Forget your Finances - Dinner! (& Pear Crumble)

This last weekend when we entertained, I’d say that our whole evening was centered on the topic of courage.

No Talk of Finances?
As our guests arrived, I warned each couple that our evening was not going to be consumed with talk about our struggling economy, or how our stocks are all plummeting …

No, we were going to forget about our finances, just for the evening, and do what we all knew and craved. Every person in our home that night knew how to exercise their gift of giving – and that was giving and participating in meaningful conversation.

What took place in our home was real entertaining for real people!

Every Good Gift
My husband and I have had a vision over the years to give of ourselves in our home and to others. We’ve been given a gift of a good marriage. And during these years of raising our children, we’ve been challenged to use this gift in our home by inviting other couples in, and by being authentic with one another and talking about real life issues.

As we celebrated old friends moving back into our neighborhood, we gathered for appetizers, delicious cranberry feta green salad, fresh bread, salmon and roasted potatoes and green beans. A very light-tasting Pear Crumble was served for dessert.

Yes, the food was delicious, but what will be remembered more than anything is the deep level that our words took us to. And the spirit and mood that were set! As my husband and I reminisced about our time, we both decided people of a variety of faiths would have loved what took place around our table.

5 Hours of Talk
For five hours, as we sat around our dining table, we talked about important things (no, not finances!). Really, to sum it up we spoke the language of love and of courage, and it was very challenging talk!

We all decided that our homes and churches and our nation need women and men with more than active hearts and keen minds. We need people with courage! And to be real with you, some of the topics we covered were the many marriages being torn apart, recovering from sexual abuse, troubled children, a legal but compassionate response to immigration, and the struggles between church and parachurch organizations. Again – real life issues.

Dinner came and went, as I jumped up in between courses to wait on our guests. As we engaged in the battle of courage - of standing up for what is right in this world, no matter what the cost - bodies were leaning forward, tones of voices were rising in passion, tears were being shed, and our ears were very open to the spirit moving!

Five hours later, I believe we summed up the message, that courageous faith will empower men and women to serve and protect those who are weak and vulnerable.

Are we really supposed to cocoon ourselves and protect ourselves from the world? Or do we take the risk of giving and loving others, in every capacity that we are capable of?

Yes, it’s about Courage
That capacity for us last night was saying “yes” to entertaining. As we had some very, very courageous folk around our table, I was challenged in a much greater way, as I was awakened to this provocative call and my faith was stretched, even outside of my comfort zone!

Courage and Food
Once again, I am amazed at how God can draw us out, and open us up, and stretch and use us - over an easy home-cooked meal (I delegated the meal 3 ways - with Anni and Carrie), in our very simple home.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had over a meal lately?

Pear Crumble
Peel, core and slice 6 large pears. Place slices in 8 lightly sprayed ramekins. Sprinkle 2 tsp. of rum over the slices in each ramekin. Set aside.

Combine 4 Tbsp. butter, ½ cup quick cooking oats and ½ cup chopped pecans in a small skillet. Cook over medium heat until lightly browned.

Stir in 4 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, ¼ tsp. ground allspice, and ¼ tsp. ground cloves.

Sprinkle topping over the pears.

Making Rum Cream
Combine 1 cup of Vanilla Ice Cream (softened), 4 Tbsp. rum and ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg.

Stir well, then store in freezer. Twenty minutes before ready to serve the Pear Crumble, remove from the freezer to soften.

Bake the ramekins at 375 for 30 minutes, or until pears are tender. Right before serving, put a small scoop of the softened Rum Cream on the warm Pear Crumble.

1 Year Ago on RE: "The Conversation" - Men & Entertaining


~The Robin's Nest~ said...

I love dinners like this...I think it is real great way for friends to uplift and encourage each other. I love ending ours with a prayer before eveyone goes.
Very special-Thanks for sharing your dinner and the pear crumble!

Patch of Flowers said...

Wonderful post! I wanted to ask you - are all your dishes from the authentic Villeroy & Bach or have you found some dishes that look remarkably similar? I'd love to add to my collection but can't afford to and wondered if you had found a cheaper alternative.

Melanie said...

Your gift of hospitality is inspiring.
And so are the pictures of your meal!

Wendy said...

What an inspiring night. I'm sure the whole experience will not be forgotten by those who attended.

You are one who knows how to live fully. Thanks for sharing your ideas, experiences and example!

Becky Dellar said...

Wow - Courage. I was very encouraged and empowered just now reading that! YES, to be Resolute. To hold fast to what we believe. I am going to have to ponder some more on that...

...and if I can find some good pears here in Hawaii, I want to make that crumble for a Thanksgiving dessert! (along with the pecan pie I am going to make).

Jen said...

Your pear crumble looks awesome. How wonderful. I'm in a funk with friends....maybe i need to entertain.

Lori said...

Hi Sandy,

Would you mind giving me the recipe for the green beans shown in the photo?

Want green beans on the Thanksgiving menu...something simple, but fanicier than regular beans. Looks like these would work.



Elizabeth G. said...

You inspire me. I know that I need to take courage and try to do as you have done. I think that I will start with double baking - when I make a goody for our family, make extra for another family. Everyone likes to feel special and remembered.

Next, I need to have open up my home more with hospitality.

Thank you for setting such a fine example.

God bless you -

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

I just love your blog. You live the life I seemed to have dreamt of in my heart, but have failed to achieve. I love that you have such wonderful neighbors to come to your home for dinner as well as truly interesting conversation. What a blessing you are!

Trying to Stay Calm! said...

What a great blog you have here! Thanks for sharing :)

Lora said...

I really enjoyed this post! Sounds like you had a great dinner and there's nothing better than good conversation with friends over good food.

Robin said...

How wonderful and blessed I would have felt to have been at your table!!


RosyRose said...

Oh Sandy, I would love to come to your house for dinner! You are such a blessing to your friends and family! Sometimes it's good to just refocus our energies on more positive things...Good Job!

Org Junkie said...

How interesting, I'm talking about courage today too!

The Pear Crumble sounds delicious!!

Anonymous said...

The last conversation over a meal was about the hour and a half I tried to get my neighbor's cat out of his dishwasher :)

Sandy Toes said...

What a great post! Hospitality is so important...I love to do it but sometimes I forget to do it. What a great reminder!!! The pear crumble is delightful!
-sandy toes

cindy in kentucky said...

you inpsire me.

Lucy said...

Simply the best of entertaining with family, & friends, who could ask for anything more ;-)

Linda Lou said...

What a wonderful way to share an evening, great food, and meaningful conversation-I wish I was there to eat all that yummy food and share ideas!

Grace said...

finance shminance. give me potaters and pears any day. :)

Melissa said...

wow, what a great post! entertaining is something we just do not do enough of, and we are defintley missing out on some great oppurtunities to talk and discuss with our friends.

Jules from "The Roost" said...

So are so encouraging and inspiring! :)

~j~ said...

Amen to that! I will take pear crumble and whatever else you make me over talking about that any day of the week. As always everything you prepare looks incredible and that is an enjoyable evening when you can spend that much time talking in the presence of good friends.

Room for Grace said...

Ditto, Cindy in Kentucky...
you inspire me.

Love how you connected this to courage. A light bulb went off for me.

thank you.

Diana said...

Those mini pear crumbles are adorable!! I made a mixed berry crumble just this past Sunday, but I like the way you put it in individual serving sizes...that's perfect for entertaining! :)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Wow...I LOVE this. And rum cream....delicious!!!!!