25 thoughts on “Mac and Cheese, Meatloaf and

  1. Yes! I am going to tell a tale on myself and a minister named Sara who shall remain anonymous! 🙂 I have many favorite”comfort” foods but my most favoite is guacamole. The Avocado is my ‘friend’. One day we were at the mall and my friend Sara, who shall remain anonymous, suggested a Mexican Restaurant that had outstanding food. Having been courteously seated we proceeded to order the fresh Guacamole with chips. The waiter mixed it right at our table and we shared a lovely bowl of Guac that was so delicious and comforting….and then we ordered another, and then another and then….now please! In the event that you thought we had overdone it we can self-righteouysly say we took the last bowl” to go”. After all we didn’t want to appear greedy!
    That was one of the most delicious episodes that I will always remember. Ok! Maybe we only ordered 3 bowls instead of 4 but I must say, ” that was a GUAC TO REMEMBER.” Maybe I will write a book.

  2. Meatloaf was the first comfort food I remember. When I was around ten, I received a Betty Crocker Cookbook for Children as a gift. It had a recipe in it for meatloaf. I asked my mother if I could make it for dinner and she agreed to allow me. This was the first ‘real’ food I had ever prepared. It turned out good and everyone enjoyed it so I became the designated meatloaf maker.
    What made it especially ‘comforting’ beside the taste was the relief it helped bring to the dinner table. Like so many, I grew up in a dysfunctional family where dinner time was the greatest source of stress and anxiety of the day…a time-bomb waiting to explode. The meatloaf helped diffuse the tension. It relieved my mother of a cooking chore which eased her nerves so she seemed a little happier at dinner. And since she was happier and everyone liked eating it with no complaints, the conversation was a little lighter and brighter. That’s why I associate meatloaf with comfort.

  3. Debi, very inspiring story. A young girl helping and giving courage to her Mom Dad, and family to soothe the heart and help overcome many obstacles.

    As the tension of holidays roll rapidly like a bale of hay headed down a hill we can all find many helpful and healthy ways to story meatloaf, mac n cheese and chicken soup. Oh! let’s not forget the cookies and eggnog. Whatever makes ones heart sing with Joy.

    Hey, MG, tell that Sara friend of yours Guac was meant for sharing. I know with all that Guac many a laughs were shared over the table of grace.

  4. Debi, I love your story of how God used you to be a little peace maker at a young age. Perhaps God was grooming you for the role you would play in conflicts as you went forth into life.
    Sister Grandma was right when she gave me that recipe and said, “Give this to that girl that cooks!” She may have inadvertantly discerned one of your many, many gifts.
    Thanks for sharing that story with us.

  5. When I was growing up my Mom would often have a huge pot of potato soup, vegetable soup or chilly on the stove and whoever came by were given some. These would often warm anyone who came by or got stuck in the snow on a cold, brisk winter day.

    Another comfort food to us was waffles. On Sunday evenings my Mom would say girls your aunt and kids are coming so whip up some waffles for all. My sister and I would make waffle after waffle with much conversation and joy. My brother since has taken on the waffle maker role and loves to fix them for anyone.

    Another comfort food seems to be apple pie. When my children were young I would make four or more pies at a time. My friend, Sara would pick them up hot from the oven and deliver them to whoever was in need of a touch from God. I never knew where they were going but I knew they were well received.

  6. Rena, your narrative smacks of Christian Americana. That folksy, warm, nuturing kind of life, despite things that come against it, willing to reach out to neighbors and friends and even strangers in need; you know the Norman P. Rockwell kind of scenario.
    You are blessed to have lived a part of that young family life of giving and perhaps that is whyyou have become a ‘good giver”!!

  7. AT the innocent age of nine in a Victoria Farm House on a cold wintery blistery morn in easter NC, I was told my Father had a fatal stroke in the night and died! Yes, died.

    The healing began the moment family, church friends, neighbors all began to show up with dishes of comfort food to feed a now single Mom with five little children kneeling at her feet. Fear, angry, pain and grief began to unfold in a wrap made of love as we all became ‘threaded needles.’

    I, Sara, still love the joy of threading needles with my church, family and friends. Yes, friends like Rena, makes the pies, Debi, arranges the flowers, and MG makes the pasta and others use their threaded needles and I take the woven blanket of faith, hope and love and deliver to the family that kneels in pain, grief or hopelessness. I go knowing without a doubt how a blanket of HOPE will heal when its woven with golden threads of Love.

    And, love was born one cold blistery Christmas morn. I want to continue to take His swaddling clothes and go out into His World and thread needles of love, hope and faith. We are the fiber of His soul.

  8. Sara, when I read your story about the outreach of love and consolation that your godly neighbors demonstrated to your Mother and her children in a desolate hour, it came to me that it seemed to weave a tapestry of embroidered and brocaded fabric that ministered to you in your time of need. It is HIS BANNER OF LOVE over you, as HE inspired your neighbers to set a table of comfort foods before you in the presence of your enemy of death and sorrow. That’s the “FIBER” Love is made of.
    And, Christ made that all possible. That kind of Love of God shed abroad in our hearts was made possible only because of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection. And His Banner over us is LOVE…that love born on Christmas Day 2000 years ago, and it still “flies high in the sky to let the whole world know that
    the KING is in residence” throughout all the ages and eras, in our hearts…those who come to pay homage to the King of kings.

  9. My mom always had dinner ready at 4:45pm, when my dad got home from work. We sat at the table, as a family to have dinner together. My mom was always busy, while I was at school, preparing what she would cook for dinner. I can’t list all the “comfort food” she has prepared for me throughout my childhood, but it sure was and still is GOOD! I guess she passed on to her family, what her mom always did, for her. I can still see my grandmother pulling out a hot lard can lid of homemade biscuits, from the oven, and then smothering them with a stick of butter…….umm umm!

  10. My mom would always make a big pot of beef vegtable soup whenever it would snow. I remember eating a bowl of that delious soup while sitting by a blazing warm fire to warm up. Every snow day she would make her homemade snow cream. Awesome! I would go outside and find clean snow, usually on cars,(stay away from the yellow snow) and I would take it to her and she would have the cream ready. Next she would stir in the snow until it was thick. Awesome! I also make homemade beef vegtable soup and snow cream on snowy days. The last time it snowed, Luke want snow cream and he went to get the snow for me. It was full of pine needles and twigs. I then went out to help him gather the snow. We ate homemade soup by the warm fire and for desert we had snow cream. My family loved it as much as I did when I was a little girl.

  11. This is a delightful blog. I love to read the stories of the adventures of our LILIES in their youth, with their families..
    This evokes warm fuzzies at this reminiscent time of year when warm tales of bygone days touch our hearts, especially.

  12. I want to go to Chickenfarmers on snow days. Beef Veg. Soup and snow cream, two of my favorites. Oh, or any day would be just fine with an invite from CF.

  13. Sara, you are always welcome. If it isn’t snowing, I’ll make some homemade soup and we will have ice cream for desert.(Ice cream without twigs and pine needles)

  14. That beef vegetable soup of chickenfarmers is sounding good. My mother used to make vegetable beef soup also on cold wintry days in her favorite cast iron pot and it was the greatest. She always said it was the pot that made the difference. Now I have her cast iron pot and there is a difference…I can’t get mine to taste like hers. But it sure was a good memory.

  15. Sara, you asked if I agree with the above article. It seems that the information gathered, on the surveys sure support it? However, I think we must not forget certain comments in the article such as: “Although according to Dr. Sue Butkins parents need to be careful not to control conversations and suppress their children’s opinions.” I guess the “meals around the family tables” can certainly be benefical, given the proper environment, conversations, etc.?????????

  16. I read the article, Needles, and had mixed feelings about it. My experience growing up in a very dysfunctional family made me question this statement:”Eating together helps families achieve better communication and build stronger relationships, children do better in school and are better adjusted as teens and adults, and the entire family enjoys better nutrition. ” For the most part, eating together at home as a child and teen was the worst hour of the day because rather than foster good communication it bred arguements and stress and seemed to destroy relationships. So I don’t think eating together is the single ingredient for success. I think good communication skills and parental ability and desire to bring healthy topics to and maintain clear guidelines at the table breeds stronger relationships, etc.
    I will say eating together and eating what was put on the table contributed to good nutrition because I was blessed to have a mother who cooked healthy meals and a father who worked hard to provide the finances to purchase the food.

  17. I read the article and others like unto this one. I found it kind of interesting as I love fellowship around the table with family and friends. I agree just eating together or staying together carte blanche is not always the best answer. It does seem when you read the article in its entirety it is making a point to try and communicate within the family unit and around the family table might be the only way you can have a sit down talk. I noticed the very last sentence, “The last reason is the saddest of all. Many families, about half, have the television on during dinner and about 1/3 of families eat in front of the television. This does not allow for much family interaction.” Therefore, Needles and Debi, I agree with you it’s not the table but the ones that put their feet under the head of the table!

  18. I do my walking many times in an enclosed mall and more often than not stop for a lunch in the ‘eatery.’ I watch many parents with their children. Parents, and grandparents, and friends come together, try and buy healthy food to some degree for their little darlings. But, then the interest starts. Not sure I have ever observed or overhead a dialogue.

    Even in this drama I still think parents are trying and hopefully with faith that gives love, hope and joy we can honor our children with teaching, etiquette,and graciousness.

  19. I want to tell another story but it is not about food one eats but it is about a very special teacher who saw a student struggling with reading and turned the child’s life around. That child was me. I look upon Mrs. Siebert my fourth grade teacher with great fondness. One teacher and one year can make a difference. I was very shy and often was seated in the back of the room. I would often find myself writing my name over and over again on my leg as I could not see what the teacher was writing on the board. In those days the spelling words were written on the board. I remember one specific time that the days of the week were given and I thought they were the months of the year. We had to abbreviate the words and I remember thinking how do I abbreviate May. I also had been placed in a very low reading group which was pulled out of the classroom. My mother was in shock. Mrs. Seibert called my mother in and told her she thought that my glasses were not right and she recommended a doctor who was highly qualified in Winchester. We went to see this doctor and he tells my Mom the glasses I had were for a far sighted person and that I was very near sighted. Quickly Mom bought the right glasses and Mrs. Seibert pulled me from the previous reading group and worked with me to bring me up to speed with the other children. She also praised by artistic talents and my work was often on the board. She even let me come in and dance at recess which I loved. I recently found a picture of her and I counted all the students she had. She had 32 students. Having 28 students now I wonder how she had time to touch my life so warmly and change my direction and hope for the future. At the time she also lost her daughter to leukemia. Her life was so full of personal pain but she did not let it detour her from reaching out to others in love.

  20. Oh Rena…this is the Christmas Story all over again! How the selfless act of Mrs. Seibert ‘saved” a little girl’s life, figuratively, and look at you now!
    An award winning teacher, yourself, with great compassion for children with special needs and for ALL children, for I know you love them all.
    God bless Mrs. Seibert and God bless you for your resiliant triumph. She planted a seed and YOU and your students over the years are the harvest.
    What a lovely Christmas Story!!

  21. Great motivational story Rena of someone who overcame their own obstacle to help someone else overcome theirs. If Ms Seibert had become self-focused and absorbed with her own difficulties, she probably never would have helped you. That is a good lesson for any of us facing trials and difficulties that would want to distract us from going beyond ourselves to help another.

  22. Another story that is precious to me is my church upbringing when I was a child. My sisters and I attended every Vacation Bible School, attended Sunday School regularly even if we had to walk, and acted in every Christmas performance, attended nearly all revivals, sang occasionally in the choir, sometimes assisted teachers with students, and put flowers on the church alter. One evening after a particularly moving revival service I felt I wanted to come to know the Lord Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. We were told to come forward when the invitational song was played and kneel in front of the chair which was placed in the front of the church to profess Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. At 12 years of age I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit and I slipped out of pew and slowly walked down the aisle. It was my moment of just Jesus and me with each step. My Sunday School teachers with their flannel graphs had done a great job of telling the story of Jesus. Another told us stories of others in far away countries that needed the helping hands of those who loved Jesus. My mother practiced and practiced her flannel graph stories on us. We as a family knew the stories of Jesus. Little did I know that my two sisters, 11 and 8 at the time, seeing me also walked down that same aisle right behind me to accept the Lord as their savior. All three of us were baptized together in our white dresses. Each of us after that day taking our individual walk through life. One was to later walk through breast cancer and the other through encephalitis and later brain surgery. Life has not been easy but Jesus has always been their to offer hope and strength as the walk continues.

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