Monday, 17 November 2008

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, November 17, 2008 ...

Outside My Window...

The sky is crystal clear. I can see the moon shining through the tops of the trees. It reminds me of when I was a young girl and we were living in a small town on the banks of Lake Winnipeg. The nighttime sky would be cool and clear and the stars would shine so brightly. I could name all the constellations back then. I probably couldn't name you any of them except for the major ones now. The knowledge is probably stuck there somewhere in my brain but has been hidden for far too long to be got at easily!

I am thinking...
About when I was a child and the things I used to dream of being when I grew up. I wanted to be a mom and a wife and have a home and I also wanted to be an artist and writer. I figured you could do all of those things together. I can remember trying to write my first novel when I was around 8 or 9. I borrowed a friends typewriter. It was one of those little plastic things with a dial knob on the front where you dialed up the letter you wanted to use and then punched it in. It was very laborious . . . I don't know that I got more than a few pages done and those took a long time. I had to give the typewriter back. I really would have loved to have one of my own. I did write little plays longhand as well. A few friends and I used to put them on in Janice Crowston's garage . . . our curtain an old blanket hung over a skipping rope across the width of the garage . . . our seating, old plastic lawn chairs. Oh what fun we had! I was always drawing and colouring as well. I had a vast collection of paper dolls and the outfits they came with were never good enough. I always had to make them new ones. Oh what fun I had!

I am thankful for...
I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who is always mindful of me and who takes care of me and my loved ones so very wonderfully. I had a short message from my son last night to say that they had a few scary moments on Saturday when Kayla experienced some contractions, but they were able to stop them and she remains resting quietly at this point. They must be so frightened and worried. As a parent I just want to hold them in my arms and tell them everything will be ok, and I want everything to be ok. Life has a way of just happening and what will be will be. In the meantime we just wait and try to squeeze as much joy out of each day that we can. I am so thankful for having the Gospel in my life and the understanding that it brings to me, the joy and the peace . . .

From the kitchen...
Yesterday morning I made a wonderful Lamb Tagine with Prunes and stuck it in the slow cooker. I turned the knob to high and went upstairs to get dressed for church. I turned it back to low just before we went out the door, or at least I thought I had! W-r-o-n-g! When we arrived back home in mid afternoon there was no lovely smell to greet us when we came through the door . . . just a lonely dog wagging her tail! Yes . . . I had actually turned it off. blah . . . we had some sandwiches instead and I stuck the tagine into the oven so that we could have it later on . . .

I am wearing...
what else but my pink pajamas! I wish I could wear them all day, every day. Pajamas are so comfy! Maybe I should start a new fad at work . . . pajama day Mondays. What do you think?

I am creating...
I have a stack of cards sitting on my table to be posted out today to my lovely friend Duckie. Now that my kitchen is all finished for the most part I hope to be able to paint a few more pictures this week. I have to clean up my mess in the spare bedroom as well. I think I am going to use that for my art room, when nobody is visiting us. I had Todd put my sewing machine away at the weekend. I use it so seldom these days, and it is just taking up space on the table in there. I'll move all my paints and doodads into there and it can become my studio! I love that idea!

I am going...
Not a lot of plans this week to go anywhere, except to work and to the usual Thursday night Seminary and Mutual activities. We are having a literature appreciation night at Young Women's Mutual this week. We've told the girls to bring in their favourite books and be prepared to share a little something about them and why they enjoy them. It should be fun!

I am reading...
Speaking of books . . . "The Almost Moon" by Alice Sebold. I am about halfway through the book. There is some bad language in there and I am having to skip over that. Not that I am a goodie two shoes or anything but I just don't like it. I find it really offensive and don't know why it has to be there. You wouldn't have seen it in most books 20 or 30 years ago. Am I just old fashioned? It's like the "F" word has become everyday and commonplace. I really don't like it anymore than I like to hear the Lord's name taken in vain, which is quite commonplace as well . . . sigh . . . My ex brother in law used to do that a lot, and yet he claimed to be an atheist. One day I said to him, boy oh boy, for a person who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ you sure like to throw His name around a lot . . .

I am hoping...
That I hear something from the card company soon. It's been two weeks. I know they must get lots of art sent to them, so no news is probably good news, but I can't help wondering. It's a human condition . . . this lack of patience . . . and something I continuously have to work at!!! Be still and know that I am God . . . I'm-a-tryin!!!

I am hearing...
the hum of the electric fire and the clock ticking on the wall. I love these quiet hours first thing in the morning. It is still quite dark and so the birds haven't started their morning chorus yet, and Jess is resting quietly here by my feet. She was snoring quite a bit a few minutes ago, but that has stopped . . . for now anyways . . . I expect it will start off again soon. It's quite a comforting sound . . . the sound of a snoring dog.

Around the house...
I am still loving my kitchen so very much. It's actually stayed neat and tidy all weekend! Ok, so there is a bit of my card mess on the table, but I'm going to put that away today, I promise! I notice that Todd has his running shoes laying on top of the radiator trying to dry them out. He put them through the washing machine yesterday. What a racket they made! They came out nice and clean though! I think I remember seeing something back home that was a rack you put inside the washer to keep your shoes and such from making so much noise when you washed them, or was that for in the drier?

One of my favorite things...
Is cooking and eating. Sometimes I wish it wasn't. Especially when I look in the mirror, and see all those extra pounds. My gran was a large woman, as was my Aunt Freda. My dad struggles with his weight as does my son Doug. I know it's unhealthy and that I shouldn't be so weak and my intentions always start off good each day . . . but then . . . you know how it goes. I will have to bake cookies up at work, or a cake . . . my husband needs to be fed and he hates salad . . . a little taste here, a little taste there. It's hard to diet when you work with food. I wonder about all these skinny chef's . . . how do they do it?

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
To try to make some headway in the spare bedroom and to get a few paintings painted. I have them all sketched onto my watercolour paper, just sitting there waiting for me to ink them in and start painting away. I can't wait! I have a stack of Christmas presents that I need to be wrapping so that I can send them over to Canada as well. If I don't do it this week, it will soon be too late! (we can't have that!!!)

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is a picture of me that I just love. It was taken with that celebrity chef, Jean Christophe Novelli a couple of years ago at the BBC Good Food Show in London. I look pretty happy don't I? I was! He is so incredibly handsome and he kissed me on the cheek. I remember texting Todd afterwards . . . "I just got snogged by Jean Christophe Novelli." He texted me back . . . "You're dead." and I texted him back . . . "I know, coz I'm in heaven!" haha Happy days!

I made some of my mother's baking powder biscuits yesterday, just for a treat. This is the best recipe ever and makes the fluffiest most delicious biscuits every time. I think people would be most disappointed if they came over for supper now and I didn't have a basket of these waiting on the table for them to dig in to. Fresh out of the oven and slathered in cold butter, these are heaven on earth . . . the butter melting into the crumb . . . mmm . . . mmm . . . good.

*Mom’s Baking Powder Biscuits*
Makes 3 dozen

These biscuits are legendary! Crisp and brown on the outside with a soft tender crumb interior they made every meal special! Delicious split and spread with cold butter and honey. Leftovers are good warmed up and served with breakfast the next morning. The dough might seem a bit sticky, but don't worry about that. Just pat them out on a well floured counter top and cut them out with a well floured cutter.

4 cups flour
8 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco, Trex or White Flora)
2 TBS sugar
2 beaten eggs
1 ½ cups milk

Sift together into a large bowl the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut the shortening into the flour with two round bladed knives, or a pastry blender, until mixtures resembles small peas.

Mix together in a measuring jug the milk and eggs.

Make a well in the middle of the crumb mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly, then turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly about 12 times until smooth. Don’t work the dough too much.

Pat out until about ½ inch thick on a well floured surface. Cut into rounds with a sharp round biscuit cutter, that you have also dipped into flour. Try not to twist the cutter when you are doing this. Just give the cutter a sharp tap straight down and lift it back up straight as you can. Twisting results in lop sided biscuits.

Place on un-greased cookie sheets and bake in a preheated 350*F/180*C oven for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned.

Serve warm.

PSSST!! Don't forget to hop on over to The Simple Woman to see all the other day book entries for today!


  1. As always I love reading your Monday posts. I hope that you will have a lovely day today. I fell asleep when I putting Austin down tonight and just woke up to see it is after midnight. I am too sleepy to write much but I wanted to say hello and send my wishes for a good week ahead.

    I love the picture of you and the chef...

    (((Hugs4U))), Lura

  2. PJ DAY every day I say. I love staying in my pj's all day.

    You're so funny with the comment about being in heaven after Todd's text...

    Now you're living in the UK and will have tried scones are they the same as baking powder biscuits?

  3. Hi Marie I love your Monday posts!! I wish I could say the sky was clear here but unfortunately it's black as your boot ready for a downpour!!!!!!!! I loved my typewriter as a child but like everything else in my life I taught myself how to use it so needless to say I am not very fast lol!!!!!! Glad to hear your dil is hanging on in there or rather the baby is I'm sure it's hard for you not being there with them but it's great to have a heavenly Father who is everywhere & is in control!!!!!! I made your roast beef yesterday as Jamie would say delish!!! I also made your victoria sandwich ~ couldn't get clotted cornish cream so I made do with double it was also delish!!!! I'm envious of your pic with Jean Christophe lucky girl he is also delish !!!!!!!!!! Enjoy your day Marie x

  4. Amanda, they are not quite the same thing as scones, although they are quite similar. Scones are made with butter and biscuits are made with vegetable shortening. Scones are also a bit sweeter and lighter. I think biscuits are heavier. You very rarely would see a sweet biscuit, they are mostly always savoury, although having said that, back home you can buy some with maraschino cherries in them. It must be an acquired taste though as I could never quite bring myself to buy them, but then again, why would I when I can make such lovely ones from scratch!

  5. You Marie!!! naughty woman I saw these biscuits and I want eat one!!! Ya (Yesterday at night I boiled some jars of condensed milk and I promess not open until think well what dessert I will make!!)You know why!!
    I love your Mondays!! and I think the Chef is so HANDSOME!!! I love him!! yes you look really happy!!
    Dear when I read about you always like so draw and paint I think in Esperanza (is always drawing) and really whish some day she feel so happy how you with the draws and paints. God will!!!

    How I said lovely biscuits Marie and the butter!!! mmmmm lovely pictures!!!! huggss!! pray for us Im paying for you and family, xxxxGloria

  6. PD:: I loved my papers doll!!! were the best!!!! (really we have the same age) xxxxLOL

  7. AW! Shortening biscuits. I havent used shortening in years! Those look too good! And what a snog! Does he cook as well?

  8. Hi You are very fortunate to have achieved all the things you have in your lifetime it is quite an accomplishment to sell you art work write your cookery book and you have had a family as well well done. Love Joan.

  9. How wonderful to read about your day. I am so glad to hear that Kayla is doing okay. I have been thinking about you and her.

    I can't wait to find out what the card company says. So, exciting!

  10. We would call your Baking Powder Biscuits 'plain scones' I think. They are lovely, aren't they?

    You dark lttle old horse you! Snogged by Jean Christophe Novelli. He's a bit of all right, he is.

    I used to have - and love - one of those little typewriters as a child. I think they were called 'Petite'. I 'graduated' to a grown-up portable typewriter when I was 13.

    Hope your week turns out to be more cheerful than the weather. We are forecast snow by weekend. Yuck!

    Love, Angie, xx

  11. PS I have something for you over at my blog...your truly are an inspiration:D

  12. I just realized, thats the first picture I've seen of you. I finally (!!!!!) have a visual of your smiling face to go with the beautiful words. You are certainly beaming in your picture.

    Thank you for another beautiful post.

  13. I love those biscuits! I can't wait to see the cards. I know Mrs. McGill will love them. I thought your story about the first novel you wrote was so cute. And you were right! You are a wife, mother, artist and writer! :)You're just so cute in that picture with the celebrity chef. You're simply beaming!

    I have a big package to send you too of all your Christmas goodies and your sussy from that last contest! And I owe you a e-mail!

  14. I loved that picture of you Marie!! These bisuits look so good, I'll have to try them, I think they'd be good for chicken and biscuits!

  15. I love that story about the chef kissing you on the cheek. I want to start doing the simple woman's day book but I keep not doing it. Monday mornings are not good for that!

  16. I'm sorry to hear of your daughter in law and grandbaby. I hope all goes well and will pray that it does.

    I am a mother of twin boys born 8 weeks early. They wanted to come at 26 weeks but we held them off with bedrest. I also know another mom that had both her children early. One 11 wks and the other 7&1/2 wks early. Both of her children and my two are great!! Though they were obviously small as babies after a couple of years you'd never know it! One of my Twins had some medical issues but nothing that has slowed him down or kept him from doing anything. As a matter of fact because he's had some issues it has made him embrace challenges and push himself to his limits in everything that he does. Anway my point was to show that things wind up working out for the best all the way around.

  17. Those biscuits look nice and light and fluffy and good. Nice shot with the melting butter!


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