It’s fun to share both my tried-and-true recipes and newer finds. Sometimes it’s challenging to convert some of my favorite concoctions to a repeatable recipe. With many years of cooking experience there are many times I don’t need to consult a recipe, or I only use a recipe as a reference. It’s not surprising to deviate from a recipe to suit my fancy or to include other ingredients on hand in the pantry or refrigerator.
As I thought of a recipe to share this month, I found myself thinking not of food itself, but the atmosphere in which food is served. Two proverbs came to mind:
“Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.” Prov 17:1
“Better a dish of vegetables where there is love than a fattened ox with hatred.” Prov 15:17
These proverbs aren’t giving dietary advice, advocating vegetarianism, or recommending people eat less expensive foods. Instead, they are noting the importance of the atmosphere in which food is eaten. While the physical atmosphere in which we eat: the table setting, utensils and even a decorative centerpiece play an important role to elevate our eating experience, these proverbs aren’t addressing the physical atmosphere either. Instead, they address the spiritual atmosphere.
Your attitude and the attitude of those you eat with, expressed in words and actions, play an important part in both the pleasure of eating and the benefit of the food to your physical body.
Recall different experiences you’ve had in restaurants. The attitude of other diners, those at your table and the restaurant staff all contribute to your dining experience, your perception of the food and your digestion. All these factors contribute to which restaurants you choose to frequent and which ones you avoid.
What a privilege, and amazing responsibility, it is to choose the atmosphere in our homes. Our attitudes and the atmosphere we create have a huge impact on the food served and the nourishment it gives. We can choose the best quality ingredients, prepare everything perfectly but the effect can be completely lost if there is a lack of love and peace.
I’ve seen homes where great attention is given to the quality and purity of the food but not the quality of the atmosphere. Even with a beautiful setting, grumpy dispositions and cross words make it difficult to swallow. The body is served, but the soul is undernourished…perhaps even starving. This is a tragedy.
On the other hand, the simplest of foods can be prepared and enjoyed as a feast where love and peace abound.
Here’s an old recipe for a Happy Home. While you might take liberty to adjust the ingredient amounts as you see fit, or maybe even add a little something extra, I think you’ll agree this is a basic comfort recipe that will go perfectly with whatever you serve.
- 4 cups of Love
- 2 cups of Loyalty
- 3 cups of Forgiveness
- 1 cup of Friendship
- 5 heaping tablespoons of Hope
- 4 teaspoons of Kindness
- 3 spoonfuls of Tenderness
- 4 quarts of Faith
- 1 barrel of Laughter
Take Love and Loyalty, mix it thoroughly with Tenderness, Kindness and Forgiveness. Add Friendship and Hope. Sprinkle abundantly with Laughter and cover with Faith. Bake it with Sunshine. * Serve daily with generous helpings.
*If it’s a day without Sunshine, you’ll have to make your own:
Combine many smiles, a few grins, and giggles but no crabby words or critical remarks