Wednesday, 31 December 2008
A New Year Dawns . . .
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Ahh . . . here we are. January 1st, 2009. A brand new month. A brand new year. January, the month of new beginnings and a time to cherish memories. The month in which winter weaves her magically ponderous spell about us with it's cool and crisp days. This is the month where we will be glad of woolly scarves, warm mittens and log fires. We snuggle in with long dark evenings . . . comforting, savoury suppers, lively conversation, or even solitary joys, our only companions. The temperatures plummet and, if we are lucky, snow falls softly . . . all of nature is at peace and at rest. This is the perfect time for us to draw back and relax as well. All the hectic busyness of Christmas is past and a new year waits before us to be drawn upon like a new page. This is the month to dream and to look ahead . . .
Only dreams can give birth to change. Take some time today to quietly reflect on what your dreams are. What are your hopes for the future? What are the gentle yearnings of your heart? This is not a time for resolutions. Resolutions that only get broken , one by one as the year waxes on. This is the time for private aspirations and hope. What are the longings you have tucked away in your heart, waiting for just the right time? Have faith and trust that NOW is the time. Ask the questions that need to be asked of yourself, and then have confidence that the answers will come, and that you will see them, minute by minute . . . day by day. Trust that you will find a way to live them and then . . .
Take a leap of faith into the future! Let us begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believing in ourselves and our dreams, and, believing in the Great Master Creator . . . the sower of dreams and hope, who is just waiting for us to ask Him to help us make our dreams come true.
Today IS the first day 0f the rest of your life and how it goes is up to you and the choices you make. You may be called this year to do any number of things . . . some may be easy, some may be hard. Success at times may seem impossible, but I firmly believe if we call upon God for help and seek the Saviour's guidance, all things are possible. May this be a year when we can, each of us, seek His voice and have the heart to listen to His answers. May we, each one of us, have enough faith to move forward and walk in His steps, and to know that whatever, wherever, whenever . . . He IS there with us.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Read the words . . . know them and take them into your heart . . . believe them and then move forward into the future, hand in hand with the Master. I am really looking forward to the journey over this next year and taking you along with me. Isn't it exciting!!
We had the missionaries over for supper last night. I didn't do a raclette after all. I had a big rib roast in the freezer that I had bought for another evening where sickness meant it was not needed, so I thought rather than let it sit in the freezer for months and months deteriorating I would take it out and cook it up. So we dined on Roast Beef, and potatoes, swede, carrots, Brussels sprouts and puffy Yorkshire puddings and for dessert we finished off the cheesecake and then had these . . .
*Cape Breton Pork Pies*
Makes about 24
Over here if someone is caught telling a *Porkie Pie* that is Cockney rhyming slang for telling a lie! I think these come very close to that, coz there's no oink within an inch of these delicious little *cookie* tarts! With a rich buttery shortbread base, a luscious date filling and a crown of delicious butter cream, these are pleasing on all levels. Impressive and yet easy, this is an old Nova Scotian recipe that you will find on many holiday trays around this time of year.
1 cup butter
4 TBS icing sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups chopped dates
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup water
the juice of half a lemon
2 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
4 ounces softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBS milk
Pre-heat the oven to 425*C/205*C. You will need either two 12 cup mini muffin tins or one 24 cup.
Place the flour and icing sugar for the base into a food processor. Add the butter cut into chunks and then process it for about 3 minutes, until the butter is all cut in and the mixture starts to come together. Dump out and knead for a few minutes. Divide into 24 walnut size pieces and roll each into a ball. Place each ball in one of the muffin cups and press it out to line each one evenly. Bake in the heated oven for 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool.
In the meantime make the filling. Mix all the filling ingredients together in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and thick. Set aside to cool.
To make the butter icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Add the softened butter, vanilla and milk. Beat together on high until thick and creamy. You may need more or less milk. It all depends. I add it about half at a time. Sometimes I need the full amount, sometimes not.
Divide the date filling between each of the cookie cups. Dot each with a bit of the butter icing to finish, or use a piping bag to pipe some on top of each.
In all likelihood, you will end up with some date filling leftover. This is what I do with it . . . yumm, sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies and with a glass of milk, this is bliss . . . pure bliss.
Happy New Year Everyone!