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Pot pie Mix 1 cup milk, 1 egg. Add enough flour to the consistency of pie dough. Roll out very thin, cut in blocks and drop in boiling chicken or beef broth. Stir after each addition and serve.

them into the gaping mouth of the table just sprung open, stood at opposite ends and synchronized our pushes toward each other so we’d meet in the middle with a loud clap. Next, we concentrated on adding two white linen tablecloths overlapping each other, the Limoges china from the red cherry china cupboard and thin glass tumblers, each with etched florets and a tiny gold rim, some of the gold erased with use over the years. I sat down and watched as Grandma pulled the silverware from cloth pockets, one or two fork tines bent. My Aunt Ruthie was not here in the kitchen with us. The only woman driver in our extended family, she took charge of going to the butcher in her grey Studebaker to fetch the meat: a 24-pound turkey and a duck to match, both baked to a succulent brown overnight in the oven. Soon Grandma and I went down to her cellar and brought up cans of spiced cantaloupe, preserved watermelon rinds and pickled cucumbers, crisp and green in their blue Ball jars. The steps were steep and long, and I worried that Grandma might tumble down in her sturdy high-heeled shoes with black laces. Safe and sound, we made the trip up and back two or three times with jars of green beans and chow-chow, a mosaic of red peppers, onions, carrots, beans, asparagus, cauliflower and peas. When four generations of Martins from Grandma’s side of the family arrived, the house vibrated with a lot of chatter and clatter until everyone was snugly seated around the long, oval table.

The room got completely quiet, and next I heard Grandma’s strong voice at the head of the table leading us in the Doxology. All the grownups and children joined in: “Prrraaaise God from Whom all Blesss-ings Flooooow…” She pitched the tune a little too high, and we all strained to hit the high notes: “Praaaaise Faaa-ther, Son, and Hooooo-ly Ghoooost. A-mennn.”

Grandma’s house was command central for world relief in the Bossler Mennonite Church area. Yes, my Grandma Fannie Martin Longenecker’s kitchen was her sacred space, her stove an altar of sacrifice. Her table a place for the observance of Holy Communion. Grandma always equated food with love. To her, food was love made edible. Everything she touched turned to love, a love still palpable through the mists of time. Marian Longenecker Beaman is a member of Bossler Mennonite Church in Elizabethtown, Pa.

September 2016 | TheMennonite 23

Profile for The Mennonite

Food and faith-September 2016  

Reflections on spirituality and what we eat.

Food and faith-September 2016  

Reflections on spirituality and what we eat.