4 I went to lunch with friends after church yesterday, but I made my family a nice dinner.

These sandwiches are easy to make, but very snazzy. Here’s how you do it:

Slice boneless chicken breasts into strips, hit them with a bit of Cajun seasoning, and saute them quickly. While they cook, mix together romaine lettuce, Caesar salad dressing, crumbled bacon (I buy the kind that’s ready-made for salads), and a grating of good fresh Romano cheese. Slice sandwich rolls and toast them, and fill them with the chicken and the salad.

I made the rolls with my bread machine before church, but store-bought rolls work, too. Not counting the breadmaking, these take 15 minutes start to finish.

I put out chips, melon, and lemon tarts with the sandwiches. I made the lemon tarts earlier in the afternoon. They take more than 15 minutes, but they are absolutely worth it.4

This is the recipe that I used, but they’re pretty much all the same. The key is to use only real foods. If you find a recipe that involves food coloring, corn starch, that kind of thing, then move on. This lovely effect is created from lemons, eggs, butter, flour, and sugar. You simply don’t need anything else.

Decoration is another matter. I grated a little dusting of very dark organic chocolate onto some and gave others a little puff of whipped cream with my decorator. They are also very pretty with candied lemon peel or chopped pistachios, if you are ready to go to more trouble.

While I was doing these things, I had the opportunity to think about a little quandary I’m having.

Those of you who always read my blog and have total recall will recall that I am helping out with the music for the early service at my church. Yesterday morning was the debut of the praise band.

Some members have a lot of trouble with pitch. They also took far more time than was allotted to them. I had spoken with them carefully ahead of time so they would know that they were being asked to bring the offertory. They did six songs. This brings up a whole bunch of questions:

  • Do people generally care how bad they are, or is it just me and the pastor and the pianist? Choirs fondly believe that most listeners are practically tone deaf and aren’t bothered by bad pitch, but I have trouble believing that. As The Baritone said, “It causes dissonance in your brain, even if you don’t know what’s wrong.” Maybe that’s true.
  • Would if be okay if they were that bad if they only did one song?
  • Would it sound that bad if they were not so loud?
  • If we’re really just talking about a couple of Yoko Ono voices, would it be possible to offer them help and support and fix the problem in that way?
  • If so, is it possible to offer help and support in a way that they would find acceptable?
  • If they didn’t find it acceptable, would that be worse than having to listen to that again?
  • CD tells me, on good authority, that they believe that as long as they are led by the Holy Spirit in their music it doesn’t matter what it sounds like. Given this belief, is it possible to bring up pitch with them at all?
  • Would the Holy Spirit ever really do that to the rest of the people in the room, or are they misunderstanding the Spirit’s leading?
  • Since there are some skillful musicians in the group, and it is not possible that they have not noticed the problem, or are these people who are a) completely unwilling to accept help or b) so sweet-natured and loveable that people who know them well do not mind their being off pitch?

I have often been in situations where the sound is not the main point of the music. We used to have a pastor who bellowed hymns out in a raucous, yet joyful voice, and it was a pleasure for me to hear her doing so. She was so filled with happiness and spirit herself that I smiled to hear her. However, she was singing with a lot of other people, and not into a microphone.

I feel some responsibility here. The pianist counsels honesty. The pastor washes his hands of it, but doesn’t want to go through that again. And of course, it is essential that whatever is done, be done in a loving and prayerful way.

When I was a child, we use to preface any sassy thing we wanted to say with, “With all due respect…” Maybe I could say, “If you want to sing again, you’re going to have to let me help you, and I mean that in a truly loving way.”