Wednesday, 12 November 2008
Each life that touches . . .
As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
because He is my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him
in peace to work alone
I hung around and tried to help
with ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How can you be so slow?"
"My child," He said, "What could I do . . .
you never did let go."
I want to thank each of you so very much for your heartfelt prayers and concern. I will keep you all posted as to how things progress with Kayla and the baby. All your words and stories have been very encouraging and I have passed them on to my son and I am sure he will pass them on to Kayla.
I know they are both feeling pretty vulnerable and afraid right now. I was so very lucky when I was pregnant for my five children. I carried them and popped them all out with no worries or concerns. Each one of them was about three weeks early, which is kind of odd I guess, but nevertheless, each was quite healthy. I do not know the fear of how it must feel to be in their position right now, but I know how it feels to be a mother and a grandmother and to feel for your child and their pain and fear. Experience has taught me that all the worry and fear in the world cannot change things, and in fact may even make them worse. So I pray and I hope and I have faith that whatever the outcome, God is in control. I have faith in the power of prayer and whilst we may not always appreciate the answers or even understand them . . . there is a plan. The hardest part of any prayer . . . is letting go . . .
I am touched by your words and your kindnesses and your prayers. I thank you from the very bottom of my heart. They mean the world to me.
Each life that touches ours for good
Reflects thine own great mercy, Lord.
Thou sendest blessings from above
Through words and deeds of those who love.
What greater gift dost thou bestow,
What greater goodness can we know
Than Christ-like friends, whose gentle ways
Strengthen our faith, enrich our days.
~Exerpt from the hymn "Each Life That Touches" by Karen Lyn Davidson
I did another Christmas picture yesterday afternoon that would be lovely on a card. It's that one I told you about before of the little girl and her cat. I call it "A Candycane Christmas." It reminds me of when my children were young. One Christmas Santa had brought them candy canes that were almost as big as they were. Somewhere I have a picture of my Doug chomping down on his with great glee. He always did have a sweet tooth. Pity he's now diabetic. If you would like this card or any of my others please feel free to contact me and ask.
Todd and I had a lovely anniversary dinner last night. I cooked him a Roast Dinner. It's his favourite. We have tried going out before, but the kind of restaurants we can afford to go do largely disappoint when it comes to things like this and so I would really rather stay at home . . . besides at home you get leftovers! I am getting used to a new camera. I think someone may have dropped my old one as when I went to use it on Saturday the battery cover that holds the batteries in it was broken and would not shut properly. It was still on warantee and so we were able to get it replaced with another camera free of charge. Technology changes so quickly these days, the old one was reduntant and so we received a different camera altogether and I am still learning about all it's bells and whistles, so bear with me for a few until I get it all worked out!
*Perfect Roast Beef*
This is more of a technique than it is a recipe. There is a lot more to cooking a roast than just banging into an oven. Whilst it is also very simple to cook, there is a proper way to do it and helps and tips that can produce the perfect roast every time. (if you follow them!) First of all, allow approximately 350g or 12 ounces of meat per portion.
8 to 10 pound wing, rib or strip loin roast of beef
2 TBS prepared English Mustard
1 TBS maple syrup
4 TBS water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS of beef dripping
I think it's best to cook meat always from room temperature so plan ahead and take your meat out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan on cooking it. Pre-heat your oven to 250*C/480*F.
Mix together the water, mustard and maple syrup. Massage this mixture into the meat on all sides. This concoction will help to flavour and colour your meat. (Trust me here.) After you have massaged most of it in, or as much as you can, season your meat liberally all over with the salt and pepper. The fat will largely wash off a large portion of it so more is better. Always season just prior to cooking it as well, to prevent the salt from drawing out the blood and juices.
Heat a heavy based roasting tray over high heat with the dripping inside. (If you have no dripping a knob of butter will do.) Once the fat is hot, lower the beef into it to commence the browning process, lightly browning it on all sides.
Lower the oven temperature to 220*C/425*F. Roast the beef in it for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and baste with the pan juices. Lower the temperature to 180*C/350*F. Return the beef to the oven and roast for a further 15 minutes per pound of beef, plys an extra 15 minutes. The end result will be a perfectly cooked joint, pink in the middle without being overdone.
Once the meat is cooked allow a further 30 minutes resting time in a turned off oven or a warm place.
This resting time is very important. This helps the juices and the temperature of your meat to stabilize and relax, which helps to make the meat much more succulent and easier to carve. When you cut into hot meat alot of the delicious juices escape, and we really don't want that.
I often roast my meat on a bed of root vegetables . . . chunky carrots, parsnips, onions. This helps to raise the meat above the fat in the roasting tin and prevents it from frying instead of roasting, not to mention it gives a lovely flaour to the juices and the gravy!
To make a delicious gravy, add some liquid to the pan, once the meat has been removed and set aside to warm. (leave the vegetables in the pan) Your liquid can be some beef stock, or even a bit of red wine. It's your choice. Cook and stir, scraping up from the bottom to get all your brown bits etc. Strain this into a saucepan, removing all the solids. Skim any fat off of the top. I then shake some flour together with some water in a jar until it's smooth and I strain this back into the pan juices in the saucepan. I then cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Leave to cook over low heat for at least five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place in a gravy boat and pass with the meat.