I have always spent a lot of time planning my family’s meals. In the first place, I had a limited budget. In the second place, I had to use what we grew, and here in Florida that, too, is somewhat limited. The climate may be warm, but for some things it is too warm, and too humid, and too buggy. Root cellars, for example, don’t work, not just because of the heat, but because the ground water lies only three or four feet below the topsoil.
I did my best to provide nutritious meals with the resources I had and that often meant several hours a week combing through recipes and grocery ads, clipping coupons and sorting them while not falling into the coupon traps, and keeping an eye on the pantry and freezer. After awhile you develop a working knowledge of which store has which brands and their everyday price. If I buy this piece of meat this week while it’s on sale, I can divide it and freeze half for another week. At the same time I have something left from a few weeks ago that I bought extra then. This recipe makes enough for two nights, and I can get away with very little meat in that one because of the [beans, cheese, etc] it also uses. I should buy the milk at that store this week because it’s on sale there, while that brand is not available at the other store and I also have a coupon that makes it a dollar cheaper. Some days I feel like I have put in a full day’s work when I pack the coupon box, throw away the clippings, and stow my precious list in my bag. I don’t know what the boys would say about the meals they grew up on, but they turned out healthy so I must have done all right.
We did have dessert often, but we didn’t have ooey-gooey Mississippi Mud
Cake every night, nor Elvis’s [hyper-fat artery-clogging] brownies, nor any of
the other super-rich desserts. Those were for special occasions. More often it was a blueberry pie, or an apple pie, a homemade chocolate pudding (made with skim milk), or a dish of on sale ice cream. Even dessert was a tempered affair.
We didn’t eat much in the way of junk food and hardly any processed food
at all. I bake from scratch. I cook with fresh food or food I put up from my own garden, blueberry patch, grape arbor, apple trees, or wild blackberry thickets. Even those canned soup casseroles were few and far between. (But they did come in handy and were not banned completely.) I was careful what I fed my family.
I am a little worried about some younger Christians these days, who seem
to feed their souls on things besides the Word of God. The same women who almost arrogantly boast that their families never touch anything with high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated vegetable oil in it, will swallow whole a book of spiritual marshmallow fluff. Sometimes “inspirational” writings are nothing more than junk food, processed with so much spiritual salt and sugar in them that we develop a taste for them and use them not with the Bible, but instead of the Bible. I know that’s the case when the Bible way of doing things is considered “too harsh.” When something sounds saccharin sweet, it’s easy to indulge. When it’s warm and fuzzy, you want to cuddle right up, not realizing it’s a wolf about to make you his dinner.
What does God say about all this? The wisdom of the world cannot “know God” (1 Cor 1:21; 2:6-10). The wisdom of the world will “take you captive” (Col 2:8). The wise men of the world have “their foolish hearts darkened” (Rom 1:21,22). Even what I am writing can do these things if I am not telling you what the Bible says accurately. It’s your business not to gobble something up just because it tastes good--even my “something.”
Some of the stuff out there is good and wholesome and may well help you
live your life. But a lot of it is junk food. It will not only cause you spiritual health problems, it will fill you up so that you cannot take in the real nutrition you need. Stop and read the ingredient label before you buy it—develop critical thinking skills instead of just blindly slurping up the syrup. Don’t fall head over heels for the writings of men who are handsome and have a way with words, or women who make you laugh or bring a tear to your eye, especially if they are not even following the Lord accurately in their own lives.
Watch your spiritual diet and avoid the junk.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness," 1 Corinthians 3:18-19.
For the Elvis Brownies recipe, go to “Dene’s Recipe” page.