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Friday Evening & Sabbath Meal Traditions and Special Recipes

Creating a legacy of aromas, sights, sounds, touch, taste and sweet worship memories around the table!

Last Supper with Jesus

PHOTO: In Rememberance of Me, by Walter Rane. Courtesy of the Church History Museum

It is inspiring to learn what others have done to make “Sabbath mealtime memories”. These traditions, when tied to the Sabbath, ‘bind’ the hearts of their family to Christ eternally. Consider first these simple suggestions we’ve learned from many who love Christ and have made their Sabbath eve meal a living tradition.

A ROYAL MEAL: We are told, “The Sabbath should be made so interesting to our families that its weekly return will be hailed with joy. . . and have welcome in their heart for it” 2T 584-5 We find the Friday evening meal stands in a prime position to fulfill this counsel. It is often the FIRST activity which BEGINS our joyful celebration of welcoming our Jesus, the King, Savior, and Creator into our own Home! How you prepare for a royal guest conveys to all the values you have for that guest. This first meal time is just that. A royal mealtime! Oh, friends, how sacred, how special it is to serve and welcome the King!

A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Ladies and gentlemen cooks, what would you serve to the most honored guest who would ever visit your home? That is how we suggest we should view our special Sabbath Friday evening meal. Eyes and ears all observe why this meal is made special. “It is in honor of our Lord”. Here is revealed a principle of learning. Much of what is learned in life is “caught” and not just “taught”. Most learn by “observing”. Isn’t that true? Here is our golden opportunity to honor Christ.

THE EYES EAT FIRST: This is what we have learned from professional chefs. The meal setting and those things that are “special “ served at the meal create a cherished setting and tradition when consistently repeated. Such a welcomed mealtime draws all, especially our children and grandchildren to “catch and see” the goodness and greatness of our God. We believe the height to which we will enjoy the Sabbath depends to a great degree on the depth to which we plan and prepare for it. Why? Because the eyes will see the simple, yet beautiful things done to honor Christ.

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL: Our creator understands who we are and where we live. Let us be sensitive to beauty and values as He is. Our creator loves the simplest as well as the most complex. As we plan our Sabbath meal setting our Lord knows whatever is done as an act of love for Him. We have observed in our forty years of ministry that many of the humblest homes use a cherished table cloth, only used to honor their most loved guest, becomes a cherished item, like a table cloth, used only to honor their most loved guest and this becomes a cherished tradition. And all who see the special items, know, this meal is one of honor.

FRIDAY REWARDS IN THE KITCHEN: Wouldn’t it be wonderful, mothers, as you are working in the kitchen on Friday, to hear words like, “Mother, that’s my favorite!” or “I can’t wait!” “Mommy, Can I help?” Children are very easy to please with the simplest things if done from a gentle heart of love. We all feel greatly rewarded just by the joyful looks of anticipation on our children’s faces. They are preludes to Sabbath delights!

Parents, we can add to the joy and anticipation of Sabbath in our homes by the atmosphere we create in the kitchen. Children also like repetition, and when you find something that delights your family, whether a nice table setting, cut flowers from the yard, or a special dish, you tend to repeat it and, in time, it can become your ‘family tradition’, something that is treasured by your family. And if they help you make it and do it, there is that extra reward in their hearts.

Little words of kindness
little acts of love,
Bring us just a little bit of
heaven from above.

(As our web site grows, Sabbath Breakfast, Dinners, and Evening meals will be added)


As we share meal traditions and special recipes for the meals during the Sabbath hours: Friday Night Supper, Sabbath Morning Breakfast and Sabbath Dinner, in this section of our website, we invite you to share your traditions and recipes with us and, hopefully, we will learn from families from all around the world. We pray this will be truly helpful to you and a wonderful blessing to your loved ones as we make it our goal to make the Sabbath a delight!. Our focus for this month will be on Friday Night Supper.

“Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest,
and let this food to us be blest. Amen”

Sabbath well spent brings a week of content
And health for the toils of tomorrow;
But a Sabbath profaned, whatsoe’r may be gained
Is a certain forerunner of sorrow. – Adlai A. Esteb


Let me share the Friday Night Supper traditions in our home these 45 years. In order to set the Sabbath eve supper meal apart from supper meals during the week, we do things with a focus of making things a little different and special. We use special placemats or a tablecloth and a lovely candle for a centerpiece (there is something calming about a glowing candle). I like to use cut flowers from the yard in season. The hurry and scurry of preparation day jobs is ended, sacred music calms our spirits, and now we gather around the table, nicely dressed, ready to welcome our Lord when Sabbath begins. Although sunset times will vary, when the Sabbath does arrive, we leave the table and, kneeling in prayer, greet the Lord of the Sabbath and welcome Him into our home and into our hearts. After hugs and wishes for a blessed Sabbath, we return to our meal. And for Friday night supper here is our very favorite meal tradition: grape juice, ‘chicken’ noodle soup, homemade crusty rolls, crackers, a favorite spread like hummus and, occasionally, sticky pecan rolls. Here are two of the recipes. Note: We first had this wonderful noodle soup at the home of a dear family in our church, the Washington Sanitarium and Hospital Chapel, in Takoma Park, MD, by the name of Joseph and Myrtle Webb. We were newlyweds and Dave was just out of the Army and a student at Columbia Union College. We have enjoyed it over the years, and now our children like to make it for their families. I hope you’ll try it…

Welcome to Sabbath in Dave and Sandy Bostrom’s Home. Friday evening Sabbath supper traditions have been a part of our love and worship of Jesus for 45 years. That is as long as we have been married! Our Sabbath eve supper meal includes our royal guest, King Jesus. We set apart our Sabbath eve meal from the weekly supper meal in several ways. Table settings: We use a special Sabbath tablecloth and a lovely candle for a centerpiece (there is something calming about a glowing candle). In season we use cut flowers from the yard. Worshipful music: An hour before Sabbath arrives we quiet the home with rich sacred music that prepares our hearts for worship. Personal appearance: Gathering for our meal and our special Guest, our goal was to be nicely dressed and honoring Him. To be sure, there were exceptions, but this was our desire for our family honoring our Lord. Welcoming Sabbath: Sunset times vary. In our home, when the sun was about to set, Mother called everyone to the living room, and we knelt in prayer, reverently greeting the Lord of the Sabbath and welcoming Him into our home and into our hearts. After hugs and wishes for a blessed Sabbath and depending on sunset times, we then returned to our meal, enjoy a relaxed time, or began or continued our special family Sabbath eve worship. The worship is our high water mark of celebration filled with singing, reading Scripture, mission/nature readings, sharing testimonies, inspiring activities and ending with a blessing prayer upon the family.

Our Sabbath Eve Meal tradition. As newlyweds Dave completed his U.S. Army service at Walter Reed Medical Center, while we lived in Takoma Park, Maryland. Dave became the M.V. youth leader of our Washington Sanitarium Church next to the campus of Columbia Union College. It was there we met at the “San” an inspiring Godly couple, Joseph and Myrtle Webb. They invited us to their home and served their families favorite vegetarian ‘chicken’ noodle soup. And from that time, it became our favorite Sabbath meal tradition. In time we added home made bread, crackers, spreads like hummus, concord grape juice and, our family’s special “delight”, sticky pecan rolls! It is our ‘delightful’ meal. Today when the kids all come home, this is THE favorite Sabbath eve celebration meal. We must add, that all our family considers concord grape juice a wonderful ‘treat’. Countless times as we toast, we comment, how Jesus is waiting to have that great supper meal in heaven with us and is not drinking of the vine until His ransomed people are with Him. What a grand supper toast we will have with Him! Here are two of our favorite recipes and a decorative food idea.

‘Chicken’ Noodle Soup

12 oz. package of noodles
12 C water, boiling, salted
2 celery stalks, diced (sautéed in a little oil or margarine)
¼ C fresh parsley, minced, or 2 T dried parsley
1 brick tofu, scrambled and seasoned, or 3 eggs, scrambled, salted
1 13-oz. can Worthington Fri Chik, diced
3 T McKay’s Chicken-style seasoning (or to taste)

Cook noodles until just tender; add celery, parsley, tofu or eggs, Fri Chik and seasonings. Serve piping hot.
with homemade bread or crackers and spread. See hummus recipe below.

– Thank you Myrtle, a Mother in Israel


Place in blender:

Pimiento to taste
2 C garbanzos
1 t cumin
1/3 C tahini
¼ t dill weed
1-2 T lemon juice
½ C juice from garbanzos
1 clove garlic or ½ t garlic powder
Salt to taste (about ½ t)
2 T olive oil
dash of cayenne pepper (opt.)

Blend all together in blender, adding juice for desired thickness, for about one minute for creamy texture.

– From Sandy’s Kitchen, Battle Ground, WA

Candle Salad

Here’s one more decorative fun food idea to make your Sabbath evening meal a delight for your family. Our dear friend, Gerita Liebelt, in her book, From Dilemma to Delight, gave us one of her meal favorites. You can make candle salads by molding your favorite gelatin dessert in small frozen-juice cans. Unmold them on a bed of lettuce in an upright position for your ‘candles,’ and top with vegennaise or whipping cream ‘flames.’ Talk about how God will light our candles (Ps. 18:28), how our spirits are the candles of the Lord (Pr. 20:27), and how the candle of the wicked will be put out (Pr 24:20).

“Come, Lord Jesus, be our Guest
We thank You for this day of rest.
Dwell within each longing heart
And bless this day You set apart.”

Welcome to Sabbath in Tom and Nancy Hunt’s Home, on the ‘Mountain’ in Wahkiakus, Washington.

A dedicated missionary couple, Tom and Nancy are presently back in the US ministering as principal of our Wahkiakus elementary school. Tom also serves as a church elder. Nancy is a home schooling mother of four children. They keep a nice garden and are big on canning for winter.

“We love our Savior and we love Sabbath” is Tom and Nancy’s Christian witness. Tom and Nancy should be named, Mr. and Mrs. Enthusiasm when it comes to both Jesus and His Sabbath.

Tom, as a loving husband and dad, “sees the Sabbath as different from all the other days of the week”. “What makes Sabbath special” he says, “is that Jesus said it is special. He blessed and made it a holy day! So this time is different from all the other days. I lay everything aside for this day because a blessing is in it!”

Nancy finds Jesus and His Sabbath just as real and special. She says, “I teach my children, Jesus is always there for us every day. But now on Sabbath, He’s coming as a special Guest. He wants us to open time to be with Him. For me, personally, it’s a time when all the burdens and weights are gone. It’s time to bask in the free love of my relationship with Christ.”

“Friday evening begins our joy of resting. To welcome Sabbath, we always sing, ‘When the Sun Goes Down On Friday.’ We have a worship time, study our Sabbath School lesson especially reciting our memory verses and enjoy special Sabbath mission or nature stories. If time allows, we play a Sabbath or nature game together as a family Friday evening to encourage the Sabbath spirit in the hours before bed time. We have a “Sabbath Box” with nature and Jesus-centered activities we use at any time on Sabbath to keep our children’s interest on spiritual things.” But Tom and Nancy believe one of their most treasured Friday evening traditions is the Sabbath celebration meal. This meal is extra special. It’s our familiy’s favorite tradition and the only time we serve it is for Friday supper to welcome Sabbath. Our kids all love cornbread, chili, and fruit salad.”

Here are Nancy’s recipes . . .


Serves Four

1 quart cooked beans (pinto, kidney, pink, or mixed)
2 T chili powder or homemade recipe (see below)
1/3 C TVP granules
1 quart canned tomatoes with juice

Mix together and simmer. Add seasonings that your family likes, such as: onion, garlic, bell pepper and cumin This is wonderful.

Homemade Chili Powder

2 T paprika
1 t ground cumin
1 T parsley flakes
1 t ground oregano
1 T dried bell pepper
½ t dill weed
1 T dried basil
½ t savory or sage
1 T onion powder
¼ t garlic powder
2 small bay leaves

Whiz together in blender (remove spine and crush). Yields about ½ C.


2 C flour
2 T soymilk powder (opt.)
2 C corn meal
2½ C water
1½ t salt
½ C oil
7 t baking powder

Mix and fill baking dish (8” x 11” x 2”). Bake at 400˚ for 30 minutes. Nancy doesn’t add sugar since her family likes to spoon the chili over the cornbread and eat it that way. They also enjoy it drizzled with honey and milk.

– Thank you, Hunt Family

This next recipe, so quick and easy, is from my sister, Kathy, a retired administrative secretary, and a great cook. She and her husband live in Surprise, Arizona. This is her own creation, and it is so-o-o good! Here it is from Kathy’s Kitchen:

Hearty Bean Soup – Crock Pot Style

(Ready to serve as soon as you come home from church)

Add the following items to crock pot:

1 – 15 oz. can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz. can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 15 oz. can of whole kernel corn, drained or 16 oz. bag of frozen corn

Sauté in skillet until tender and add to crock pot mixture:

1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped

Add the following seasonings to the crock pot mixture:

1 – 4 oz. can of diced green chile peppers
2 teaspoons – dried parsley
1 – 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon – dried basil
1 cup – cooked brown rice (optional)
1 teaspoon – dried cumin
5 cups – of water
2 teaspoons – salt (or to taste)

You can cook this mixture on low for six hours. Serve with hearty, wholegrain bread.

– Thank you to the Haxtons

Here’s a special delightful ‘treat’ for a Sabbath Eve meal. Could be a great addition to your Sabbath tradition!

If you like to serve a treat on Sabbath Eve for your family, try this recipe from the kitchen of, Sharon Dederer. She and her husband, a Canadian farmer, live in Whitmore, California. Be sure to read her Believers’ Delightful Testimony. Sharon plays a violin beautifully, as well!

Tutti-Frutti Bon Bons

2 C chopped nuts
3/8 C cashew pieces
2 C chopped dates
1/2 t salt
1 C mixed dried fruit (pineapple and papaya are very good), chopped
3/8 C water
1 t vanilla
3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour

Put nuts, dates and fruit into mixing bowl; sprinkle the flour over them and toss. Blend in blender: cashew pieces, salt, water and vanilla; pour over fruit and flour mixture. Mix all together and shape or scoop into balls. Bake at 350˚ for 30 minutes or until golden brown (check after 20 minutes), lower temperature to 325˚ for remainder of time, switch pans around. Watch carefully do not over bake). Makes over 3 dozen bon bons (1/8 C scoops). A tasty, nutritious treat!

– Thank you, Sharon

“O taste and see that the Lord is good.”
~ Psalm 34:8 ~

Challah Bread – A Hebrew Tradition (often known as Sabbath “braided bread”)

A Jewish tradition used to welcome Sabbath and special sacred holidays is Challah Bread. The name “challah” (also Hallah) is derived from the Hebrew word used for ‘portion’ in the Biblical Commandment “of the first of your dough you shall give unto the Lord a ‘portion’ for a gift through your generations.” Ezek. 44:30. The Jews were to separate 1/24 of their dough and give it to the priest every Sabbath.

Challah bread with 3, 4,or 6 strands (braids) are most common. They are surrounded by folklore and tradition and loaded with symbolism. On festive occasions such as Sabbath or sacred holidays, Jews would bless two loaves. Two loaves symbolized the two portions of manna that were distributed to the children of Israel during their Exodus and Wilderness travels. A three braided loaf would symbolize truth, peace and justice. A braided loaf would look like arms intertwined and symbolize ‘love’. Another interesting tradition in post-temple times.: the priest ordained that a ‘portion’ or ‘challah’, at least the size of an olive, be separated from the dough and burned.

Here are two recipes of challah bread. One Jewish and another vegan. For more challah bread recipes go on internet.

Challah Bread



Makes two loaves

1/3 cup honey
1 1/4 cups warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup olive oil
2 eggs
5 cups unbleached flour, plus more if needed

Glaze Ingredients

1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg white
1 tablespoon white sugar


  1. Dissolve the honey in the water in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the yeast. Set the mixture aside until the yeast forms a creamy layer on top, about 15 minutes. Stir in the salt, 2/3 cup of olive oil, and beaten eggs. Add the flour 1 cup at a time until the dough is slightly tacky, but not sticky wet.
  2. Turn it out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Lightly oil a bowl, place the dough in the bowl, turn the dough over a few times to oil the surface, then let rise until doubled in a warm, draft-free place, about 90 minutes.
  3. To make the loaves, punch down the dough, and cut it into 2 equal-sized pieces. Cut the first piece into 4 equal parts. Set the second piece aside under a cloth to prevent drying out while you braid the first loaf.
  4. To braid the first 4-strand loaf, roll the 4 pieces of dough into thin ropes about the width of your thumb, and about 14 inches long. Make the tops and bottoms of each rope thinner than the middle area. Pinch the tops of the 4 ropes together, and fan the 4 ropes out so they don’t touch.
  5. To make an “under-2, over-1 braid,” take the left-most rope, and move it to the right to cross underneath the next 2 ropes, then move it left to cross back over the strand immediately to its left. Take the far right strand, and move it to the left and cross it under the two strands to its left (they are already crossed from the previous braid); then move it right to cross back over the strand immediately to its right. Repeat until the 4 strands are braided together all the way to the end, and pinch the ends tightly together. Repeat the steps to braid the second loaf, and let the braided loaves rise for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Make a glaze by whisking together the milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the egg white, and the sugar in a bowl. Brush the braided loaves with the glaze, to make a shiny crust, and bake the loaves on the prepared baking sheets in the preheated oven until they are light golden brown, about 30 minutes.

How to Braid the Bread

To make a simple 3-strand braided loaf, cut each half of the dough into 3 pieces. Working on a floured surface, roll the small dough pieces into ropes about the thickness of your thumb and about 12 inches long. Ropes should be fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends. Pinch 3 ropes together at the top and braid them. Starting with the strand to the right, move it to the left over the middle strand (that strand becomes the new middle strand.) Take the strand farthest to the left, and move it over the new middle strand. Continue braiding, alternating sides each time, until the loaf is braided, and pinch the ends together and fold them underneath for a neat look.

Denise’s Vegan Challah

Challah is a precious tradition to those with a Jewish heritage. When eggs are eliminated, the bread loses something. This recipe uses a most unusual ingredient to replace the egg—a banana that is so ripe you think you should throw it away. But don’t! That black banana makes a moist bread with exquisite flavor. Shabbat (Sabbath) bread will become a treasured tradition in your home, even if you aren’t Jewish.

2 c. white whole wheat flour (10 oz.)
1 c. bread flour (5 oz.)
1/2 c. soy or garbanzo flour (2-1/4 oz.)
1 Tbsp. Vital® Gluten
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
2. 1 banana (just ripe)
3/4 c. hot water
1/4 c. brown sugar or honey
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. liquid lecithin or granules
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds


  1. Combine flours, yeast and salt. Mash banana until smooth. Add hot water, flour sugar, and vegetable oil. Pour into flour mixture.
  2. Add an extra tablespoon or two of water if needed to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Divide into three pieces. Shape into an oblong. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled.
  3. Roll each piece into a long rope. Join the three pieces together and braid. Leave as a long braid or form into a round. Let rise until almost doubled.
  4. Spray the braid generously with water. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.
  5. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before eating.

Note #1: I have had just as much success making 100% whole wheat challah by increasing the Vital® gluten flour to two tablespoons.

Note #2: The water measure is not exact. Flour changes from season to season and from year to year. You may have to add more water every time you make this recipe.

Note #3: White whole wheat flour is made from white wheat instead of red wheat. The flavor is much milder and the bran softer than that of red wheat.

Denise’s Oil-Free Vegan Challah

Challah is a precious tradition to those with a Jewish heritage. When eggs are eliminated, the bread loses something. This recipe uses a most unusual ingredient to replace the egg—a banana that is so ripe you think you should throw it away. But don’t! That black banana makes a moist bread with exquisite flavor. Shabbat (Sabbath) bread will become a treasured tradition in your home, even if you aren’t Jewish.

8 c. whole wheat flour
4 c. bread flour
2 c. soy or garbanzo flour
1/4 c. Vital® Gluten flour
1/3 c. instant yeast
4 tsp. salt
4 bananas (just ripe)
3 c. hot water
1 c. brown sugar or honey (1/2 c. agave)
3/4 c. maple syrup
1 c. coconut cream
1/2 c. liquid lecithin or granules
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds


  1. Combine flours, yeast and salt.
  2. Mash banana until smooth. Add hot water, sugar, and vegetable oil. Pour into flour mixture. Add an extra tablespoon or two of water if needed to make a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic. Divide into two pieces. Shape into an oblong. Cover with plastic and let rise until doubled.
  3. Roll each piece into a very long rope. Use single rope method for creating a braid. Leave as a long braid or form into a round. Let rise until almost doubled.
  4. Spray the braid generously with water. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before eating.

— Special thanks to Denise Rutledge, Vancouver, SW Washington

Welcome to Sabbath in Dr. T.J. and MaryAnn Knutson’s home in Portage, Michigan. . .

T.J. is an emergency room doctor and MaryAnn a teacher now home raising their first child and expecting their second in April of 2011. They love Sabbath. In their busy life beginning medical practice and having babies, they have found a special calmness and satisfaction in simplicity. MaryAnn says, “It creates a nice relaxed atmosphere for preparation day and Sabbath eve. We do set the table to make it special for our Lord with candles and music. Right now, we are freeing up more time at home where we can study and listen to materials that help us grow spiritually and realish our spiritual time with the Lord rather than in elaborate preparations of food.

When we prepare a special tradition meal for Sabbath, we find that ‘special foods’ make for very ‘special Sabbath meals’. They experiment with many creative international dishes. They love “stand out flavors” and the “high nutrition” found in fresh garden meals. Here is one nutritious meal that is becoming one of their favorite Sabbath tradition meals.

African Lentil Curry

2 C lentils, cooked separately (I don’t always add them all)
1 T fresh ginger, very finely chopped
1 green pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced

Sauté onion and pepper (cover with lid for a while to get tender) then add the remaining ingredients as you go . . .

1 can petite diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
1 heaping T tomato paste (freeze the rest for next time)
1 T McKay’s chicken-style seasoning

Add lentils until desired ratio. Add salt to taste and more ginger powder if you like.

For the final ingredient, add:

1 can coconut milk at the end so it doesn’t cook off too much.

Serve over rice with flat bread (Naan bread) on the side. Enjoy!

– MaryAnn’s Kitchen, Portage, Michigan


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“The darker our world grows, the sweeter will be our Sabbaths with Jesus.