Tag Archives: pie

Let’s Get Nordic

“Pastors have to wear a lot of different hats.”

People say that sometimes. (Not just about pastors, of course.)

Well, today, this pastor is wearing an actual hat. And it is a little different:


Today is the 46th Annual Nordic Bazaar at First Lutheran. That means that all those pies and all that lefse will be sold (pretty quickly–so if you’re in the area, hurry over now!).

It means that lady pastors will join many other women in wearing little red hats, and man pastors will join some other men in wearing red cumberbunds and bow ties.   Continue reading


Filed under Ministry Matters, Thankful Hearts

Blessed Are the Pie Makers

pie oven.jpg

You’re darn right there are six pies in that oven.

“If I put it in the freezer, how long will it last?” I asked.

The answer was simple and immediate: “Forever.”

Now, I admit: I have not tested the truth of this claim, because, pro tip, what kind of person leaves an apple pie in the freezer forever? But when I was cleaning out our freezer a few weeks ago, it turned out that one of the apple pies I bought at the church bazaar last year was still there.

This shocked me. (Pro Tip: Not the part where my freezer went untold months without a good clean out; the part where I failed to eat a pie.) And when I took that pie out of the oven and warmed it up, the pie maker who sold it to me was right: it was still perfect.

pie butter

After the lefse makers do their thing, the pie makers take their turn.  They peel and they slice and they mix and they roll and they bake. They pile on the butter and they sprinkle the cinnamon and they make the whole place smell like heaven. The first morning alone, they turned out 58 perfect pies.

They didn’t know, that first morning, whether they would have apples for the next day. (Pro Tip: Apples do grow on trees, but it’s only the end of August.) Every year, the pie makers wonder and  wait. And every year, produce suppliers and orchards and backyard trees provide.

Blessed are the pie makers, for they will be called providers of sweetness. Givers of deliciousness. Bringers of joy.

pie yum

What’s your favorite kind of pie?

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Filed under Taste and See, Thankful Hearts

How to Recognize Summer in Rural Minnesota

1. Mosquitoes the size of Buicks roam freely.

2. Wal-Mart is sold out of the Benadryl Itch Relief Stick, the only product your daughter will accept to soothe her golf-ball-sized mosquito bites.

3. Instead, soothe that mosquito-inflicted pain at any number of Pie and Ice Cream Socials.

4. Because you were outside in the evening eating pie and ice cream, return to step one.  Repeat as needed until the crickets sing and fall arrives.

How do you know it’s summer where you are?

Teenage Worker Detasseling Corn in a Field During the Summer near New Ulm, Minnesota...


Filed under Marvelous Miscellany, Minnesota Nice

Minor Milestones: a Little Bit of This, a Little Bit of That

Zoe’s first Pie in the Park (also with Wally Pikal) in 2010.

Here is one of the top five Best Things About Living in Litchfield:

Pie in the Park.

On Thursday nights in the summertime, different groups serve supper (brats and hot dogs, burgers, sloppy Joes) and pie and ice cream in the park downtown.  (Pro Tip: If you are laughing at the idea of “downtown Litchfield”, ask yourself: would you be laughing more or less if I had told you that the park is called Central Park?)

Each week, a different musical group performs.  People bring lawn chairs or blankets.  Kids run around.  It is a little bit of small town heaven.

This week, the twelve candidates for Litchfield Princess introduced themselves.  Wally Pikal and his polka band played The Chicken Dance, and the princess candidates went into the crowd to find kids to join them in the dance.  (Pro Tip: This happens every year.)

You know where this is going, right?  One of the two current princesses made a beeline for Zoe.  “Do you know how to do the chicken dance?” she asked.

Well, no.  Zoe did not know how, but she was delighted to give it a try.  She started to get the hang of it by the end.

As Mike and I sat in our lawn chairs watching our baby almost-three-year-old do a circle dance at Pie in the Park, I turned to him and said, “This is a milestone.”

And probably he was humoring me, but he agreed.

What are the minor milestones you remember from your own childhood, or from the lives of your children / grandchildren / nieces / nephews / whoever?


Filed under Minnesota Nice, Your Moment of Zoe

Don’t Be a Hater

I love this image (via http://tryhandmade.com/give-thanks/)!

It’s that time of year!

That’s right: time for Thanksgiving Eve worship (and, more importantly, the pie that follows).  In my sermon preparation for this Wednesday night, I came upon this quote from Preaching Through the Christian Year: Year A.  This is a handy preaching resource.  You should totally pick it up!  Or, you know, pick up the Year B edition, since we are almost there.

But anyway.  Here is what Craddock, Hayes, Holladay, and Tucker have to say about the Epistle reading for Thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 9:6-15):

“For Paul, the sure mark of being pagan is the inability, or refusal, to give thanks.  Those incapable of thanksgiving are those who have exchanged the creature for the Creator, and in doing so have forfeited ‘the truth about God’ (Rom. 1:25).  By contrast, the capacity to give thanks becomes the earmark of true faith, for it recognizes who is creature and who is creator.”

Recognize who is creature and who is creator.  This is one of those things that sounds easy but is actually hard.  It’s hard to thank God, because thanking God means acknowledging that our blessings come not from our own work, but from God’s grace.

This week, as we set our Thanksgiving tables, make our Black Friday battle plans, and gather with family and friends, let’s recognize that it was not us who made all this possible, but God.  Let’s thank God, who made us, who loves us, who sets us free.

And then, let’s eat too much pie, just like God created us to do.

Update: Sometimes I get carried away by striking rhetoric, and offend people I do not mean to offend (not that I generally go around trying to offend anyone, of course).  And, truly, I do not mean to offend or be disrespectful to actual Pagans, or people of other faiths, who certainly have their own rich traditions rooted in a sense of gratitude for and awareness of the gift of life.  As one of my friends pointed out, many Christian celebrations are rooted in these very Pagan traditions.  So, truly, I apologize.  

The great thing about Thanksgiving–or at least, my ideal vision of Thanksgiving–is that there is room at the table for all of us.  

And, by the by, here is a vision of that ideal Thanksgiving, courtesy of Harold and the Purple Crayon:

image via collagemama.com

 Thanks be to pie.  

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Filed under Ministry Matters, Thankful Hearts