Setting the menu for church

It’s Monday morning. All is peacefully quiet around here. My husband, Daniel, went to work at 5:45 and the children, Austin and Julia, are both sound asleep, so I decided to grab a pen in an attempt to put these quiet moments to good use.

It looks like a busy day ahead. I have some last minute odds and ends to tackle before our trip to Ohio tomorrow evening.

We look forward to spending several days with Daniel’s family in Knox County, Ohio, then traveling on to the large Amish community near Holmes County, where one of my cousins plans to get married on Friday.

In spite of my lengthy “to do” list for the day, I do feel quite relieved this morning, as well. Yesterday, we finished our turn with having church. Since we don’t have adequate space in our home to host the 120 people who usually come to church, we took our turn at the school house. During summer vacation, those of us who can’t practically have church in our homes take a turn cleaning the school house and getting it ready for services.

We debated whether went we wanted to serve a traditional, Amish, after-church meal of peanut butter, and cheese sandwiches or a full-course meal. In our community, it is done either way. Sandwiches looked so easy to prepare, yet I enjoy planning and preparing menus with hot food. Cooking for a crowd is something I really enjoy. Finally we settled upon the less expensive route, which required a bit more work. I decided to make potluck rice casseroles. It is similar to potluck potatoes only I use rice instead of shredded potatoes. It really made it much easier for me, especially with having little ones to care for, as well. How about giving it a try? You’ll find it to be creamy and tasty.

The salad I chose to make was similar to what my parents had at their wedding. We layered cole slaw on the bottom and topped it with tossed salad. It looked very attractive on the large trays that I had borrowed from Mom.

Desserts were chocolate fudge cake, pumpkin crunch, dump cake and ice cream. Coffee and tea were served, as well. Thanks to Mom for making the coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker so I shrink from the thought of making coffee for those who know exactly how it’s supposed to taste.

Others also offered to help by preparing food, which was a blessing.

Last night, we had supper for the youth and several other families. After supper, anyone was welcome to join in the hymn-singing. The singing consists of half an hour of German singing followed by a brief devotional and 45 minutes of singing in English.

Daniel was the one who had devotions. He shared from the passage in 1 Corinthians 13 about love: Even though we may have enough faith to move mountains, reach out to the poor and do all kinds of good things, if we don’t have love in our hearts, these things are all empty. If we have the love of God within us, it will radiate into the hearts and lives of those around us. It is a challenge for me daily to walk in this love and share it unconditionally with those around me.

I will share the recipe that we made for our after-church meal. For the cream of mushroom soup, I actually prefer making my own soup or gravy. For church, I used a large batch of the wedding gravy that I wrote about a few weeks ago. I used that instead of cream of mushroom soup, but if you are pressed for time, you can use cream of mushroom soup.

Potluck Rice Casserole

2 quarts cooked rice

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup grated sharp Cheddar or Velveeta cheese


2 cups crushed Corn flakes

1/4 cup melted butter

Saute onion in butter and add remaining ingredients. Pour into a baking dish. Mix 2 cups crushed cornflake crumbs and 1/4 cup melted butter. Spread over casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until hot.

Serves 15 people.