Much care should be used in putting up the lunch to have it as neat and dainty as possible. A basket of suitable size covered with a clean white napkin is better for use than the conventional dinner pail, in which air-tight receptacle each food is apt to savor of all the others, making the entire contents unappetizing, if not unwholesome.
One of the most needed reforms in domestic life is a change to more simple meals on the Sabbath. In many households the Sabbath is the only day in the week when all the members of the family can dine together, and with an aim to making it the most enjoyable day of all, the good housewife provides the most elaborate dinner of the week, for the preparation of which she must either spend an unusual amount of time and labor the day previous or must encroach upon the sacred rest day to perform the work.
Real enjoyment ought not to be dependent upon feasting and gustatory pleasures. Plain living and high thinking should be the rule at all times, and especially upon the Sabbath day. Nothing could be more conducive to indigestion and dyspepsia than this general custom of feasting on the Sabbath. The extra dishes and especial luxuries tempt to over-indulgence of appetite; while the lack of customary exercise and the gorged condition of the stomach incident upon such hearty meals, fosters headaches and indigestion and renders brain and mind so inactive that the participants feel too dull for meditation and study, too sleepy to keep awake during service, too languid for anything but dozing and lounging, and the day that should have fostered spiritual growth is worse than thrown away. Nor is this all; the evil effects of the indigestion occasioned are apt to be felt for several succeeding days, making the children irritable and cross, and the older members of the family nervous and impatient,—most certainly an opposite result from that which ought to follow a sacred day of rest.
Physiologically such feasting is wrong. The wear and consequent repair incident upon hard labor, calls for an equivalent in food; but when no labor is performed, a very moderate allowance—is all that is necessary, and it should be of easy digestibility. Let the Sabbath meals be simple, and served with abundant good cheer and intelligent thought as an accompaniment.
Let as much as possible of the food be prepared and the necessary work be done the day previous, so that the cook may have ample opportunity with the other members of the family to enjoy all Sabbath privileges. This need by no means necessitate the use of cold food nor entail a great amount of added work in preparation. To illustrate, take the following—
SABBATH BILL OF FARE.
Rolled Wheat with Cream