Mint Tea and Custard Pie

What is Spring or Summer without delicious mint tea?!….Some call it garden tea, Some call it meadow tea, some call it creek tea. Whatever you call it tea, would you like a glass of tea with me?

Do you know what is more refreshing than a pretty glass of mint tea? A glass of mint tea sweetened with stevia instead of all that sugar!😛 I really like the Now brand of Stevia Glycerite for drinks. 2 teaspoons nicely sweetens one gallon. If you are used to having it really sweet, you can try 2 1/2 teaspoons. And there is no bad aftertaste! I do not mind my family drinking a lot of this tea because they’re not drinking sugar tea. Reece slurps his down like it’s an emergency when I fill his sipper cup!

I do not have measurements for my tea and I’m guessing most of my readers know how to make this tea too, without specific directions…. I brew a batch of tea about like this for one gallon. Fill with ice and water and sweetner. A refreshing taste of summertime!!

Jerald enjoys a good pie. One of his favorites would be Custard. A plain, simple, easy pie. I certainly can’t complain on it being too much work to make it for him! Especially when you have crusts in the freezer! I buy my crusts from our local bulk food store. I’m just not a crusty person! 😜 And when you can buy beautiful, flakey crusts at a very reasonable price, why not? It simplifies things for this mom, especially since we don’t eat a large quantity of pies.

And so it is I find myself, often on a Saturday, thinking what could I make for Sunday dessert? I like to make a dessert for Sunday because Sunday is a special day! Custard pie fits the bill at any given time. Especially if I want to surprise my man!

So this is how you make it. First, you dash out to the freezer and remove one of the pie crusts and let it thaw. It doesn’t take long, so you can immediately begin making the filling. Turn oven to 415*. Heat 2 1/2 cups of milk to scalding. While its heating, crack 4 eggs in a small bowl and whisk them up with 1/2 cup raw sugar, (or less) 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. By then the milk should be scalding but not burned yet. If you have a baby, it’s easy to forget things like heating milk temperatures, and thus you end up with burned milk. In that case, discard the milk and heat some more. Unless, of course, you like a burned flavor and black flakes in your pie, you can still use the same milk. So now add the very warm milk to the egg mixture and whisk it all up real nice. Pour it in the crust which by now will be thawed. Or maybe even over thawed because you had to change the baby’s diaper, hang out a load of laundry, and tend to your other screaming offspring. After it’s in the crust, sprinkle it lightly with cinnamon. If your young cook is helping, they will want to sprinkle the cinnamon which will get an overdose, but that is ok. Cinnamon is healthy and the pie still tastes good. If you have time and energy left, it’s lovely to drop in a few raspberries on top. (Fresh or frozen) Or even a few thin slices of fresh peaches. And oh yes I need to mention! This makes a tad more than one pie, so you just pour that extra filling into a small dish to bake. Very gently now, with no toddlers bumping you, set the pie in the oven along with the small dish of custard filling. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350* for another 25 to 30 minutes. If your unsure if it’s finished, you can slide a table knife in the center to see if it comes out clean, then it should be done. As soon as the small dish of custard is cool, sneak into the bathroom or another private room to eat it by yourself. It’s a small reward for all the effort it took to make a simple pie!!

I never knew my Grandpa Kurtz, but Mom would always say that when he ate pie he’d say “pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.” 😍😍

Of Church and COVID-19

As everyone everywhere has been affected in one way or another by COVID-19, it makes one aware of the many things we took for granted! One of those for me was Church. We love our church and church family, but having had that privilege of going to church taken away, it was extra special to meet together yesterday! (Sunday)

March 15 was our last church service. Nebraska never issued a stay at home order, but it was encouraged. Also, groups were not to be larger than 10 people. So our church decided to do in home services, meeting in small groups. While that was better than not meeting at all through those 8 weeks, it still was not like real Church! In this respect, going to church yesterday was a treat! I had to think of the verse in Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.

Our church- Providence Mennonite Church

But how important is church to us on a regular basis, when we can go every Sunday, year after year? Does it still bring gladness to our hearts to go into the house of the Lord? It certainly should! Do we realize how important it is to our spiritual well being, to be part of a Biblical body of believers? How quickly we would be more apt to cool off and lose our fervor for God, if we did not have our brothers and sisters in Christ to help us along! Hebrews 10: 24, 25 says, And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more as ye see the day approaching. Also, the discipline it takes to study our Sunday School lessons and especially if we need to teach! Or for the men who need to prepare for devotions or the ministry as they study for messages. We are such weak, needy people in our earthly bodies. If we just coast along, we’ll soon coast right into an eternal destiny where we do not want to be!

We are still under some restrictions. We needed to comply with the 6 feet social distancing, no passing of the offering basket and such. The basket was conveniently placed on a chair where we filed past to enter the auditorium. We sat together in families, using every other bench. We could not have Sunday School, but someone had a children’s class. And then there was a devotional by our deacon and the message by our bishop. He preached a message on Mothers, since it was Mother’s Day. Afterwards, we were advised to file outside to visit if we wanted to do so. Outside it was easier to respect the distancing, plus safer with the abundance of fresh air! It was a sunny day, but chilly with a strong breeze! It was so good to worship collectively and to see everyone again!

Sometimes God takes things away from us so to teach us more important things of life…

How has your Church life been? Have you been able to start having services again? I hope so, but more than that, I hope your Spiritual life has blossomed even through the quarantine days. Perhaps God took social life away from us to shake us out of our normalcy, so that we focus on Him! We can find our satisfaction in Him, even when our whole lives were/are topsy-turvy! God hasn’t changed- oh wondrous thought! and He was not taken by surprise when everything shut down. God is always available and open. He will never “shut down!”

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3: 17, 18