Saturday, July 03, 2010

29 years ago today ...

Today is the 29th anniversary of my marriage to Debbie. I first published this article over five years ago, shortly after I heard David Posey's Sunday sermon on 1 Peter 3:7.

I’d been cooking professionally for around 10 years when Debbie and I were joined in marriage in 1981.

I knew everything there was to know about cooking. Of course I did. After all, I’d fed thousands of sailors during eight and one-half years active duty service.

Deb first made her mother’s iced tea sometime after we had moved into a Bakersfield two-room apartment. Seven Lipton tea bags, a pint of water and a cup of white sugar went in my good Revere Ware saucepan.

Next came the annoying part. She’d boil the tea until it turned to syrup. She’d then strain the syrup and dilute it into a pitcher.

For years, I tried to correct her tea-making ways. After all, I was the expert. You never boil tea. Just ask Mr. Lipton.

I’d turn the burner to low heat, clean the range-top and chip tea candy from my good Revere Ware saucepan.

This might be amusing except for a "minor" verse in Peter’s letter to the pilgrims of the Dispersion. I say minor only because I didn’t hear much about it until recent years -- I didn’t want to hear much about Peter’s command to husbands.

These may be the most important 34 words in the Bible for husbands:
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).
Husbands are to live with their wives. This means you’re to dwell with her in close harmony. To dwell with one's wife "with understanding" means that husbands are to know, to understand, to comprehend their nature, especially as it fits in the marriage relationship.

Learn about your wife, what pleases her and what makes her "tick." And honor your wife by putting her on a pedestal. She’s the love of your life, no one else.

Remember that as Christians, you and your wife are "heirs together." Study together, pray together, worship together.

And husbands, there’s a much more serious side to the equation. Peter says that your prayers before God will be hindered if you ignore his command. We have a solemn duty to God and to your wife to dwell, understand and honor.

The outcome: I gave up over 10 years ago. Somewhere along the way I realized my life with Debbie transcended Navy-approved culinary techniques. And she makes a great cup of iced tea (this comes from a guy that grew up on unsweetened iced tea).

Oh, I’m drinking a Mason jar of Deb’s iced tea while writing this blog. It’s one of those sweet tea drinks that grows on you.

Give yourself 29 years!

DEB’S ICED TEA

2 cups cold water
1 cup granulated sugar
7 tea bags

Combine ingredients in a one-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. When the tea boils, reduce to a low simmer. Simmer until tea reduces to the desired strength, about 30 to 60 minutes. Tea will have a syrupy consistency at this point. Please be very careful. Hot tea syrup is akin to culinary napalm -- it burns.

Cool; strain syrup into a two-quart beverage container and dilute with cold water. Make sure to gently squeeze the tea bags to get as much tea as possible into the water.

To serve, fill a Mason jar with ice. Pour tea over ice and enjoy. Squeeze fresh lemon into tea and stir, if desired. Store in the refrigeration for 2-3 days. It'll be time to make a fresh batch!

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