Sunday, October 11, 2009

"A Holy Resting All That Day"

There are a lot of different opinions on how Sunday should be treated by Christians. I don't want to get into a discussion of what Christians should or shouldn't do on Sunday, but I do think that we need to be aware of what Sunday means and what our attitude is toward it. So as I've been thinking through this, I've been asking myself some questions:

First of all, is Sunday the Sabbath? Is it the Lord's Day? Is it different than other days of the week?

Second, if it is a different day, do I act any different on that day? How does what I do look any different from what the world does?

Third, if I do act differently on that day, is it enough to act differently for one or two hours as I attend church in the morning, then go back to my regular life for the rest of the day? Or is the whole day the Sabbath?

Fourth, what does that mean, anyway: "the Sabbath"? Does it mean that I don't do any work? And what is "work" on Sunday, anyway? Isn't it resting from work when I get to do what I want?

I've been exploring this since we studied the Fourth Commandment in our school. In the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 57-62 thoroughly explore the Fourth Commandment. There are two parts of the catechism that really have really gotten me thinking. First is the commandment itself expressed in catechism question number 57, and then one of the follow up questions:

Question 57: Which is the fourth commandment?

Answer: The fourth commandment is, Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work: but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Question 60: How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

Answer: The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole day in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

So that is where my thoughts are - and it brings me to the center of all the questions: how is God calling me to spend my Sundays? A holy resting....

“I Don’t Cook on Sunday” menus to please the family and the budget!

(Recipes usually serve 4 – double for larger families or growing boys)

All of these menus are to be prepared for the most part on Friday or Saturday, and then finished up on Sunday:

1. Sloppy Joes, Chips, Carrots and Celery
2. Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Vegetable, Fruit
3. Tacos, Nachos, Fresh Fruit
4. Beef Stew, Bread, Salad
5. Breakfast Burritos, Fresh Fruit
6. Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Vegetable, Salad

Recipes and shopping lists:

1. Sloppy Joes, Chips, Carrot and Celery Sticks

Sloppy Joes Recipe
1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
¼ c. diced onion
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
½ c. chili sauce
¼ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 T. white vinegar
8 oz. tomato sauce
hamburger buns

Mix all ingredients except buns in a large frying pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for minutes. Put in a container and freeze or refrigerate. To serve, reheat until bubbly or put in crock pot on low for 2-4 hours. Serve on buns with chip and carrot/celery sticks.

Shopping list:
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 bottle chili sauce
1 onion
Spices, if needed
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 pkg. hamburger buns
1 # fresh carrots
1 stalk celery
1 bag chips – family’s favorite

2. Meatloaf, Baked Potatoes, Vegetables and Fruit

Meatloaf Recipe
2 pounds lean ground beef, or 1 pound beef, 1 pound turkey
1 egg
¼ c. dry bread crumbs
1 T. Worchestershire sauce
¼ c. diced onion
1 whole onion

First, prepare baking dish: line a baking dish with foil (remember – it’s Sunday and you don’t want to spend all afternoon doing dishes!) Peel whole onion and cut into 3 large slices. Lay these slices on the bottom of your baking dish (adds flavor and serves as a rack to lift your meatloaf out of the grease). Lightly beat egg in a large bowl. Mix in breadcrumbs, Worcestershire sauce and diced onion. Add meat and mix until seasonings are mixed throughout the meat. Form into a loaf and place in prepared baking dish. Refrigerate until Sunday. The meatloaf and potatoes need to bake for 1 ¼ hours – use the timed bake option on your oven if you have one, or plan to have a late dinner. Serve with baked potatoes, vegetables and fruit.

Shopping list:
2 # lean ground meat – beef, turkey or both
2 onions
bread crumbs
1 egg
Worcestershire sauce
potatoes – russet and/or sweet
Fresh, frozen or canned vegetable of your choice
Fresh or canned fruit

3. Tacos, Nachos and Fresh Fruit

Tacos Recipe
1 pound ground beef or turkey
¼ c. chopped onion
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1T. chili powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. oregano

Brown ground meat and onion, drain fat. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes, then freeze or refrigerate until needed.
Prepare the following (according to your family’s tastes) in separate dishes, then refrigerate until serving time: shredded lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocados (don’t prepare until the last minute), black olives, etc.
Before serving prepare soft or hard taco shells, heat up meat, warm nacho cheese sauce, bring toppings out of the refrigerator.

Shopping list:
1 pound ground beef or turkey
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 onion
spices for taco seasonings
veggies for taco toppings
canned nacho cheese
soft tortillas or taco shells
1 bag tortilla chips
fresh or canned fruit

4. Beef Stew, Bread, Salad

Beef Stew Recipe
1 pound stew beef
¼ c. flour
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. salt
dash pepper
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
4 carrots, sliced
2-3 potatoes, cubed
1 tsp. each thyme, basil, parsley, marjoram
1 ½ c. beef broth or stock

Use a crock pot liner! (Remember – it’s Sunday). Prepare meat and vegetables up to one day ahead of time and refrigerate. 6-10 hours before serving assemble stew: Put cubed meat in the crock pot liner. Add flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Hold bag closed and shake to cover meat with flour. Put crock pot liner with meat inside it in your crock pot. Add vegetables, herbs and broth. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8-10 hours. Serve with bread (make homemade bread on Saturday!) and salad (prepare on Saturday).

Shopping list:
1 pound stew beef
paprika, salt, pepper & herbs, if needed
4 carrots
2-3 potatoes
1 ½ c. beef broth or stock
special bread – bakery or artisan (if you don't have time for homemade)
lettuce (or choice of salad)

5. Breakfast Burritos, Fresh Fruit

Breakfast Burritos Recipe
1 pound bulk sausage
1 potato
¼ c. onion
2 eggs person
2 large (burrito sized) flour tortillas per person
picante sauce or salsa
shredded cheddar cheese

Brown and drain sausage, remove from pan and refrigerate. Peel potato and slice thin. Brown in pan, add onion when partially cooked. Remove potato and onion from pan and refrigerate.

Before serving warm flour tortillas according to package directions. Put sausage and potato/onion mixture in pan and warm. Beat eggs and add to pan. Cook together until eggs are done. Serve with picante sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. (each person assembles his own burrito).

Shopping list:
1 pound bulk sausage
1 onion
1 potato
1 pkg. burrito size flour tortillas
picante sauce
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
fresh or canned fruit

6. Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Vegetable, Salad

Lasagna Recipe (serves 12)
9 lasagna noodles
1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce
24 oz. carton small curd cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. parsley flakes
½ c. grated Parmesan cheese
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound ground beef, browned

Cook noodles according to directions on package. Remove from the pot and lay out on aluminum foil or wax paper until needed. In a bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, ¼ c. Parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and mozzarella cheese. Grease lasagna pan or 9x13 baking dish. Layer ingredients in the following order: 3 noodles, ½ cheese mixture, 1/3 jar of spaghetti sauce, ½ of ground beef. Again: 3 noodles, ½ cheese mixture, 1/3 jar of spaghetti sauce, ½ of ground beef. Last layer: 3 noodles, remaining spaghetti sauce, ¼ c. Parmesan cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until Sunday. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Let rest outside of oven for 10 minutes before serving. Hint: if you need a smaller size Lasagna for your family, use 2 8x8 baking dishes and split the ingredients in half. Cut each lasagna noodle in half and layer each smaller pan the same way as the larger lasagna. Freeze 1 pan until needed for another meal.

Shopping list:
1 package lasagna noodles
1 jar spaghetti sauce
24 oz. carton small curd cottage cheese
1 pound ground beef
parsley flakes
Parmesan cheese
4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 loaf frozen garlic bread
lettuce (or salad of choice)
fresh, frozen or canned vegetable of your choice