Blog post #53 – Why MAKE A MEAL + SHARE A MEAL?

Why did I write my cookbook? My acknowledgments excerpted below from MAKE A MEAL + SHARE A MEAL will give you an idea. Also, I write for my children and future grandchildren to remember our five-generation legacy of Christian faith so they will hopefully carry it forward with true love and charitable action.


I first dedicate this cookbook to my incredible mother, Joanne Elaine Parker Howard, who taught me everything I know about meal planning, economical shopping, efficient tasking, and raising a large family. She ardently modeled for me benevolent charity, community service, and reaching out to the people in need while serving as a church deacon and elder over a span of 60 years. Without her taking me shopping at the holidays for church food basket items, asking me to help her bake a gazillion cookies for Christmas gift boxes, and teaching me to make large pan dishes, I would not have been able to write this cookbook nor carry out the ministry ideas contained herein for my own church and community.

A second dedication is to my beloved daughter, Destiny Renace McMinn, who went to be with the Lord under tragic circumstances March 22, 2017. She LOVED to eat! During her teen years, she grew to enjoy helping me cook family meals and share food with others in need. The times we spent together in these endeavors are among my favorite memories of her. I am glad to continue preparing food to share with others in her memory.

My third dedication is to my dear late husband, Cary Neal McMinn, whose memory I cherish and whose companionship I miss every day. I am grateful to him for encouraging me and our children to give sacrificially from whatever we had – meager as it was in our early marriage years then as our family grew to include 11 children: Grant, Justin, Zane, Hayley, Megan, Abby, Eddie, Destiny, Taryn, Jesse, and Madison. I know that spending my time and our resources in writing and publishing this cookbook, and participating in related ministry, is something he would have taken great pride in and given energy to. He savored these recipes for years as I prepared and served them to our family, friends, and strangers. The most generous man I ever knew, he also literally gave the shirt off his back multiple times to those in need as an example of Christ’s love. If he was here, I know he would shout with joy and praise “To Him be the glory and honor, both now and forever more!” It is unfortunate time did not allow us to open the restaurant he always dreamed of – The Plaid Serape – serving Scottish and New Mexican cookery made with our own grass-fed meats.

Additionally, I want to acknowledge my enthusiastic friends who were willing to test (and improve) the recipes for me! Their feedback proved most helpful and the final recipes include their suggestions. A big shout-out of “Thanks!” to these amazing, hard-working wives, moms, and community volunteers!

Anna Blake

Valerie Brasby

Amy Campa

Cindy Leis

Second, a special thanks to my meal testers who, hopefully, enjoyed having convenient, delicious, and nutritious home-cooked meals in exchange for their completion of surveys regarding appeal, packaging, and taste.

Gary Doolittle (and his family)

Pastor Brent and Valerie Harwerth

Pastor Fran and Joann Harwerth

Wally and Charlene Longacre

Carrie McDougal (and her daughters)

Leslie McGrory (and her daughters)

Jennifer Rucker (and her family)

Dan and Kelly Sand

Parry and Sara Tramp (and their daughters)

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