May 9, 2011
Sunday Lunch in a Fallen World
Posted by Megan /Topics: Focus (on Ministry)
The uber-pucker-y key lime pie (Did I add the lime juice twice?) that I only tasted myself after I had sent home generous slices with hurried guests. At least they were able to privately feed it to their garbage disposals without embarrassment.
The crunchy bean dish that was the result of an extra handful of beans added on Sunday morning. Surely they’ll have time to soften, I reasoned. Surely not.
And then there was our first Sunday lunch at this church.
This was the time that I confidently popped a ham into the oven before church—only to find out after church that I never turned it on. An audience of first-time acquaintances watched as I microwaved individual slices.
If only I could say, 7 years after that particular crisis, that I never make a mistake when having people over. In reality, the Lord continues to provide opportunities to kill my pride. But, I have developed a few rules for myself that at least minimize panic on Sunday at noon.
Rules for Sunday Lunch in a Fallen World:
1. The main dish must have a flexible portion size. “A few people” will multiply. Girls bring their brand-new-never-before-seen boyfriends. Visitors arrive at church with road-weary appetites. And 6 salmon filets are tough to stretch. Winners in the flexible category include soups, large cuts of meat that can be sliced thin, and pasta.
2. Most of the food must be do-ahead. Maybe Giada can whip up a little something minutes after walking in the door from church, accompanied by a hungry mob, but if it can’t be cooked on Saturday, I’m not attempting it. The exception to this rule is a dish that can cook in the oven or crock-pot slow cooker while we are at church.
3. If they offer to bring something, say yes. Most people are more than happy to bring a salad, bread, or a dessert. Those three items can span a range from store-bought to gourmet without embarrassment to the bringer, and at great time and money savings to you, the hostess. With this in mind, I love simple main dishes that can coordinate just fine with whatever salad or dessert walks in the door.
One dish that follows the rules is Red Beans and Rice, a New Orleans classic that has the added benefit of being cheap. Y’all come on in!