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Recipe Book

We were talking over a second cup of tea about how much things have changed. How we got by on incredibly little compared to what has become today's standard. Belinda said that she used to have a Mennonite cookbook, but couldn't remember the name.

"More With Less?" I offered.

"That's it!" She got up from the table to get her well-preseved copy and I thought of my own well worn copy at home. Clearly we both had some of the same adventures at one period in our lives in trying to economize and make every dollar stretch as far as possible. This was the book that had so often helped us do that.

I talked about some of my favourite recipes, including "Refrigerator Coleslaw" and "Brown Rice Salad", and simple but deadly 'Apple Crisp" while Belinda looked for a prayer between its pages that she had once copied down into her journal and had challenged her to wisely steward her personal resources for the benefit of all.

When I got home an hour or so later, I opened my own recipe cupboard to find my own copy of the book. Mine is missing the front cover and has pages decorated with the stains of ingredients of more favoured recipes. A flood of memories returned as I fingered the book and turned it's pages. I felt like I had been reconnected to an old friend. There are dozens of recipe books in that cupboard. One for probably every year we have been married - which will be 37 years in September. Some of those books have hardly been opened, while others, like my "More With Less" and my "Mary Moore Cookbook" have become favourites and literally contain the recipes for the staples of our family life over the years. I thought about how it has become so easy now, just to pick up a cake at Dairy Queen for someone's birthday, instead of opening one of these books and making a chocolate cake from scratch and slathering it with homemade chocolate fudge frosting.

I started thinking about another of my favoured books on another shelf - the bible - and how easy it has become of late to let it sit unopened while I rely on a quick drivethrough of a prayer as I run out the door. While my experience of God has become a fast food, instant gratification kind of relationship I have wondered why something is missing and God seems so far away.

This morning I will pass on the fast food and make the time to open the most precious of books. Instead of frittering my time away on the computer or reading a magazineI'll be waiting on Him until I hear him speak to me through His very Word.

I have a feeling I'll be letting you know how it goes.


Belinda said…
Slowing down, getting back to basics. It's a good thing to do. Life can get so crazy!

I wonder how many other readers have the More with Less cookbook on their shelves, and will take it down and open it today. I hope that memories of a simpler time make people homesick.
We, too, used mennonite cookbooks, Food That Really Schmecks and More Food That Really Schmecks. They are both splotted with stains and if you put your nose up between the pages you can smell the chicken and dumplings which we made regularly. We've gone back to these books now that we know how to utilize vegetarian meats in recipes and are enjoying them again. I simply love to cook.
Deidra said…
I remember that my mother used the More With Less cookbook. I saw it again in Ten Thousand Villages just the other day. As for my bible, I've been carrying it around in my purse (it's a small bible), but I should really sit down and read it. Thanks for the prompt.
Susan said…
Ah, Dave, I was raised on food that really schmeks - long before Edna Staebler penned the book!

Schnitz pie, homemade farmer's sausage, and creamed potatoes, maple syrup, summer sausage, and the best home-preserved beets in the world (Aunt Edith's recipe). I have carried a few of the recipes down through the years, and make most of them by heart, but I'm still waiting for my sister to send me Grandma's recipe for Schnitz pie because I've never been able to get that quite right. (Hint, hint, Bren!)

Thanks for the memories - and I really should look up that cookbook, it probably has a lot of the food my mother used to make.
Marilyn said…
I am traveling and JUST discovered I can access my Google Reader from my phone! Enjoyed this trip down cookbook memory lane and the ending. It had punch!OK...NO fast-fooding with the Lord!

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