Monday, June 7, 2010

Bible Lessons in the Kitchen

Bible Lessons in the Kitchen was written by Elaine Magee, MPH, RD. It contains 26 lessons and 40 recipes for use at home or in formal settings, such as Sunday School or youth group. This cookbook includes instructions for all types of food from main dishes and beverages to breads and desserts.

Each lesson offers a short paragraph correlating the recipe to Christianity then one or more passages from Scripture. The recipe sections are thorough and include ingredient lists, prep instructions and class instructions. Many of the recipes require the teacher to do most of the work at home, then just a small bit with the kids during class.

The last pages include both an index of Bible verses and an index of recipes and lessons.

What I Like: I am all for hands-on approaches to Bible teaching! This book provides a lot of great recipes, each with nutritional information included. I really like the "Teacher Tips" section at the beginning of the book. This four-page introduction offers excellent guidelines for minimizing chaos and making the most of your efforts while minimizing frustration.

What I Dislike: The “Bible lessons” in this book are extremely weak. Some are even biblically inaccurate. (For example: the Adam and Eve lesson claims the forbidden fruit definitely was an apple. The Bible never says that.) Many lessons don’t teach anything; they simply say something like “cooking this food will remind us of such-and-such story.” One titled “Finding God’s Peace” says that God’s symbol of peace is a dove and we should look for it on the backs of cars.

I greatly appreciate the inclusion of Scripture and their references, but feel some of the passages were taken out of context or stretched to make them “fit” the recipes. For example, “Cream of Old Testament Soup” references a passage that mentions the ingredients of the soup, but the verses express Israelites’ complaints that God isn’t providing enough diversity in their diets. What does a soup of discontent teach children?

Furthermore, the lessons do not appear to be organized in any fashion, neither by subject nor by food type. Their order seems very random. The index is helpful, but I would have liked to see the lessons categorized into chapters: holidays, Old Testament stories, etc. or even breads, desserts, main dishes, and the like.

Overall Rating: I’m really torn about how to rate this. It’s a great idea and the recipes are good, but the shallow devotions and lack of organization really disappoint. I definitely don’t feel it’s worth the cover price, so I’m rating it “Ho-Hum.”

Age Appeal: 5 and up

Publisher Info: Wiley, 1997; ISBN: 0471346624; Paperback; $16.95

Buy it Now at for $15.99!

OR Buy it at for $16.95.
This book is also available in Kindle format for just $9.99.

Special Info: Please note that many of these recipes require a bread machine. You may also be interested in our reviews of other cookbooks.

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