January 05, 2012

Gooseberry Theology

If you've never bought a Gooseberry Patch cookbook, please do yourselves (and your husbands, and especially your kids) a favor and buy one in the very near future.  It ain't gourmet, I will admit.  Think going to your great-aunts's house for dinner.  Think meat and gravy, oniony dips, punch bowls, cheesy vegetable sides, caramel rolls, gelatin salads, pudding cakes and berry tarts.


Today I made buckeye bars from my newest Gooseberry Patch cookbook.  They're like the famous buckeye candies, those chocolate-hugged peanut butter balls that we get sick on at New Year's Eve parties, except they are infinitely easier to make.

I made them to take to our every-other-week women's meeting, being held tonight at Anita's, where we are discussing chapter 6 of Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney.  If Gooseberry Patch made a book on womanhood, this would be it.  No frills.  No hard-to-find ingredients.  Just extending grace to your kids, wearing cute undies for your husband, opening your home to those who are down-and-out, etc.  It's the kind of book with ugly brown flowers for cover-art and the scrolling-est title-font the publisher could find.  The kind of book I would never, in a million years, pick up and leaf through at the book store, let alone purchase and bring home and read on my way to sleep at night.

That's why meeting regularly, and intentionally, with other women of faith is so important.  It forces us to buy tacky-looking books which (if we stop rolling our eyes long enough to read) might actually change our lives.  It's like a dessert recipe with a yellow cake mix in the ingredient list.  Snobs like me go, "Oh come on, your grandmother impressed crowds for 30 years with this thing?"  Then, we try the dang recipe, and we eat our words along with our second and third piece of the cake.

Sometimes, marshmallows and condensed milk really are all we need.  Sometimes, meatloaf doesn't need to be reinvented.  Sometimes, a kind word and a listening ear really can change the world.

One 7-layer-dip at a time.