Dear Aunt Sevvy:

I may have done a terrible thing.

I always make and freeze homemade lasagne hamburger casseroles for my family, and vegetarian ones for church potluck. On a recent Sabbath I pulled one out of the freezer and took it to church, where I heated it up and set it on the serving table. My husband, sitting next to me at the meal, took a bite, gave me a funny look and said, “Which lasagne did you get from the freezer this morning?” One taste, and I knew it wasn’t one I’d made with textured vegetable protein.

Now, for just a moment, Aunt Sevvy, I considered standing up and shouting, “Stop eating! I’ve mistakenly fed you real meat!” and sent them all to the bathroom to stick their fingers down their throats. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t have the courage. Especially since people all around the table—most lifelong vegetarians—were complimenting me on what a great vegetarian lasagne I’d made. It was the first thing gone from the serving table! One dear old saint, who I know to be a true health reformer, begged me for the recipe. I just smiled and told her I’ve got a secret ingredient that I’m keeping secret.

I’ve repented to the Lord, Aunt Sevvy, but need I make a public admission, too? I will add that the secret ingredient seems to have been recognized by no one but us, and it’s not been mentioned since. Signed, Terrible Mistake

Dear Terrible Mistake,

My goodness, my dear, you have gotten yourself into a pickle!

Aunt Sevvy wants to make it very clear that it is never okay knowingly to make someone violate their dietary choices. People have allergies and sensitivities and special dietary circumstances—not to mention religious and social convictions. It is your responsibility to be clear about what is in your food so as to respect everyone’s health needs and choices.

Having said that, the deed is done. It was entirely unintended, an honest accident. It happened weeks ago, and there appear to have been no dire health consequences.

Aunt Sevvy’s advice: drop it. Bringing it up now would only upset the saints and serve no real purpose but to clear your guilty conscience. Your punishment is to keep the secret. Be relieved that what they don’t know doesn’t appear to have hurt them—in fact, they seem to have immensely enjoyed this forbidden fruit.

That said, it still wasn’t nice. Don’t make that mistake again.

Yours nutritionally,

Aunt Sevvy

You can write to Aunt Sevvy at Please keep questions or comments short. What you send us at this address won’t necessarily be, but could be, published—always without real names. Aunt Sevvy writes her own column, and her opinions are not necessarily those of Adventist Today’s editors.

To comment, click here.