Friday, 26 September 2008

It's only a minute a day . . .

"Kindness is like fresh-fallen snow; it makes beautiful everything that it covers."

I was at the shops the other day doing my weekly shop. The weather this summer and autumn has been so dreary and dismal. It really can get you down at times, and I was feeling a bit blue, as you sometimes do. I was pushing my cart up and down the aisles, lost in thought, when all of a sudden I ran into an acquaintance who immediately greeted me with the cheery words, "Hello Marie!!! I was just thinking about you this morning!" All of a sudden, my mood lifted and things didn't seen so blue anymore. In fact, my day acquired somewhat of a rosy glow about it. Imagine . . . someone had been thinking about . . . me!

It made me stop and think . . . wouldn't it be nice if we, each one of us, could all stop for just one minute once a day and think about someone else other than ourselves???

Only one minute . . . not long . . . it wouldn't take much, and actually it doesn't sound like much . . . but, I bet if we all did this, each day, something great would be achieved. Afterall, we've all been given so many minutes each day . . . surely we can find one single minute to be quiet and think quiet peaceful and loving thoughts of others, perhaps even a tiny little prayer. What do you all think? Can we do it?

I managed to get another painting done yesterday, from a sketch that I had done quite a few months ago. She's a little girl all dressed up as an Angel for her Christmas concert. I can remember when my oldest boy was quite small and had started school They used to have a Christmas concert every year and they actually called it that. There was always a nativity at the end. What a change when my youngest lad started school. There's fourteen years difference in their ages and what had always been a Christmas Concert had morphed into a Winter Festival incorporating Kwanzai and Duwali and whatever else winter celebration that exists and not a mention was made of Christ or the reason Christmas actually truly exists . . . there was plenty of Santa and Frosty though!

I may get on tommorrow morning, or I may not. I have to be at my chapel with a cooked breakfast ready by 6 a.m.! I know, it's crazy! The young people of my church are going on an overnight hike which will take them quite aways, and then back to the chapel at that time. I had a choice . . . I could go hiking all night, or I could cook breakfast! I think I got the better end of that deal!

Cauliflower was on for a good price this past week so I picked up a couple of them. I just love cauliflower. It's one of my absolute favourite vegetables, next to the potato. I made Todd and myself a lovely Cauliflower cheese soup yesterday for our lunch. It was delicious and I am really looking foward to the leftovers today!

*Cauliflower Cheese Soup*
Serves 6 healthy appetites

This does make a lot but it freezes quite well, as long as you freeze it before you add the cheese. You can then take it out of the freezer, thaw it out, reheat it and once it's been heated add the cheese then. I like to freeze it in individual quantities. Then I can just take out as much as I need at any one given time. I love Cauliflower cheese. It can be a bit of a faff to make sometimes. This gives you that lovely taste with only half the effort!

a knob of butter
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 large potato, peeled and cut into chunks
about 3 cups of vegetable stock
(I use marigold vegetable stock boullion powder)
1 3/4 cups milk
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
75g of mature cheddar cheese, grated
25 g of mature cheddar cheese, cut or broken into small chunks

Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, without browning, for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the cauliflower, potato, stock, milk and seasoning to taste. Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes, just until the cauliflower is soft and the potato ready to collapse.

Whiz in a food processor, or crush with a potato masher, or, if you are lucky like me, blitz with a stick blender until you get a creamy and thick soup. If it is too thick, add a bit more milk to bring it up to the right consistency. (If you are going to freeze any, take it out now) Warm it through again until quite hot and then stir in the grated cheese, stirring it until it melts.

Serve hot in mugs or bowls, with the cheddar cheese pieces sprinkled on top as a garnish. These can then be stirred through before eating. Delicious!


  1. I love to take time to remember others. It is definitely a good part of the day. I wish I did it more often. I have good intentions, then get busy. I will have to give it a better try. I know who is truly getting the best end of the deal of you cooking....the youth and their leaders who will return to your wonderful culinary gifts!

  2. Sheryl is right...they are lucky to have you cooking for them.

    How did your seminary lesson go tonight? I know that you did a great job.

    We had another wonderful temple day. We just got home and it is it was a long night for us and we are really tired. I need to get to bed but I just wanted to say good morning to you.

    By the way, I think of you much more than a min. a day....can't you feel all of those cyber hugs I'm sending you?

    Have a good day and don't work too hard making the breakfast for the YM. They will like anything.

    I love your new painting.... and I love you too.... Lura

  3. That soup looks gorgeous!
    I like your painting much talent.

  4. I'm loving that soup Marie!

  5. One minute...a minute can change a whole day, a life! Such a lovely, thoughtful post...LOVE the little angel, she is so sweet! You are a gifted painter/illustrator.So glad you've had time to paint during your days off. And this soup is calling my name...mmm...just the thing for an autumn day! Hope you & Todd have a lovely weekend, Marie! With the family party and all this weekend, I may not get here until Monday. Love & ((BIG HUGS))

  6. I agree, Marie, if everyone only took a minute . . . or perhaps 2 or 3 to think about someone else every day, what a better world we would have. Soup looks wonderful - I love cauliflower! Much love, Raquel XO

  7. catering equipment26 September 2008 at 13:34

    Sounds fantastic. Loving the upcoming soup weather.

  8. Dear Marie, I think all days in you dear, when I dont coming I think, OMG I have to go where Marie (because I love to come) Beatiful paintings I love this Angel!!
    I like so cauliflowers! xxx Gloria
    Have a lovely day!!Gloria

  9. I went to a tiny private school until second grade (there were seven kids in my class). We had a wonderful Christmas play telling the story of Mary and Joesph's journey and a big nativity scene. I was a lightening bug for the number where we sang, "This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine." They'd flip off all the lights and let everyone wave their flashlights everywhere.

    Of course, I was thrilled.

    How's your holiday going? Are you having a fun time? I love your angel painting. I want to make stockings for Ben and I and the Babies this year, so I'm already in the mood for Christmas! :)

  10. what a great goal! i need to do that too-make sure i take a minute to do something kind for someone else each day. i do think i do pretty "kind" things for my kids all day long- make their food, clothe them, play with them:) but i need to step a little bit outside my box and do something for someone else out there too!

    also, that painting is so lovely!

  11. Yum, this soup looks great and combines two yummy things that go so well together! I love your beautiful pics of flowers!

  12. CAuliflower is my favorite also. This soup looks delish. I will have to add to my blogger recipe collection.

    We still have Christmas concerts here, and they don't call them anything else. Fantastic, that!

    I am thinking of you now and several other blogger 'friends'. Works wonders.

  13. Your flower pictures are just lovely! And you are correct; it feels wonderful to discover that someone was thinking of you!

    And let me be the next to compliment you on your angel painting!

  14. Love your painting, soup, story. Wouldn't your painting make the deares Christmas card? What lucky hikers. I'd hike all night if you would make me breakfast. Where is Oak Cottage exactly? You know I'm coming through London in a few weeks. I don't know how close you are, and I won't be there long. But if you are close, I'd sure love to meet you!

  15. HI Sweet Marie
    I agree that it takes so little time to make someone's day brighter or even our own.
    Just think If EVERy person would do that even once a day what a different world we would live in!
    I love your angel painting--she is sooo sweet and I agree you should make printed christmas cards from it.
    you are such a gift to the youth in your church thank u


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