Group Study Guide for

Whatever Happened to Dinner?

[Cover of Whatever Happened to Dinner?]

Recipes and Reflections for Family Mealtime

by Melodie M. Davis

These study questions are also available as a download here.

Also see Whatever Happened to Dinner? in the MennoMedia online catalog.

Introduction Chapter 4 Chapter 8 Chapter 12
Chapter 1 Chapter 5 Chapter 9 Chapter 13
Chapter 2 Chapter 6 Chapter 10 Chapter 14
Chapter 3 Chapter 7 Chapter 11 Chapter 15

Chapter 11: Eating All Day for the Price of One Grande CaffŤ Latte

Scripture: 1 Kings 17:7-24

What do you like about this story? Did you ever find yourself in a similar situation, or know anyone who did? Did you ever help someone who didnít have any food, and what did that mean to you? How can you be more aware of "widows" such as the one whom Elijah helped?

  1. Review the list of foods on pages 163Ė64. What items do you want to consider cutting back from or eliminating?
  2. How much do you think you are affected by the lifestyles of those around you regarding your food choices: what you buy, eat, or where you eat out? Do you go to the trendy places even though they are beyond your budget?
  3. If you subscribe to a simple lifestyle, how does it affect your entertainment choices (eating out is often entertainment)?
  4. How can your family (including children) get to the place where cutting back leads to sharing more with others?
  5. Sometimes we assume that everyone we know has enough. In a Sunday school class at my church, a teacher made the statement, "None of us have ever really known hunger." A young mother timidly spoke up and said, "Well, yes, I have." She had been divorced; when she was a single mom there were many times when she fed her children and skimped on food for herself to the point that she was frequently hungry. Do you know anyone who suffers from malnutrition or who doesnít really have enough money for food?
  6. What is one idea from this chapter that you want to incorporate into your lifestyle? Or talk about why you donít feel a need to do that or why you donít like this idea.
  7. What additional ideas do you have for frugality?
  8. Are the recipes in this chapter truly frugal? (The food editors struggled with that question.) What recipes or dishes do you make that donít cost much money?
  9. How do you creatively use leftovers?
  10. Did you ever substitute something in a recipe that turned out better than expected?
  11. Do you run to the grocery store, change menus, or change a recipe when you discover that you are out of something? Does it matter?
  12. A number of recipe "stories" end with the description, "I often take this to church potlucks and rarely have any left" (page 173 and many others). Is this the mark of a good cook? A badge of pride? Discuss your feelings.
  13. Do you ever experience guilt or feeling left out when your dish is not readily consumed at a church potluck? How can you make people in your church or group feel welcome, included, and not as second-rate participants if they bring food from a deli or straight out of a store?

Activity: Pick five ways from the list in this chapter to realistically cut back and save money. Put the saved money aside for some agreed-upon helping project for your community, church, or family.

Or, pair up with a friend or group member to swap leftovers once a week (like Jodi and Carmen did as they cooked their way through this book; see preface).

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