Box 1794, Carman, Man. R0G 0J0
or email [email protected]
What if you held a fall supper and urged everyone to head out for a walk afterward? For starters, visitors to town would get a closer look at your fine community. Everyone would walk off a few calories piled on at dinner too.
I love fall suppers and look forward to going to several every fall. I’m certain you do too. But let’s face it, most of us – yes, most of us – are also carrying around big tummies these days, and another heavy meal, with no exercise afterwards is hardly what most of us need. It’s worth pointing out that the church-or community-based supper, as a tradition, predates this weighty period in our culture.
Church groups in the U.S., seeing the health of their parishioners not as just a health issue, but a spiritual matter, have felt obliged to tackle this one lately.
A recent Reuters report tells the story of a Baptist minister in Mississippi who ruffled a few feathers when he took fried chicken off the menu at his church a few years ago.
“I banned fried chicken from the fellowship hall. That was a traumatic time,” Pastor Michael Minor said of his rattled parishioners at Oak Hill Baptist Church in Hernando, Mississippi.
Minor also created a walking track in the church parking lot, swapped soft drinks with water at parish meals and encouraged more physical activities at picnics.
Minor is taking his crusade national, the Reuters story says. He got a green light from the National Baptist Convention last fall to urge other African- American congregations to make the health of their members a priority.
“Our bodies are not our own. They’re a gift from God,” he said. “We should do a better job with our bodies.”
He’s not alone. A pastor in San Antonio, Texas, last month kicked off a 100-day challenge that pairs faith with fat fighting. A church in Tampa, Florida, hosted classes on healthier eating. Others have instituted “Salad Sundays,” community gardens and exercise programs.
Public health experts say religious communities, with their records of tending to the sick and driving social change, are in a unique position to help tackle the obesity epidemic and the severe health problems associated with it.
“Churches are a foundation in the community,” said Victor Sutton, director of the Office of
BARLEY BUTTERNUT SQUASH PILAF
1 tbsp. oil
1 small butternut squash,
peeled, cut into 1-1/2-
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper,
1 c. pearl barley
1can low-sodium chicken
1/2 c. water
1/2 tsp. dried sage,
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat; add squash, onion and bell pepper.
Cook three minutes, stirring several times. Add barley. Cook, stirring three or four times, until toasted slightly, about three minutes. Add broth, water, sage, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Cover. Heat to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer; cook, covered, until barley is just tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest.
Source: Courtesy of the Oat and Barley Council of Ontario www.albertabarley.com/barley/recipes Preventive Health for the Mississippi state health department.
“Sometimes you can have a doctor tell someone something, and they’ll blow it off,” he said. “A pastor can tell someone what to do, and they’ll take it as a scientific fact.”
Minor said some of his parishioners had a hard time making the switch to baked and grilled chicken. But he’s seeing results.
“We’ve got members who are feeling better, looking better,” he said. “We haven’t gotten everybody, but people are more accepting of it now.”
Give it some thought. How could we do a better job at fall suppers? If taking something off the menu is out of the question, then how could you add some activity to the event?
The fall supper/dance combo is a wonderful tradition in some communities, but if dancing’s not on, then what about that community walk? Many small towns now have pathways they’ve worked hard to build and love to promote. I leave you with it – how could you make your fall supper ticket this year a ticket to better health?
Here’s a couple of recipes this week for enjoying tasty barley and making good use of abundant garden squash someone bleary-eyed off the combine is sure to appreciate.
BARLEY AND CORN CASSEROLE
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 c. pearl/pot barley
3 c. vegetable or
2 c. corn niblets
1/2 c. chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In heavy saucepan, heat oil and add onion, garlic, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, for four minutes or until onion has softened. Stir in barley, and then pour in stock. Put mixture into a casserole dish, cover and bake in a 350 F oven for one hour. Stir in corn, parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Bake for another 10 minutes or until heated through and barley is tender. Serve hot.
Can also be covered and refrigerated for up to two days. To reheat, stir in 1/2 cup stock or water.
Karen Makowski of Pilot Moundsent us this plum sauce recipe last week. Karen writes that if her backyard plum tree provides enough, she’ll cook up extra and freeze it for later. It makes a wonderful sauce for pork or egg rolls.
9 c. chopped plums
1-1/2 c. white sugar
2 medium onions,
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. ginger
9 tbsp. vinegar
Mix all ingredients and cook until thick.
We’re always glad to get your favourite recipes. We recently put the call out for your best zucchini recipes. We’re looking for more time-tested quick meals for feeding the guys in the field too.
ManitobaCo-operator Recipe Swap Box 1794 Carman, Man. R0G 0J0
or email [email protected]