Category Archives: writing

Tea Tales: Apple Lime Sweet Tea

In 2010, I went on a short-term mission trip to Costa Rica. The main part of the trip was spent helping build a new church and medical clinic, along with leading VBS at several surrounding churches. The last couple days were spent at a new location and were meant to be a chance to experience more of the country, rest, and reflect on the previous days before heading home.

The second location was a hotel with a breathtaking view of Arenal Volcano, and we’d been told by the previous year’s team to be sure and order their “sweet tea” at dinner because it was not what you would expect as someone from the southern US, where we’re know for our cold, sugary, simple tea.

Drinks were brought out to the table, most in normal glasses. But the sweet tea was served in wine glasses with paper lime and apple decorations stuck on the side and straw. We reconfirmed several times that “No, it’s not alcoholic.” Just sweet tea.

Very intense presentation, very yummy and refreshing.

We tried to decipher the ingredients and make our own version when we got back home.

For apple juice, I recommend the Simply Apple brand, as it is a pure-pressed apple juice with no added sugar, that is closer to a cider texture and taste-wise.

For tea, use any black leaf tea.

These ingredient measurements are for a single serving, but you could, of course, increase them for a full pitcher.

Tea Tales: Warm Tea In The Fridge

teatales1warmteainthefridge

For most people in the south, tea means an ice cold cup of sweet tea (black tea with lots of sugar). Growing up, that’s all we drank. No herbal teas or green teas. Nothing “fancy.”

My mom and I were a little different than most around us, though. Not that we don’t love a glass of cold sweet tea, but there was a treat we both shared a love for.

When the tea had finished steeping on the stove, Mom would pour it into a pitcher over a few scoops of sugar, add in a little more water, then stir. Once it was ready she’d put the pitcher in the fridge to cool. She’d come find me, and like a shared secret, let me know, “I just finished making tea. It’s in the fridge, so go get some now if you want it still warm.”

I’d pour some into a jelly jar glass and cup my hands around it to feel the warmth. Hold it below my nose for a bit and let the steam clear out any congestion. Then sip it slowly. I’m pretty sure I remember a few people turning their noses up at us from time to time, like, “Who drinks warm sweet tea?!” Those comments seem so silly now.

As I got older, Mom and I began to delve into the world of herbal teas. Fruit teas became a favorite, and mint. But I still love a good cup of warm black tea, sometimes with a bit of lemon juice added and mostly with honey instead of sugar. A classic a bit refined, but with humble, sweet beginnings.

for friends fighting hard battles

08-14-2016

for friends fighting hard battles

“be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”

I wish I could give your heart peace.
I wish I could say or do something to make it better.
But I can only offer that I’m here – though I
 am a bitter, selfish, prideful person, I will try my
 best to be here for you – and I can carry your burdens with you.

Don’t keep it in, don’t feel like you can’t share. If
you open up and I ignore, forget, don’t understand
 the depth of your struggles, am not there in the
 ways you need, then the fault is with me, not
you, the things you’re going through, or the way
you’re feeling.

And if you want, if you don’t mind, let me make
an attempt, however imperfect or unpoetic, however
honest and real on my part, to tell you of the
One I believe CAN give your heart peace. Who
 can do something to make it better.

 Who carried your burdens long ago.
 

I am trying to remember this message, too, dear friend.
I am feeble, fickle, weak, and small. As I said, I am
a bitter, selfish person. I am full of fear, a worrier.

 Let us walk together toward Him, learn to lay
 our burdens down and sit at His feet.

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