Monday, 13 October 2008

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, OCTOBER 13, 2008 . . .

Outside My Window . . .
All is still, the stars are twinkling. As I put Jess out a few moments ago through the light of the back porch I could see the gossamer threads of spiders webs stretching across the drive from the house to the hedge across the way and I was filled with wonder. However do they do that? It's amazing to me.

I am thinking . . .
About my good friend Audrey. She had a stroke last week and although the prognosis was good as she did not lose any of her speech, I am concerned. I say a little prayer for her. I always do that when someones name pops into my head. I figure it's a prompt from the Holy Spirit and I follow it. Rest assured that whenever I think of you . . . I say a little prayer for you too.

I am thankful for . . .
Having been able to get together with all my Relief Society sisters this past Saturday at our Stake Centre, and listen to the General Relief Society Broadcast. It was so good to see some familiar faces I had not seen in a while, and to hear the wonderful talks that had been prepared for us. There was a lovely meal prepared and good companionship. All in all, it was a great day and I am so grateful that I belong to a church that has such a wonderful women's program and for all my church sisters, whom I love so very much.

From the kitchen . . .
I look over at the counter and there is a big pile of cookie crumbs sitting there waiting to be put out for the birds. It doesn't happen very often but I had a huge failure yesterday and so the birds will be the lucky recipients of the results. Never mind . . . today's another day. This is Thanksgiving weekend back home and all of my family probably sat down to Turkey dinners yesterday or will be today and I remember all the turkey dinners my mother prepared for us when we were growing up and all the turkey dinners I prepared for my own family and my heart wishes I had a turkey sitting on the counter, just waiting for me to pop it into the oven and I long to see their happy faces sitting around my table in anticipation . . .

I am wearing . . .
umm . . . err . . . pajamas. :-) Pretty pink and yellow ones with sheep printed all over them and my croc sandles, which I wear as slippers. Did you know more accidents in the home are caused from wearing slippers??? I learned this fact last week. Our ironing lady at work fell over in her garden because she was wearing her slippers. She's 83 and that could have been quite serious. Thankfully she wasn't hurt too badly, just a few scrapes and such. It could have been much worse.

I am creating . . .
Ohh . . . wouldn't you like to know. I am doing things for Christmas right now, and if I told you, I'd spoil all your surprises! Late yesterday afternoon though, I did finish off those press packs so I can get them into the post and I got a print ready for mailing out today. I have to tell you that I have priced my cookbook and with colour photos of some of the recipes (I have about 34) means that it will cost around $78 to buy. That's outrageous, so I am going to have to rethink it a bit. I know that I could not afford to pay that for a cookbook and neither can most of you . . .

I am going . . .
To the shops later this morning. Last week I got a really good bargain. A bag containing a lovely cauliflower, a bag of potatoes, a bag of carrots, some leeks, a bag of parsnips and a cabbage for only £4. I was so amazed! They were all best quality too. Most times you can pay more than a pound for any one of those or close to it, so it was a real bargain! You don't find too many of those these days and so I snapped it up!

I am reading . . .
"Things I Want My Daughters To Know," by Elizabeth Noble. It's about a mother's final farewell to her daughters. It's witty and charming and more than a little tear jerking . . . I'm also reading Philippa Gregory. Yes, I am one of those annoying people who are always reading two or more novels at once . . .

I am hoping . . .
That we get to see more of the sunshine this week. I love sunny autumn days. Yesterday when we got home from church I stood in the drive for a few minutes and just breathed in the air. The sun was shining and I could smell all those autumn smells . . . leaves, burning wood, ripening apples . . . it was fresh and it was good and it was lovely.

I am hearing . . .
We are in the flight path of Gatwick airport and every once in a while the silence is broken by the sound of an aircraft coming in for a landing. I have heard two already this morning. Whenever I see an airplane I wonder about the people that are on it. Are they heading into new beginnings? Will they be met by loved ones? Are they happy? Are they sad?

Around the house . . .
I look over at Todd's arm chair. The little table by the side of it has some much loved reading material waiting for him to sit down later today and partake of it. I love that my husband loves the scriptures as much as I do and that we can talk about them together. I never had that before and I feel so very blessed that this time I do. A person's faith is such a big part of who they are and to be able to share that with the person you have chosen to share your life with, well . . . that's just the icing on the cake!

One of my favorite things . . .
Is the little stand we have over in the corner. There are three shelves on it. On the bottom one we have our stereo and some cd's. The top two shelves are full of family pictures . . . there are each of my children's wedding photos and then pictures of the grandsons. My youngest son's high school portrait is there as well as some pictures of my mom and dad. They are lovely reminders of all those that I love, that I can't be with for whatever reasons right now, and help me to feel closer to them.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week . . .
I have scriptures to study and a Seminary lesson to prepare. On Friday I am doing a luncheon at work so I have that to plan and prepare for as well. Then there is Seminary and Mutual activities on Thursday evening, not to mention all the other little bits and bobs I get up to during the week! Is it only me, or does there not seem to be enough hours in the day??? Time seems to fly past ever so quickly and before you know it . . . it's Monday again!

Here is picture thought I am sharing . . .

The fields around the orchards that surround us are full of the seed pods of wild flowers. All that promise waiting to fly and find new homes. The magic of nature is so wonderful and so amazing to me. I never tire of it . . .

Make sure you visit Peggy's page, The Simple Woman, where you will find all the other day book entries for today. I always enjoy reading as many of them as I can!

Here's a great meal that I often make when we have bits of leftover chicken or pork that I want to get used up. You can eat this all by itself as a main course if you wish, or you can add a stir fry and use it as a side dish. It's up to you!

*Marie's Special Fried Rice*
Serves 4

This is a recipe I got from my ex mother in law. Originally it called for Minute Rice, which is a de-hydrated rice product you can buy in North America. Of course it’s not available here so I have adapted it to use rice you can get here. It was a rather plain recipe when she gave it to me, although very tasty….but not being able to leave well enough along I added my own twists to it. It really is delicious. We could eat just a big plate of this for supper without anything else! It should be called everything but the kitchen sink fried rice!

¼ cup finely chopped peeled rutabaga
¼ cup finely chopped peeled carrot
¼ cup finely shredded green cabbage
1 small onion peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic peeled and minced
1 cup American long grain rice
1 TBS oil
¼ tsp five spice powder
1 heaping TBS of hoisin sauce
¼ cup Dark soy sauce
1 ¾ cup hot water
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 large eggs, beaten
½ cup frozen petit pois, unthawed

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the raw vegetables and garlic, and sauté in the hot oil until they are slightly softened and beginning to brown on the edges. Add the rice and continue to cook and stir until the rice begins to brown slightly. Stir in the hoisin sauce and the five spice powder. Mix the soy sauce and water together and pour over all. Turn heat down and cover and let cook for about 15 minutes or so until the liquid is absorbed and rice is done. Stir in the chicken and frozen peas and let sit until the peas are thawed and all is warmed through. In the meantime scramble the beaten eggs in a non-stick skillet you have sprayed with oil spray. Break up and stir into the finished rice. Serve.

*Note. You can add whichever vegetables you want to use. These are just the ones I like to use. You can also used leftover cooked pork roast or even small cooked shrimps. Sometimes I chop a few pieces of bacon and cook them along with the vegetables for extra flavour.


  1. Ooooh I'm first! I like to be reading several books at a time too! Have a great day!

  2. I really enjoy reading your entries Marie, even if I don't always comment :-x You can feel the peace that you have in your life ~ your quiet happiness and sometimes giddy gives me hope knowing there are people out there in the world like you. Blessings* Teresa

  3. I love Mondays Marie with all you make. I wake this morning a little tired, things you know, the weekedn we had the hour change so we sleep 1 hour less, yesterday I saw my Dad that is a little sick and Mom is so tired (she has 78) and and at night hubby was worked late because have so many proyects.
    Anyway Im here with a cup of coffe and read your thoughts make me so good dear.
    Lovely about your cook book I want to buy is a book I want to have for you and becasue I really love your recipes, Thios rice you make now is wonderful to the childs is the type of rice they Like, Thanks, This week God blessing you and thanks for all dear, Gloria
    (Im reading two books too) (always make the same) Huggs to you and our Todd. Gloria

  4. A nice part of starting a new week is reading your Simple Womans's Day book. As I read I can just picture everything you write about... I feel like I am almost there with you.

    My tummy is not behaving today. I hope that I can convince it to be good. If not I may not have a very productive day....of course Austin won't mind. He is perfectly happy to have me sitting around all day watching Thomas the Tank engine with I guess if my tummy doesn't cooperate with me the house work will wait....and Austin will be pleased.

    I was too tired to wait up for your post last night.... I like to do that so I can greet you at the beginning of your day. If I wait like this, until I get up in the morning, I know you are well into your day and don't know I am greeting you.... oh well....even if I am not up to greet you early each morn....Know that you are in my thoughts with love throughout each day.

    I hope that your friend Audrey is recovering well.

    I send love as always. Your friend, Lura

  5. Let me know if you need help with your cookbook! And happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Loved your daybook as always :)

    The fried rice looks so good and it's one of my favorite meals.

    Have a wonderful day Marie.

  7. My hubby, Russell called from work,and said he would like to come home and make some shrimp fried rice one evening last week. It was wonderful to eat, and wonderful to have him cook. He is actually a more adventurous cook than I, adding this and that to add a little flavor. Hence, my boys are all good cooks, and the 3 that are married, their wives love it too.

  8. i wish i was more like you marie. you are so aware of your surroundings and take the time to look around and enjoy the beauty around you. i love that about you!

  9. lovely posts Marie - as usual! I love reading your blog. I am just now catching up on things. Much love, Raquel XO

  10. That fried rice looks good! Fried rice is a tried and true standby. I like how you can add pretty much anything to fried rice.


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