By Linda Porter Carlyle
MacKenzie Isabelle Evans stood in the middle of the lawn. She put two fingers into her mouth and whistled a long, piercing whistle.
Grace, Joseph’s dog who had been peacefully asleep on the back porch, stood up. She stretched, raised her nose in the air, and howled, long and mournfully.
Joseph’s back door flew open. G.M.’s (Grandma Maddie’s) head poked out. “Stop that!” she said sharply, pointing at Grace. “Stop that whistling!” she said to Mac.
“I was just calling Joseph!” Mac answered, somewhat hurt that G.M. did not seem to appreciate her wonderful new skill.
“Well, call him on the telephone. Or come over and knock on the door,” G.M. said. “I can’t have Grace howling like that and becoming a neighborhood nuisance!”
Joseph ducked out the door under G.M.’s arm. “Was that you whistling?” he asked. “That was great! Can you teach me how to do it?”
“Forget it!” G.M. said. “It makes Grace howl!”
“Come out!” Mac said. “I’ve got a great idea!”
Joseph jumped off the porch and jogged across the grass.
“Remember how Pastor Chuck was teaching us our new memory verse, ‘Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers’? Remember how he said we should try to think of something we could do to bless people in our church family?” Mac asked. Joseph nodded.
“Well, I thought of something really good, and my mom said we could do it! She said if we can learn how to cook a whole meal by ourselves, we can invite whoever we want to come for dinner after church. Any Sabbath that we want to! Isn’t that terrific?” Mac turned two quick cartwheels on the grass. She stood up and straightened her T-shirt. “Mom said we could practice by cooking supper tonight. Do you want to?”
“You mean we can ask anybody from church over to your house to eat on Sabbath? But we have to cook everything ourselves?” Joseph asked.
“Yes. That way it’s us being the blessing! It’s us doing good! So come over now, and my mom will help us cook supper for practice. And then you and G.M. and your mom can eat with us tonight. And that way we’ll be doing good to G.M. tonight because she hates to cook and your mom is tired from work, and we’ll do good on Sabbath too!”
“OK,” Joseph agreed. “Maybe we can invite Pastor Chuck and Mrs. Pastor Chuck on Sabbath. We could do good to them!”
“Great idea!” Mac exclaimed. She turned three more cartwheels in the general direction of home.
“Joseph liked your idea, I see,” Mac’s mom said as Mac and Joseph burst through the back door. “Well, scrub up, both of you. What do you want to learn to cook?”
“Spaghetti!” Mac exclaimed. “Spaghetti’s easy, and everybody likes it! And we can make salad to go with it. And garlic bread! I love garlic bread!”
“Yeah!” Joseph agreed, running water on his hands and reaching for the soap. “Let’s learn to make garlic bread!”
Mom laughed. “OK,” she said. “Do you know what mince means?”
Mom found a head of garlic in the pantry. She showed Mac and Joseph how to separate it into individual cloves and how to remove the papery skins.
Mac took a deep breath. “I love the smell of garlic!” she exclaimed.
Mom took a small, very sharp knife and showed them how to mince the garlic—which, it turned out, meant to chop it into little bitty pieces. “Put a cube of butter in a bowl,” Mom instructed, “and soften it in the microwave. But don’t melt it.”
Mac carefully followed her directions.
“Add some oil to the butter,” Mom said.
Joseph found the bottle of olive oil beside the stove. He poured some out.
“Now, put in the minced garlic, and mix it all together,” Mom said.
Joseph stirred and mashed the butter, and the oil, and the garlic together with a fork while Mac looked over his shoulder.
Mom got a loaf of French bread from the freezer. “Find a knife,” she said. “You’ll need to spread the garlic butter on each slice of bread,” she told Joseph.
“Then what?” Mac asked.
“You can start the salad,” Mom answered. “I just picked some tomatoes and some cucumbers from the garden.”
“This is really fun!” Mac said. She poked in the drawer for another knife so she could spread garlic butter too. “It’s going to be really fun to do good to people on Sabbath! We can have somebody new for dinner every Sabbath!”
“As long as you want to do the cooking,” Mom put in.
“What if we get tired of spaghetti?” Joseph asked.
“Then we’ll learn to cook something new!” Mac answered promptly. “Maybe lasagna. I think we’ll learn lasagna next!”
“Did you tell G.M. that you’re fixing supper for her tonight?” Mom asked.
“No,” Mac answered. “We forgot.”
“Maybe you’d better call and tell her,” Mom suggested.
“You could always go out in the yard and whistle, and when she comes out and tells you to stop it, you could tell her about supper then,” Joseph said slyly.
“You’re just jealous you can’t whistle like I can!” Mac said as she picked up the telephone.
“But I can make garlic bread just as well!” Joseph retorted!
What things do you know how to cook? Some meals are pretty easy. Just be sure to be careful with knives and stoves and the other dangerous things in the kitchen. How could you do something good for someone in your family of believers? When you think of something, email me to let me know what you did. See page 16 for my email address.—Love, Mrs. Sox