Pinnacle Presbyterian Church

Echoes Blog

Gratitude and Recipes


We can never have enough gratitude, and it seems that gratitude is often expressed around a meal table. Meals are often the result of recipes, and church people are big on recipes. Most churches, including Pinnacle, had recipe books that are cooked up by members who share ingredients that go back generations. Have you ever noticed how many of these recipes include cans of soup, mostly mushroom, but sometimes cream of celery? In Arizona a lot of the recipes include smashed up taco chips. In Iowa corn is a big ingredient.

One year my Aunt Edna presented me with a Christmas gift that contained a little wooden box stuffed full of family recipes. I think this might have been a nod to the fact that my culinary skills needed (and still need) a lot of improvement. I could picture Edna back on the farm wearing her requisite apron whipping up these recipes, not only for her own family, but for the troops of workers who assisted in the labor of the farm. I can also picture them as characters in the Norman Rockwell painting, bowing their heads, thanking God for the food they were about to eat.

I had a friend who had recipes all over her house. You would find them stuffed in coat pockets, inside of drawers containing screwdrivers, in-between pages of poems by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, among the logs beside the fireplace, scribbled on match books, scraps of newspaper and want ads. She was such a good cook she really didn’t need any recipes, but it must have made her happy to write them down.

God gives us a recipe for Christian living: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mark 12:30) We give thanks for this recipe by acting out the words of love.

There is even a recipe for love:

2 Hearts full of Love
2 Heaping cups of Kindness
2 Armfuls of Gentleness
2 Cups of Friendship
2 Cups of Joy
2 Big Hearts full of Forgiveness
1 Lifetime of Togetherness
2 Minds full of Thoughtfulness

Stir daily with happiness, humor and patience.  Serve with warmth and compassion, respect and loyalty.

I have recently returned from a visit to the African American Museum in Washington, D.C. where I purchased a recipe book called:  The Black Family Reunion Cookbook. I wanted to share a recipe with you, and, of course, it has soup!

1 pound sausage
1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can water

1. Heat oven to 350

2. Crumble sausage into medium skillet. Brown on medium heat. Drain. Spoon into 2 quart casserole. Add rice, mushroom soup, chicken soup, celery soup and water. Stir well.

3.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes, stirring after 25 minutes.  Bake until rice is tender.

4-6 servings  Enjoy!