Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Mare's Milk, Anyone?

(Emails below have been edited for length and personal content)

After our first visit to the church we currently attend, we set up an appointment with one of the ministers, Pastor Scott, to learn more about it. We enjoyed talking with him but ran out of time to cover everything we wanted to discuss. He asked if we'd email him to schedule another meeting. 

Pastor Scott said he gets around 100 emails a day so we should make our email stand out from the others. Thus, I wrote in the subject line: Alien Monkeys Play Marbles with Dogman in Desert Cave. It worked! Pastor Scott responded right away. We tossed out a few dates and times, but none worked. He finally, graciously, offered to come over to our house...at 6 AM for coffee. 

We wrote back: 

From: nastase
To:  scott
Subject: visit
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 

We're not sure we know you well enough to have you over--we haven't done a background check on you yet--but it's an opportunity to trust God for His protection. July 28 works--that gives us time to clear anything objectionable from the house. We happen to already have an appointment at 6 AM that day (with a Serta mattress), so 2 or 3 PM would work much better.

We don't drink coffee, but we can offer you kumis (fermented mare's milk) or oyster juice with hot sauce (you can supply the vodka if you'd like--we only drink fermented milk, not fermented grain). 

Let us know which time works for you. Or just surprise us. We might sic the dog on you if it's before noon, but that would be a good conversation starter. We're looking forward to it.

God bless you!
Jay and Pamela

From: scott
To: nastase
Subject: Mare's Milk Rocks
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 


Thanks for this informative email...I think I'd like to hire you to take care of all of my correspondence.

Unfortunately, Thurs afternoon from 2-4 has me at a meeting here at the offices. Are you open to doing it a little earlier? HINT: if you can get to bed by 3:30 AM and get 8 hours of sleep, I can be at your house by 12 (after you've showered and brushed your teeth) and stay for one hour.

I was actually joking about coming to your house - however, I'm more-than-happy to do that!!! I do charge double for house calls.

Let me know if noon at your place can work....c'mon - you can do it!


From: nastase
To: scott
Subject: RE: Mare's Milk Rocks
Date: Wed, 20 Jul

Most people don't even know mare's milk has rocks in it! But you're welcome to ours. 

I don't think you were joking about coming over--we inspire fascination. We're used to it. You can come at 11 AM and have lunch with us. How does that sound? Unless, of course, you're scared of what we might serve.  

We know it will cost triple, but we trust it'll be worth it. 

He called and said a lunch meeting would work.  When I asked about the menu, he made the rookie mistake of saying he'd eat or drink anything we served. Well, I expect my pastor to be a man of his word, so surely you see that it was my godly duty to test his integrity. I clearly had no choice in the matter.

I heated some milk on the stove, crumbled Gorgonzola in it, and added one drop of green food coloring--just enough to turn the milk a sickly gray color. Then I poured it into a wooden pen holder with Korean writing on it because, to the uninformed, it looked kind of like a ceremonial cup,

Jay forgot to buy Gorgonzola cheese, so I used mayo and basil in this pictorial recreation.
The drink looked much worse when I made it for our poor pastor.
When Pastor Scott arrived, I said, "We're thrilled that you're willing to try unusual food and drink. Even kumis! Most people are leery of fermented mare's milk."

He laughed and said, "If you serve it, I'll drink it!"
I resisted rubbing my hands together while saying maliciously, "Oh, reeeeeally?" Instead, with an innocent expression, I brought out the wooden mug. The Gorgonzola cheese floated like curds, and Pastor Scott turned almost as gray-green as the milk. "Is this really fermented mare's milk?"

I wasn't going to lie, so I ignored his question and gushed, "I do hope you enjoy this drink that I made especially for you."

"Do you really want me to drink this?" he asked, with a nervous chuckle.

Jay shook his head violently behind my back. I threw a glare at Jay over my shoulder, and then answered, sweetly, "Well, you said you'd eat or drink anything, didn't you?"

"Don't drink it," Jay advised. 

It was then I realized that I hadn't washed out the pen holder, but I was already committed. I threw another ineffective glare in Jay's direction, and then smiled brightly as I handed Pastor Scott the unsightly concoction and said, "Of course, he's going to drink it! He's a man of his word."

God bless him, Pastor Scott gamely took a sip. A real sip--because I was watching to see if he'd try to fake it. Then I whisked the cup away and assured him that it was only cow's milk with bits of cheese (OK, and maybe a little residual ink from uncapped pens). That's when he told us a story about his baby finding an old bottle of curdled milk under the seat in the car, drinking it, and then spewing the contents everywhere. 

Which means that the one thing in the world that violently turns Pastor Scott's stomach is the smell of warmed milk.  

Now that is a man committed to integrity.

Verse of the day: (Deut 23:23) "Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do..." Even if it means choking down "fermented mare's milk."

To read how I pranked one of Jay's firefighters, click here

UPDATE: I now actually know how to make fermented mare's milk! I'm serious! I took a class. To read about that experience, click here.


  1. You are cruel, Pamela...cruel!

  2. Aren't we supposed to encourage integrity among our leaders? I should be APPLAUDED for this!

    I really wish he'd told me about his aversion to warmed milk before he sipped it--I would have thrown it out immediately. I still feel a bit bad about that, but I had NO idea.

  3. I know - you were just trying to give him an interesting object lesson - right?

  4. Pamela, you actually make me look forward to Wednesdays.

    1. Thanks, Rick! In a few weeks, I'm going to post something I did to the firemen at Jay's station. Now that I'm reading the stories, I realize how awful I am--no wonder Pastor Scott thought I desperately needed to be in church!

  5. Scott is such a good sport...haha! Great post Pamela!

    1. Isn't he, though? I LOVED that he took a sip. Although, had he told me his story first, I wouldn't have let him try it. I had NO idea about his milk aversion. I would have served oyster juice instead.

  6. And they let you back into their church ????

    1. He figured, "If ANYONE needs guidance, it's this creature. We'd better drag her into church every time the doors are open!"

    2. Did Pastor Scott have hair before the visit?

    3. Hmm, our last pastor was also hair-challenged. But I'm sure that's just a coincidence and has nothing to do with me joining their churches. Nothing at all...

  7. Hilarious story! A cup with a foreign language printed on it would've scared the mess out of me too! (I would think it's a prop for black magic or something...)I think the pastor also learned that praying before meals is always worth it! (Especially at your house...Looks bad, but tastes good!) :)

    1. What does that mug say on it, anyway? I've always wondered.

    2. The korean words on the mug say something about how love is patient. Kind of ironic... I guess trying to test pastors by making pseudo-kumis is a speical type of love???

    3. Seungmin, the cup says "Love is patient"? That is HILARIOUS! And so appropriate. I must have a special instinct, a God-given talent, if you will, for this.