Perhaps nothing has signaled my descent into middle-aged bourgeois womanhood more than my recent interest in new appliances. We need to get a new stove and I will admit to being fascinated by all the new bells and whistles that one can purchase in the name of good cooking. The choices seem endless. There are wall ovens, and warming drawers, convection or standard ovens, smooth or coil cooktop surfaces, and self-cleaning options (yes, please!) to name but a few. However, I think that the most interesting feature on my new range is something called "Certified Sabbath Mode".
Certified Sabbath Mode is designed to allow cooks to keep prepared food warm on the Jewish Sabbath or Jewish holidays in accordance with Kosher Law. This design helps to bypass many of the practical and halachic problems posed by the modern oven. This has led me to think about my own Sabbath day cooking practices and to ponder the meaning of Doctrine and Covenants section 59, verse 13, where we are counselled, "And on this day, thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart…".
I really enjoy cooking and don’t have any set rules about Sabbath cuisine but a few traditions have evolved in my family.
(1) Breakfast — Always easy. Some variation of warm or cold cereal, toast, bagels, fruit.
(2) "Make-your-own-sub" lunch — This came out of reading President Hinckley’s biography many years ago. Apparently when President Hinckley "left for assignments away from home, rather than moan about his absence, Marjorie might say to the children, ‘Oh, good, your father’s gone. Let’s order pizza’ – something they rarely indulged in otherwise." Originally conceived as a "fun thing to do" when Dad was away at meetings, this has become a fixture of our Sundays and I think if I tried to get rid of this tradition I would have a mutiny on my hands.
(3) Grape juice with dinner — No, I don’t have any water/wine issues. I rarely buy juice during the week and for some reason started buying it to have with dinner on Sunday. Grape juice seems to be the beverage of choice.
(4) Dessert — We usually have a dessert on Sunday. Once again, we never do this during the week.
As far as Sunday dinner goes we run the gamut. Sometimes we just clean up left-overs. Other times we might just have eggs. But most of the time, I make a pretty nice, although not overly complex, meal and enjoy the quiet pace that late afternoon on Sunday often affords for food preparation as a family.
I’m not sure that any of this qualifies as singleness of heart though. If Brigham Young came over for dinner, he might decry my baguettes and grape juice, decline my offer of a brownie and ask if I had any Johnnycake in the cupboard. Standing back, it seems that Sunday eating offers quite a few "treats" at our house. I am torn between making the Sabbath special with all the ways that we can celebrate with food or making it simple and denying ourselves of our more worldly ways, which also has its merits.
So as I prepare for the arrival of my new stove and think about trying out "Certified Sabbath Mode", I thought I would like to know what Sunday food means to the Bloggernacle and would like to hear about how you feed your body after you feed your spirit on the Sabbath.