Raisins and apples are versatile, old-favorite fruits from the fall harvest to sweeten holiday meals. Of course, they are not showstoppers or premier produce like the pumpkin, per se; yet these stalwarts of snack packs and lunchboxes have plenty of pleasant flavor and attractive color to grace side dishes with style.
More importantly, however, they will strengthen and refresh you, the preparer, through the hubbub of holiday meal planning. How? These two fruits are from God’s Word, carrying truth and power as you speak their names during all your preparations or hum them in your own hymn. And if you are not host or hostess this year, let them lead you in how to pray for those who are preparing while you wait to enter the “banquet hall.”
Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love. Song of Songs 2:5 NIV
May this loving word infuse your anticipation of the holiday meals ahead and inspire your menu with four simple raisins and apples recipes. Meanwhile this treasury of Scripture will continue to sustain you through Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas family and friends banquets.
This recipe is for you, a restoring snack while preparing and pulling your meals together: Slice an apple! Spritz with lemon juice and serve yourself on a pretty plate to tide you over while you work on dinner. Confession: I usually snack on chocolate chips! But I have come around to our God’s genius once again, realizing that apple slices are truly recharging nourishment, gently satisfying without caffeine and sugar highs. Pause and wonder at the refreshment of apples as Song of Songs 2:5 reveals.
Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.” “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.” Genesis 18:5 NIRV
Repent then and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord Acts 3:19 NIV
Raisins and apples provide an appealing contrast to savory flavors: Toss them in your green salad. To your favorite medley of spinach and lettuces, add diced apples, golden raisins, sliced hearts of palm, and slivered red onion. Stir cut apples in lemon juice first to keep their flesh looking fresh and leave the skin on for bright color. Mix a dressing of squeezed clementine juice, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil or use your favorite creamy dressing. Garnish with cheese crumbles – try bleu, goat, or feta, whichever your crowd might like best.
You only need to remain calm; the Lord will fight for you. Exodus 14:14 NCV
…revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved… Psalm 80:18-19 NIV
Your mind will be clear, free from fear; when you lie down to rest, you will be refreshed by sweet sleep. Proverbs 3:24 VOICE
Cinnamon Raisins and Apples
For the little ones coming to your feast, these familiar fruits might be a welcome sight in the buffet line among all those cooked vegetables: Make raisins and apples with cinnamon. Chop apples in small bite sizes and remove the peel; try Golden Delicious or Gala for mild flavor. Mix them up with lemon juice to preserve white flesh, along with a few dashes of cinnamon. Also try a spritz of clementine juice or drizzled honey for added, sweet appeal.
He said, “For sure, I tell you, unless you have a change of heart and become like a little child, you will not get into the holy nation of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NLV
Then he embraced each child, and laying his hands on them, he lovingly blessed each one. Mark 10:16 TPT
For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!” Romans 8:16 TPT
In your great love revive me so I can alertly obey your every word Psalm 119:88 The Message
Farro with Raisins and Apples
For a twist on traditional stuffing or a complimentary side dish to a big buffet: Serve raisins and apples in pilaf. Try farro, a form of wheat—where the wheat kernels are prepared and served like rice—or any other cooked grains, like barley, wild rice, or quinoa. Prepare 1 C. farro according to package directions, adding 1 cup of chopped dandelion or mustard greens to the simmering pot. Meanwhile, sauté 1 apple sliced in bite-sizes with skin on, ½ C. golden raisins, 2 garlic cloves chopped, ½ red onion diced in 1-2 TB. olive oil for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat until farro is finished, drain any excess liquid, and add grains and greens to sauté pan; stir and season with salt and pepper. Seve warm or room temperature, makes 6-8 servings and easily doubles.
Love your leftovers! This dish makes a great breakfast for the day after, topped with gooey-yolk fried eggs. Add bacon crumbles or cooked sausage for a can’t-resist leftover meal.
for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. 2 Kings 4:43-44 ESV
But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6 NKJV
Your God has commanded your strength; Strengthen, O God, what You have done for us. Psalm 68:28 NKJV
…live together whole and healed. James 5:17 The Message
Prayer: O Lord, thank you for your provision of refreshment and strength in the midst of love! You know that we love to be together yet need your help to bring plans together, but your help is the best wa, and You have already gone before us and prepared a table (Psalm 23:5). Let our gathering feel like a full banquet hall, overflowing with joy, smitten with fun loving-kindness, chattering with lively conversation, no matter the number of people or length of table. Any kitchen stool will do! For You are the One who fills and refreshes and loves us in fullness now and forever. Thank you, Jesus, Yeshua, O Christ—in Your Name we live and love and pray. Amen.
Now to the God who can do so many awe-inspiring things, immeasurable things, things greater than we ever could ask or imagine through the power at work in us, to Him be all glory in the church and in Jesus the Anointed from this generation to the next, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 Voice
Enjoy a series of devotions on Thanksgiving in God’s Word for Gardeners Bible, in the Garden Tools section, beginning on page a-39
Find book excerpts and Thanksgiving encouragement in these Devotions Blogs
In honor of the Mayflower Compact, signed this month on November 11, 1620, and the great heritage of devotion and thanksgiving to God in our nation, linger in the Garden in Delight Proclamation of Faith
Photo Credits ©2021 Shelley S. Cramm
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