Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Simply the best study course yet

If you are looking for a study course on food for your congregation let me recommend the Simply in Season Leader's Study Guide.

This is a companion to the Simply in Season cookbook - in fact the texts for the study group are the cookbook and the bible. What could be better than that?

Perhaps the fact that this is a balanced, thoughtful, study - with enough attention to detail that an inexperienced leader could convene and facilitate it, but enough flexibility that someone already knowledgeable about the subject and skilled in adult ed practices could have fun enriching, adapting and varying it.

The basic six sessions will help any group begin to engage more with food as a spiritual issue.

And the supplementary lessons allow for a deeper exploration of biblical background and engagement with specific food system issues.

These books - and a third one in the suite, the Simply in Season Children's Cookbook, are brought to us by the Mennonite Central Committee. Those of us of a certain age remember the More with Less cookbook, with its emphasis on frugality, and living simply that others might simply live in the seventies when more of us in the churches were concerned with world hunger than perhaps are now. That book is still in print, as is its sequel, an international more with less Extending the Table.

For the last year or so it seemed like whenever I looked at cookbooks on Amazon, Simply in Season came up under the you-might-also-like banner. A few friends had recommended it. But it wasn't until I learned about the study guide that I broke down and ordered the package.

Imagine a cookbook arranged seasonally, with real recipes from real people like an old fashioned church or community cookbook, plus thought pieces on food and ethics and peace and spirituality, and with a glossary, helpful tables, and a detailed guide to the 51 seasonal produce items featured in the recipes. Talk about having it all...

And - it's beautiful, and the comb binding allows it to lie flat on the kitchen counter.

Read more about it here:


and peruse the fruit and vegetable guide.

And check out the study sessions here:


I'm wondering which congregation or group I can persuade to do this study with me.

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