield instruction or tend toward refinement.  The table affords an excellent opportunity for this kind of education. “ from the book Homemaking, by JR Miller

 

Years ago, a friend offered this advice
that has struck a chord in my memory:
“ Today we are creating ‘the good old days’ 
of our children’s lives.”  
As I contemplate that thought,
I can envision my grandma’s kitchen. 
My brothers and I recall,
Grandma always had a dish of pickles on the table.
Remember the good old days at grandma’s?

      My mother always served dad first. 
           What will my children remember about our dinner table?
 What memories am I creating for our children? 
That is what spurs me on when I begin to think, oh well, 
it won’t matter. 
It will matter.
It is the little extras in everyday things that inspire and enrich.
I am leading and teaching by example.
My children will likely follow in my footsteps. 
I must therefore, walk carefully, thoughtfully.

 God has shown us His example,
He feeds us with abundance,
He lets us drink from rivers of delight,
He shelters us under His wing, 
He patiently nurtures, and gently leads. (Ps. 36:7-8) 

If  I seek to bless my family,
if I take God’s example and follow as best I am able,
if I delight myself in Him and serving others,
then when I am old and gray and wrinkled and frail,
I will take comfort in the knowledge
that I have given my family my best. 

     “The memory of the beautiful and happy home of childhood is the richest legacy any mother and father can leave to their children.”   - B.G. Northrup

2 comments:

Finding Balance mommy said...

Praying you have a blessed day!
I soooo wish I could reach through the screen and grab one of those yummy rolls!!! :-)

Gina said...

This is one of my very favorites too! Love the content... and the pics are so inspiring! Thanks for re-posting. Prayed for you more than once today. :)