What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

Something is missing at church – FELLOWSHIP. Oh, we’ll all stand around and chat til the lights get turned off, but what’s happened to having people in our homes? Sometimes we make cooking and entertaining harder than it really needs to be. Sunday dinner at home doesn’t have to be fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Why not make a soup on Saturday and then warm it up for Sunday’s dinner? Add a loaf of French Bread or crackers and you have a hearty meal to come home to after church services – and also to serve to guests.

When was the last time you invited someone to your home for a meal or refreshments? One of the best things about having a home is sharing it with others. Can I challenge you to invite a family over soon? They won’t care if you don’t get every corner dusted or if you didn’t have time to change paint colors in your living room. Open your home with a loving heart and a simple meal and enjoy the opportunity to serve others. Encourage a college student who’s away from home. Be a blessing to a young married couple or a widow. Share the Gospel with an unsaved family…all around your table.

Soups are good one dish meals that are great to entertain with. I’m making four different soups for a fellowship later this week and freezing them ahead of time. One soup we really love is U.S. Senate Bean Soup. I got the recipe years ago from Taste of Home. It takes several hours to cook, but it’s not labor intensive. The reviews on this recipe are really low, and I can’t figure that one out. No, it’s not a spicy soup, but the ham bone makes it very flavorful. I freeze my ham bone after Christmas to use for this soup later on. If I don’t have one, I go to Honey Baked Ham and buy one for $5. I’ve even gone after Christmas to get one and they had them buy one, get one free! That’s a deal for a pot of soup!

When I cook the beans, I do the quick method – bring them to a boil, then add 2 tsp baking soda and boil for 2 minutes. Let set for 1 hour, then rinse and proceed with the recipe. The baking soda keeps the beans from causing upset stomachs!

After the hour is up, add water and the ham bone and simmer for 2 hours.
Add the onions, celery, garlic and potato flakes and cook for 1 more hour. Remove the ham from the bone and add the meat back to soup pot.
Ta-da! Yummy and delicious!

Last weekend I had a chicken salad sandwich and got to watch the cook make her own special recipe. I hope it wasn’t a secret, because I have to share it with you! It was super good! This would make a great Sunday night meal. The sandwiches could be made ahead of time so you could easily have folks over for fellowship after the evening service. Served on French bread or a croissant and this would make a great light meal. Add some chips, fresh fruit and cookies and your guests will be glad they came!

Start with cooked chicken – even a Rotisserie chicken, which is what my friend used for hers. Cut the meat off the bone. Add a diced apple, chopped celery, Craisins, and pecans. Make the dressing in a separate bowl. Mix equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream (the amount will depend on how much chicken you have), app. 1/2 tsp cinnamon (the secret!), and juice of half a lemon. Mix dressing, then add to chicken mixture. Spread the bread with mayonnaise, top with lettuce, then the chicken salad.

If you don’t entertain guests in your home, what is hindering you? I’d love for you to leave a comment and be honest. Is it the cost? You don’t know what to do? Are you too busy? Maybe we can come up with a solution to help! If you do entertain, what is the thing you like serving most?

Happy cooking!

3 thoughts on “What’s Cookin’ in the Parsonage?

  1. One reason I don't have guests on Sunday anymore is the variablility of dismissal time. This is not an excuse or gripe, it is a sacrifice I am willing to make for Spirit-led church services. My husband and I had a bowl of cereal at 9pm last night. This is too late to begin entertaining guests that have to be up in eight hours to do quiet time and get to work.
    I will consider hosting more consistently on Saturday evening as this has worked well for me in the recent past.


  2. Amen for Spirit-led services!!!! We all just have to do what works for us. For some a Saturday night would be bad because of getting children bathed and ready for early bedtimes so they'll be ready for Sunday. So we each just look at what time is best and then do it! =) Thanks for sharing.


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