Monday, June 20, 2005

Something To Chew On

As long as we're on the subject of food...

This book will help people learn to enjoy their lives more -- perhaps much more. Recognizing the goodness of God in our eating is one way to discover such delight and joy.

So begins Food For Life: The Spirituality and Ethics of Eating by L. Shannon Jung (Fortress Press). In July I'll be part of a group discussing the book online with Jung.

I've not yet started the book, but glancing at the table of contents I note that it addresses its subject from both a personal and collective perspective. One chapter heading I found especially appealing was "Food As a Communal Expression of Grace." I like that; although frankly I'd find it difficult to appreciate the grace quotient of, say, lutefisk, the eating of which to me would be more of a penitential work.

Seriously...if you're interested, follow the link above to Fisher's Net, where you can sign up for the discussion. You don't have to be Lutheran to participate, although if you're not Lutheran you may not get our Jello and sauerkraut jokes. And you might also want to pick up, if you haven't read it already, Robert Farrar Capon's wonderful book The Supper of the Lamb, an extended meditation on the spirituality of food and mealtime hospitality.


Derek the ├ćnglican said...

Woohoo, lutefisk! (Although it doesn't really qualify as something to *chew* on...) ;-)

That's something I miss about being Lutheran--jello salad and hot-dish.

LutheranChik said...

Yes. I especially enjoy those pastel Jello concoctions, which our people classify as "salad," filled with marshmallows, cream cheese, canned fruit, Cool-Whip and nuts. (I remember one of my zaftige aunts, at a church potluck, bemoaning her perpetually losing battle of the bulge: "I don't know why I can't lose weight when all I ever eat is salad!"

Lee said...

Hmmm...I'm an adult convert Lutheran, so I don't get the references either.

Sounds like a fascinating discussion, though!

LutheranChik said...

Lee -- here's the Cliff Notes version of Lutheran food jokes:

Lutheranism in America has maintained close ties to its ethnic roots in the churches of Germany, Scandinavia and the Baltic countries, so Lutheran communal meals tend to include a hefty dose of foods from those countries.

Lutherans also tend to be located in the Midwest, so communal meals tend to have a Middle-America flair -- heavy on casseroles featuring cream-of-mushroom soup.

Lutherans really, really, really like their Jello.

So now you know.

Charlotte said...

"O taste and see that the LORD is good" :-)

Seriously, I see my work in the kitchens and in the sacristry at my church to be part of a whole ... here is a link to a post I did on my food blog's second birthday:

I always keep cream of mushroom soup in my cupboard, but I haven't fed it to my church yet :D.

LutheranChik said...

Thanks for the link, Charlotte!

Here's Midwest cooking at its If you have a particularly gristly chuck roast or venison roast you don't know what else to do with, put it in foil, cover it with a mixture of cream of mushroom soup and dry onion soup mix, and bake it...If you want to make it really special, add a splosh of white wine.;-) (Wonder what the sodium content is for a serving of this?...) And actually, I am quite fond of green bean casserole with cream of mushroom soup and canned fried onion rings.;-) of my favorite "food ministries" this year has been baking cookies for a family at my church who won my offer of a year's worth of cookies at our church raffle. I like baking cookies, even if I'm not the one eating them...and people really bid on this, so it helped raise money for our church building fund.