When life keeps our family from gathering at the table for several days in a row, I usually have a longing for us to be together. This evening was one of those times. Due to the busyness of this past week or so we hadn't been able to eat together as a family for several days. Even though my plans tonight were very simple and included leftovers, I went ahead and set the table. Too often in our weariness, especially when our children are young, we fail to sit together quietly and enjoy our meal together. I had explained in this post some of the reasons and the purpose for my meal planning.
Another purpose for meal planning is the teaching of etiquette. But it may not be what you think. I am not looking for my children to become "proper" or be able to walk into a five star restaurant and act like an adult.
But as I mentioned here, our table is one of the best places to teach our children important biblical principles. The place we start from is "Your Manners Matter". Colossians 4:5-6 says,
Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV)
The foundation of all etiquette is kindness, which expresses itself by consideration for the people around you. Knowing proper etiquette makes you feel comfortable so that you can reach out to others and make them feel important. If you are concerned about making a mistake or appearing to be foolish, then your thoughts are consumed with yourself. However, when you know how to properly conduct yourself in the presence of others, then you are free to focus on them.
Next week, I'll share how I have taken these principles and put them into practice everyday with my own family.
Here is what I am planning to serve my family this week:
Monday: Busy Day Beef Stew with Sourdough rolls
Tuesday: Taco Soup
Wednesday: (Cooking Day for my kids - they will make the menu Mon. evening)
Thursday: Swiss Chicken Bake and salad
Friday: Swiss Potato Soup
Saturday: Lasagna, salad and garlic bread
Easter Sunday Dinner
A few weeks ago a few of you asked about the recipe for Chicken Packets. This is one of my kids favorite meals. Several years ago I had tried the "once- a- month cooking" idea in order to save time. This is the only recipe that has lasted since those days.
3-4 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 package cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons milk
2 or 3 packages refrigerated crescent rolls*
(the original recipe called for chopped chives and salt to taste)
Mix chicken, cream cheese, and milk in a bowl. Unroll crescent rolls. Each tube will contain 4 rectangles of dough with a diagonal perforation. Press dough along each perforation so the rectangle halves will not separate. Place about 1/4 cup of chicken mixture into the center of each rectangle. Fold dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal tightly. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. They are even good cold the next day.
*two rolls make eight packets. If I have extra chicken mixture, it makes a great chicken salad or sandwich too.
For more great menu ideas and other great organizing tips visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.