Recently I decided to make some Bible-time foods, having found the book Foods from the Bible at a used curriculum sale for fifty cents. My son begged me to get it, so I let him make these recipes. The first recipe was for the lentil stew that Jacob might have made for Esau in exchange for the birthright. After reading the story to the children, we mixed the following ingredients together:
- 2/3 cup red lentils
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ¼ cup rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup diced bell pepper
- 5 cups water
Add these together in a big pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour. Pour it into a blender, making sure the lid is on tight, or everyone will scream at being scalded by the burning stew, which looks like barf by that time. I told the children to look away so that they wouldn’t lose their appetite. But it was too late.
Oh, I forgot to mention to add these ingredients to the blender at the last minute:
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- pinch of red pepper
You need more than a pinch of red pepper for this tasteless stew to have any flavor whatsoever. It tastes kind of like pea soup. Plus, it’s not red, even though the lentils were red. So the real stew must have contained tomatoes. Or something red. Maybe something with flavor. No way did Esau trade his birthright for this dish.
As a side dish, we made a Bible-time cucumber salad:
- 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 large tomato
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
Combine ingredients and chill before serving. This salad has a more delicate flavor than your average cucumber salad, which I like better than this. But this salad was okay. The children ate it without complaint.
And lastly, we made some Bible-time mint tea:
- 5 cups boiling water
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
- 8 teaspoons of sugar, or honey to taste
- 4 tea bags
Steep all the ingredients together for about three minutes. Pour into cups, and garnish with a sprig of mint. Two of my children loved this tea, which is a great way to finish a somewhat lousy meal.