Strawberry Pie and Fellowship

IMG_4017 Fresh Strawberry Pie.JPG

Our weather has been absolutely beautiful lately. The rains have missed us, which is not good,but temperature-wise we are cooler than normal for this time of year. That is a welcome relief after the hot, sweltering weeks we have just had.

The weather was also perfect for a picnic the other night! Our care group in church was invited by another care group from church to come to a picnic…..all we had to do was bring our own lawn chairs, make a treat to share and show up.

I decided to make a fresh strawberry pie to take along for our treat. This decision was made easy by the fact that our local grocery stores had an amazing sale of fresh strawberries.

When I told my husband that I was making pie he got kind of a hang-dog look on his face. He then questioned me why I was making pie to bring somewhere else. I assured him I had planned to make two so one could stay home for him!

The recipe I used comes from a cookbook I received as a bridal shower gift over 37 years ago. I am pretty sure it was also the one my mom-in-law always used and her Strawberry Pies were always the best!

I will share the recipe with you and I think you will find it very easy to make and pretty much no-fail….which is the best kind of recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Pie
Crust:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oleo or butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
Mix and pat into pie plate.
Brown at 350º  for 20 minutes.
Filling:
2 1/2 cup strawberries (about 1 pound)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 heaping Tablespoon cornstarch
3 Tablespoon Jello(not sugar-free)
Blend sugar, cornstarch, and jello in saucepan.
Slowly add water while using whisk.
Boil till clear, stirring continually.
Let cool.
Mix well with strawberries and pour into baked pie shell.
Refrigerate till firmly set.
NOTE: If you want Fresh Peach Pie; you can use about 7 fresh peaches and 3 Tablespoons peach jello.   I have done this and it is also amazing.

 

The pie was a hit at the picnic and was just one of the many tasty treats that were available that night. The food was great, but the evening of games and fellowship was truly a gift.  It was a blessing to visit with fellow church members of all ages. It was fun to see everyone, young and old, enjoying themselves on a beautiful summer evening.

One of the games we played was a lawn game called Kubb (or Viking Chess). It was a lot of fun and challenging. It is kind of hard to explain so I am posting a link where it not only tells you how to play, but how to make your own set!  This Old House   (I am thinking I need to try make one of these.)

I have decided I will never be a tournament quality player of that game ( I would actually say my level of playing is substandard!), but it didn’t really matter…..fortunately.  I think my skills are probably more in the pie and food making category.

When it comes to food and food making….I love to use the old cookbooks that I have used for years. I love the fact that those old recipes have been tested by time and were used years ago by women who wanted to feed their families and others with wonderful tasty food.

There is something comforting about using an old cookbook.  The pages are tattered around the edges (at least mine are), there are spots on those pages from splatters while mixing a recipe and there is writing by the really good recipes so you know which ones to use and how you should maybe alter it.

Life can be the same way…..there is comfort in the familiar even though it is tattered and worn. Our lives can be splattered with the things that have happened to us. We show that we have been used by life and made it through. We are a testimony to faithfulness and a richness of the blessing that becomes more valuable with the passing of time.

May you live your life in such a way that your life is a “recipe” for others to follow…..perhaps a little frayed….a little splattered….but still blessed.


Your lives are a letter written in our hearts;
everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you.
2 Corinthians 3:2b
New Living Translation

 

 


 

 

 

 

Old Barns and Grace

 

IMG_3967 Old Barn

The other Sunday afternoon my husband and I went for a little motorcycle ride through the countryside. We love to take the back roads and just see what there is to look at.

This particular Sunday afternoon found us on a gravel road, which I am pretty sure I would not be able to find again! We happened upon a barn in the middle of a growing field of corn and bordered with soybeans.

Against the odds this barn remains standing. I have no idea when this barn was built but I have a feeling it has survived and withstood years of storms, high winds, burning sun, gnawing animals and anything else that time has thrown it’s way.

IMG_3955 The Vulture Leaves

As we looked at the front of the barn we noticed a vulture roosting in the open door of the haymow. As we ventured closer the vulture decided we were just too scary and decided to fly away.

IMG_3963 Barn Doors

The open door just seemed to beckon us to come in…..so we did. Inside it looked as if time had stood still.  The wood stanchions were still in place as if they were patiently waiting for those cows to come home for milking time. It looked as if this barn was in use when cows were milked by hand.

IMG_3964 Still Waiting for the Cows to Come Home

There was still some type of gear hanging by a window in the barn. The animals that it was needed for are long gone and the gear itself probably long forgotten by it’s owners.

IMG_3960 Old Gear

For some reason there was a tea cup standing on a shelf. It made me wonder if the farmer brought his tea or coffee out to the barn with him on those cold mornings. It would have been a great way to warm his hands before picking up cold galvanized pails and milking stools.IMG_3965 Cups from the Past

There was still hay up in the haymow. If you shut your eyes you could almost hear the excitement of children as they crawled through that hay in search of a batch of newborn kittens. The faint sound of laughter echoed through the years as those same kids must have swung from the haymow rope, let go and landed in the mounds of new straw.

That barn brought back memories for my husband of growing up and making tunnels with the bales of hay and straw. As an adult the thought of that, kind of makes me cringe and worry about those tunnels collapsing. Children definitely don’t let fear rule their fun!

The barn stood like a testament to perseverance. A silent witness to the changing landscape of farming. I was glad to see it standing as so many barns are being burned, leveled and disappearing from our countryside.

The barn was beautiful in it’s disrepair. It was beautiful with it’s siding turned to gray. It was beautiful just because it was there.  The old barn was a good reminder of grace.

It was good to be reminded that we are beautiful with our imperfections. We are beautiful even though we no longer feel useful. When it comes to grace…….. just being is enough.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV