Let church bells ring – and dinner bells, too

Published 9:11 am Thursday, March 24, 2022

When in South Carolina for a weekend seminar, it was an organ that compelled me to attend Shandon Presbyterian Church.

On the first Sunday of Lent, bells rang, chimes struck, and sacred notes filled the sanctuary. As the organist’s hands and feet glided across the keyboards, I closed my eyes – allowing the sounds to permeate my mind fully.   

A swelling sense of pride came over me. I thought, this gorgeous instrument was made in my town.Tomasz Lewtak chose 15 acres of unspoiled countryside in Mocksville as the place to create these handcrafted, musical works of art. The first time I’d heard the organ play was several years ago – while attending an open house at Lewtak Pipe Organ Builders. At that time, the fingers of Shandon’s music director, Timothy Belk, graced the keys for the first time. Rich, warm tones resounded. Following installation at Shandon, in Columbia, S.C., the organ had finally made it home. A dedicatory ceremony was held on Nov 2, 2018.

While attending the service at Shandon– I received a great message. Lent is about preparing us to approach Easter – a time of healing. The remarkable thing about the Gospel is that it speaks to us where we are and how we are. Wherever we are, our “wilderness” is the scene – the place where we, too, can figure out what it really means to be in God’s business. What we do is important but also what we don’t do – when we don’t act, don’t care, don’t witness, and don’t love. The world needs each one of us to do – something.

Today’s recipes encourage love and fellowship with friends in your home or theirs. Things need not be perfect – we’re real people. Whether we always get things right or not – it doesn’t matter – as long as we do our best. We’re instructed to love God, love one another, and love our neighbors. Share delicious food, divine music, and sacred words with one another. Hospitality is important, and friendship is holy. Let those dinner bells ring.

“What faith I have, I bring to join this table

What hope I hold, in Christ is taught and true;

With brothers, sisters, I will share the blessing

The feast where God is making, all things new.”

(from the hymn, When at This Table)


¼ cup melted butter

¼ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

Dash of pepper

2 lb. chicken pieces



3 Tbsp. water

1 tbsp. All-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

Dash of pepper and paprika

½ cup sour cream

In a saucepan, melt butter. In a mixer bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Roll chicken pieces in mixture until coated. Dip chicken in melted butter and arrange skin side up in a baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 250-degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until chicken is tender. Remove from pan and keep warm. For the sauce, to the drippings, add water. Blend in flour, salt, pepper, paprika, and sour cream. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Remove from heat and pour over chicken.


6 oz. lemon Jello

2 cups boiling water

16 large marshmallows

1 cup cold water

1 can drained, crushed pineapple

2 peeled, diced apples

½ cup chopped pecans


2 beaten eggs

1 juiced lemon

¾ cup sugar

½ pint whipped cream

Dissolve Jello in hot water. Add marshmallows, and stir until melted. Add cold water and mix well. Chill until it begins to thicken. Fold in well-drained pineapple, diced apples, and chopped nuts. Refrigerate. Serve topped with dressing. For the dressing, in a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Beat in juice from 1 lemon and sugar. Cook on medium heat until thickened while constantly stirring. Cool completely. Fold in whipped cream.


2 beaten egg whites

1/8th tsp. salt

1/8th tsp. cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

½ tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup finely chopped nuts

4 oz. melted German sweet chocolate

3 Tbsp. water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup whipped cream

In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites with salt and cream of tartar. Add sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition until stiff peaks form. Fold in vanilla and nuts. Spread into bottom of a greased 9-inch pie plate in the shape of a nest. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 50 minutes or until done. Completely cool. In a saucepan, melt chocolate with water. Completely cool. Add vanilla. Whip the cream.  Fold whipped cream into chocolate. Mix well. Pour into shell, and chill for 3 hours.


2 sticks softened, salted butter

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup chopped pecans

½ cup raisins

Cinnamon and sugar for topping

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon while alternating with sour cream and vanilla. Fold in nuts and raisins. Mix well. Pour in pan and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour or until cake tests done. Allow to cool for 1 hour before removing from pan.


2 cups dried apples



½ tsp. ground cinnamon

Deep dish unbaked pie shell


3 beaten eggs

2/3 cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

½ cup whole milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Dot butter


In a saucepan, place apples and add water to 1-inch above apples. Cook until apples are tender and water is absorbed. Season to taste with sugar and add cinnamon. Completely cool and spoon into bottom of deep, unbaked pie shell to form a layer about ½-inch thick. To prepare custard, beat eggs. Add sugar, salt, milk, and vanilla. Pour over apples. Dot with butter before baking. Bake in a 350-degree oven until custard is done. Sprinkle top of pie with nutmeg.


20 oz. drained, crushed pineapple

1 can cherry pie filling

½ box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix

1 stick salted butter

In a colander, drain pineapple. In a 9 x 13 baking dish, spread pineapple over bottom. Spread cherry pie filling evenly over pineapple. Spread ½ of cake mix evenly over pie filling. Pour melted butter evenly over cake mix. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30-35 minutes until light brown, crusty, and done.


1 cup salted butter

1 ½ cup confectioners sugar

3 beaten eggs

4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. soda

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg

1 cup chopped dried fruit

1 cup chopped nuts

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add flour, soda, salt, and spices. Mix well. Fold in fruit and nuts. Mix well. Roll and cut or drop by teaspoonful on a cookie sheet. Bake in a 375-degree oven until light brown.


1 cup whole milk

½ lb. marshmallows

Pinch of salt

2 oz. melted, cooled, unsweetened chocolate

1 cup whipped cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup chopped nuts

Flaked coconut

Baked and cooled pie shell

Whipped cream/shaved chocolate

In a saucepan, add milk, marshmallows, and salt. Heat until marshmallows are melted. Cool completely. Fold in melted chocolate when cooled, whipped cream, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Fold in chopped nuts. Pour into a prebaked and cooled pie shell. Sprinkle with coconut. Chill. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.


½ cup sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 pkgs. refrigerated biscuits

1/3 cup melted butter

12 oz. apricot or cherry preserves, divided

In a bowl, combine sugar, nuts, and cinnamon. Sprinkle ¼ cup mixture in a greased 9-inch tube pan. Cut each biscuit in half and roll into a ball. Dip each ball in butter. Layer in the pan in the following order: biscuit balls, remaining cinnamon mixture, and ½ cup preserves. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes. Invert on serving plate and top with remaining preserves. Serve hot.


½ cup melted, salted butter

12 oz. melted, chocolate chips

10 oz. colored miniature marshmallows

1 cup chopped walnuts

7 oz. flaked coconut

In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate chips. Completely cool. In a large bowl, combine marshmallows and nuts. Add cooled butter and chocolate chips. Mix. Divide mixture in half for 2 large rolls. Roll each in coconut. Wrap in waxed paper and chill for at least 24 hours. Slice to serve cookies.


2 cups boiled, cooked white rice

1 cup drained pineapple chunks

24 ¼-inch cut marshmallows

1 cup chopped sweet apples

¼ cup sugar

1 cup stiff whipped cream

Chopped nuts (optional)

In a mixer bowl, combine cooked rice, pineapple, cut marshmallows, chopped apples, and sugar. Mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Before serving, fold in cream. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.


4 beaten egg whites

1 ½ cups sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 beaten egg yolks

1 can sweetened, condensed milk

½ cup fresh lemon juice

2 tsp. lemon extract

1 large Cool Whip

In a mixer bowl, beat egg whites. Combine sugar and baking soda and add to eggs a little at a time. Fold in vanilla. Spread in a 9 x 13 baking pan and bake in a 250-degree oven for 1 hour. Completely cool. In a mixer bowl, beat eggs and add condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Mix well. Fold in half of Cool Whip. Mix well. Spread over baked meringue. Cover with remaining Cool Whip. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.