Sabbath Dinner Show and Tell

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Here is my humble table so far today. It is a very small group because we are missing seven who celebrate without us in the UK and six (the Nate Wilsons) because of sickness. But luckily we are having six guests or we would be very hard up! Yes, I do like red….especially this time of year when it is gray outside. You can see that it is nothing fancy pants. Just fun. We have little wine glasses for the little kids (yes, they get a sip for the toast). And I bought some festive paper plates (pumpkins and whatnot) for dessert. I’ll probably sprinkle a few candy corns around Daphne and Lina’s plates, and I will send half a pie to the poor pitiful Wilsons!

And one more thing: the all-important apron. You simply must look snazzy while slaving away in the kitchen. You need not one, but an assortment, so you can pick an apron that matches your outfit, the season, and your mood. I might sip some wine while I cook, but not unless it is after 5 PM. If I started sipping when I start cooking (which is often in the morning), my husband might be alarmed!

If you would like the recipe for Miner’s Camp Pie, here it is below. I do not use a throw-away pie pan for this, because you set the pie straight on the table looking beautiful for everyone to ahhh over. And it really requires a deep dish because the meat just mounds up beautifully (this is not a flat pie). If you have little leaf cookie cutters (or you may be able to free lance), they make nice decorations for the top of the pie. And do not be scared of the mushrooms. I have several non-mushroom eaters who love this pie even though it has mushrooms. So do not leave them out! I will post a picture later if my pies look photo-worthy. Otherwise, just imagine a couple of lovely golden pies on my cheery table.

6-8 servings

4 T. butter

2 c. minced onions (my shortcut is to use frozen onions here)

8 oz. coarsely chopped mushrooms (I chop in my food processor)

2# lean ground beef, pork, or combo

1/4 c. dry red wine

2. slices white bread, crumbled

2 t. salt

1/2 black pepper

1/2 t. thyme

8 oz. cream cheese, diced

3/4 c. minced fresh parsley

Onion Pastry:

2 c. flour

3 T. dried onion flakes

1 t. salt

1 t. sugar

1/4 t. pepper

3.4 c. well-chilled butter, cut into 12 pieces

1 egg, beaten

4-6 T. ice water


1 egg yolk beaten with 1 t. water

In a large, heavy skillet, melt butter over med-low heat. Add onions and cook until transparent, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and meat. Increase heat to high and stir until meat is no longer pink. Add wine and stir for about 8 minutes. Pour off remaining liquied. Stir in bread, salt, pepper and thyme. Blend in cream cheese and parsley. Cool to room temp. Can be prepared 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before continuing.

To prepare the onion pastry: stir flour, onion flakes, salt, sugar, and pepper together in bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg and 2 T. water; blend until dough begins to stick together. Add remaining water a little at a time if dough is dry. This may be done in a food processor. Gather dough together. Divide into 2 balls, one of which is 2 inches in diameter. Flatten into discs. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead.

Spoon meat into 10″ pie plate. Brush upper edge and outer rim of plate with glaze. On lightly foured surace, roll larger piece of onion pastry out into 12″ circle. Cut small hole in center. Place dough over filling, centering steam hole. Press overhanging dough firmly to edge of plate. Press tines of fork along rim. Roll out small dough ball until 1/4″ thick. Cut out decorative shapres (leaves are nice). Brush pie with glaze. Place decorations on crust, pressing gently. Brush again with glaze. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brouwn. Let the pie cool for ten minutes before serving.

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31 thoughts on “Sabbath Dinner Show and Tell

  1. Thank you so much for helping me see what your beautiful table looks like!

    I long for the day where we can have enough space to justify purchasing a dining table with a leaf. Since we currently rent, it just doesn’t seem prudent to dispense the funds when we don’t know if our next apartment will fit even the smaller version sans leaf/leaves.

    Where we currently live, I would have to pull out any table that seats more than 4 people, into the living room and rearrange the furniture!

    Oh, and being able to feed people buffet style. That will be a nice thing someday too.

    The next time I dress up my 4 person table, I will post a picture on my blog for you. It is very lovely and we are ever thankful that God enables us to bless a few. But I also pray He will enable us to someday bless a larger crowd too.

    Many thanks Mrs. Wilson for your thoughtful picture.

  2. Hi Mrs. Wilson!

    Thanks for posting the pics. All that red is simply cheerful! And it brings back memories of being in your warm and inviting home. We miss you guys!

    I loved how you advertised having more than one apron, to match mood and attire and all that jazz. Just the other day, I recieved a second apron and was having a small mental battle over whether I really needed it. But, because one is red and white, and the other is blue with brown polka dots, I realized I appreciate the color options. I just can’t be clashing colors when I’m cooking! 🙂 Ha! That’s hilarious! Joe’s pretty tickled over the whole thing. But these things are so fun!

    The Lord bless your Sabbath, and have a merry Thanksgiving!

    Jen (and Joe) Carlson

  3. Thanks for this and the previous inspirational post. I have a practical question for you ladies, though. In celebrating the Sabbath in such a way, doesn’t this create more work?

    I’m pregnant and exhausted, plus I have a toddler. During the week, I cook almost everything from scratch, so I look forward to Sunday as a true day of rest: I can’t sleep in, but I take extra naps (yes, plural!) and go to bed early. Between church in the morning, and our small group meetings at 5:30 to 8pm, I am reluctant to create a big event in the middle of the day.

    I’d appreciate your thoughts on how to make the day special, without making me so tired that I crash on Monday.

  4. Thanks for the pictures,

    I too love the what looks like ceramic place cards. I guess you just write with white board markers? Can you order them online?

    I remember an article you once wrote for Credenda, I think, about the nicks and marks on your table. It’s been a great comfort to me as I raised my kids around our table. Those nicks do bring back memories. I don’t see any on your table though. Now that mine are growing and grown I’m wondering if it’s time to refinish….but, then how can I possibly buff out the memories?

  5. Ohhhh ok, where in the world did you get red tulips this time of year?? The table is lovely and your recipe is close to one that is my hubby’s favorite. It is called Beef, Mushroom Guinness Pie. I’d be happy to share it if you like. I also have a most incredible meatloaf recipe. Happy Sabbath to you and yours.

  6. The little ceramic place cards are from Crate and Barrel (a great Christmas gift!), and the tulips are from the grocery store.
    The table with the nicks is downstairs. This one has a few, though, but it is our “new” table that can stretch out eighteen feet.
    And for you Rachel, this might not be the time for you to start Sabbath celebrations. Why not wait until your baby is here and you are getting your strength back. That will give you time to think about it and look forward to it. Remember this is a “get to” celebrate, not a “have to” celebrate!

  7. Beautiful. There are no words, and that can be directed toward the dining table and the hands that made it happen.

  8. Thanks for sharing the details of your Sabbath dinner! I read about this in one of your books, but it is so nice to see pictures and read the helpful hints.

    You are so gifted in art of “exhortation without condemnation” – I particularly liked your encouragement to Rachel to wait until a better time to begin such a big undertaking (by the way – didn’t you say you have your dinner’s on Saturday evening and not Sunday?).

    I’m new to reading Femina and it has been a positive influence in helping me to think “home centered.” I’m a single mom with teenage girls and a pretty demanding career who believed the lie that domesticity isn’t very valuable. God has been so good to show me otherwise – much through your gentle teaching in the form of your books.

    I was blessed to hear you and Mr. Wilson when you visited Trinitas! Thanks so much for taking the time to be with us.

  9. Hey Mrs. Wilson!

    I love your tip about having an assortment of snazzy aprons! There is something about having on a cute apron that really makes you feel better about having a load of people walk through the door. Thanks for all the encouragement!


  10. We have been enjoying a Sabbath meal every Saturday (nearly) for almost two years now. It has revolutionized our family and both my husband and I comment that it was one of the best decisions we’ve made regarding our family. We look forward to it every week! My question is where one can find the little wine glasses. I haven’t been able to find any. My 3 year old gets a regular but very cheap wine glass (and we know it may very well end up on the floor) but as my other two boys get older, I’d love to get some little wine glasses for all three of them and any others that come along. One of their favorite things to do is say “Cheers” and clink glasses right before singing the Doxology and eating dinner. And we do let our oldest drink wine but then we fill his glass with Martinelli’s for dinner…that’s definitely a favorite. Just an encouragement– I too have small children and began this tradition right before my second was born…it’s doable and SUCH a blessing. Do it with paper plates if you need to, some candles, a Bible, a loaf of bread and wine. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Being together to celebrate is what is important.

  11. Nancy,
    Did you paint all your chairs white? Obviously, they aren’t the same color as your table. Curious, diane

  12. Rachel, I think you are thinking of a meal on Sunday when Mrs. Wilson prepares and serves her meal on Saturday. Maybe that opens up more doors for you–I know the feeling of NOT wanting to add one more thing to Sundays with little ones and pregnancies. But having all day Saturday to set a nice table sounds a lot more doable, doesn’t it? :0)

    Thank you, Mrs. Wilson for the inspiration! I have truly been blessed by reading this site.


  13. Nikki, you can find little liqueur glasses at Goodwill stores, garage sales, or in dept. stores. And, Diane, my table has an assortment of chairs, all white. Some chipped!

  14. Nancy, I am inspired to go back and buy that Christmas apron that I didn’t “need” since I already have plenty of very practical aprons. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. One more question-do any of you ever have events that conflict with Sat. night Sabbath dinner? I try to make our meals special, but would love to have a set night for Sabbath dinner. Do you just commit to never accepting an invitation or other event on Saturday evenings? And your kids do the same?

  16. Annamarie,
    Yes, from time to time we have commitments on Saturday evening, so we simply schedule our Sabbath dinner for Sunday after church. If we are out of town, our kids do their own Sabbath dinners on Saturday night without us. Generally they are packing up their kiddos by 7:30 to head home, so if there was a later event on a Saturday night, they would still be able to make it to both. We do not want to have a rule about Saturday night. We look forward to being together, we do not want our children to feel obligated in a negative sense. I don’t ever want to see long faces at my table because they are wishing they were somewhere else!

  17. Thanks for your encouragement, everyone! A nice meal Saturday would be more doable than squeezing something in on Sunday. But I really appreciate the point that this is a “get to”, not an “ought to,” so I won’t feel guilty if this season of life means we’re eating a lot of sandwiches!

    The Tired, Pregnant Rachel

  18. I forgot to comment earlier, which I realized when I came back for the recipe. Thank you for going to the trouble of posting the picture! It’s beautiful and inspiring. I love that we have the same chairs, too. 🙂

  19. I noticed the two high chairs in the back of your picture. I would love some information about them so I can see about purchasing one. I’m in the market for a new chair and these look great!

  20. Cyndi,
    Those two high chairs are from IKEA. I ordered them online, and I believe they were only 25 dollars each. They are super easy to clean, and it is hard for the grandkids to wiggle out of them, especially if they are buckled in!

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