My goodness but is it Sunday once again! Wow, this past week has just whizzed by. I love Sundays. I get to go to church and recharge my spiritual battery, not to mention see some of my most loved friends that I haven't had the chance to see all week. I get to partake of the sacrament and renew my vows with Christ, and I get to reflect on my past week and share some of my happier moments with you wonderful people! It's one of my favourite days of the week, I kid you not!
1. Larkrise to Candleford.
Yes, it's a new season of Larkrise to Candleford on the telly again! Yayy!! I just love that series. I love the scenery, the characters and the stories. I have the book which I am reading as well, which is also really good. It always makes me smile. I like to kid myself and think that I would have loved to have lived back then, and maybe I would really have been able to do it. No electricity, no central heating . . . no computers, cars, indoor toilets? hmmm . . . probably not! But it's a nice thought anyways!
2. Dancing on Ice.
It might sound like this is going to be a week of me talking about telly watching, but I promise you it's not. I just can't help mentioning Dancing on Ice. It's one of my favourite shows and it's back again, with a whole new season of fresh celebrities trying in their amateur to learn how to figure skate as half of a dancing couple, their partners being professional skaters. I really have to applaud them for what they do and risk. I know it must be really hard and I am always amazed each week when I see how much they have learnt in the week's training and how far they have progressed. I always loved to watch the figure skating on the television back home, especially the big competitions like the Winter Olympics and the World Championships. I have loved it since a girl and I have many fond memories of watching it together with my mom. As a girl I used to dream of figure skating one day, but my parents never had the money to get me lessons and in truth, I was never a good skater at any rate. I considered the day I finally mastered skating backwards a great triumph!! One of my favourite movies is Ice Castles with Robbie Benson (and not just because it has Robbie Benson in it either!) I just love figure skating!
3. Nic Vujicic
You are probably saying to yourself Nic who??? I had never heard of him before seeing this amazing video myself. Watching it made me cry a little bit, but it also made me smile. To be able to watch someone who has overcome such odds in life and triumphed has to make you smile! To see someone who has overcome such odds and used his life's experience to help inspire others, well, that's just so very special. Turn my music down and click on this and see if it doesn't inspire you . . . see if Nic doesn't inspire you to want to be a better you . . . to count your blessings, especially the taken for granted ones, as being worth that little bit more. There is hope for all of us. Trust me.
4. The Sun
After having miserably wet and ucky winter weather this past week, for a brief few hours yesterday the sun shone!! It was back to wind and rain last evening, but for those couple of hours yesterday it was wonderful to see the sun again! One does get tired of wet, wind, wet, wind . . . day after day. I know we are blessed in so many respects to get so much of the rain, but it is lovely to see the sun once in a while as well! It did my heart good! I had been battling a head ache all day yesterday, having woken up with it in the morning so it really lifted my spirits to see it shining through my kitchen window. I think the birds were happy to see it as well!
5. Hazel is home from the hospital and recovering.
I was so happy to finally be able to talk to my beloved friend Hazel yesterday afternoon. She is still weak and having a hard time capturing enough breath to speak, but she is alive and recovering. I did not call her, as I had not wanted to impose on her recovery, but imagine my surprise when our telephone rang yesterday afternoon, and it was her on the other end. She wanted to thank us for our many prayers, and you as well for yours. We spoke for about ten minutes. She says that if it were not for her sister, June (whom I also love dearly) she thinks she would have died. It was June's quick action that got her into hospital and taken care of. Thank you so much June. It was wonderful to hear her voice, as weak as it was and to speak with her, if only for a few minutes. This was a very serious infection, having developed into pleurisy and pneumonia. With her having emphysema already this was very serious indeed. I thank you so much for your prayers and ask that you would continue to pray that she would have a complete recovery. Thanks so much!!
6. My Dad
Yesterday was my dad's 75th birthday. I was able to speak with him on the telephone early in the day and send him some Happy Birthday wishes and love. I adore my father. He always calls me "The Apple Of His eye." I don't know if he calls my sister and brother that as well, he probably does, but I just know that when he calls me that, it makes me feel special and unique. No, he wasn't the greatest father in the world when we were growing up. He spent a lot of time working, but back then, that's what father's did. I did always know that he loved me and cared about me and that's what counts. He's always been proud of me, even though I know I have disappointed him from time to time. He's 75 now! I love him dearly.
7. Scripture Study
I know, I know, that's seven not six, but I just can't help slip in an extra one this week! Last night was our turn to host the Monthly Scripture Study Group that we started up with some friends a couple of years ago. I just love this once a month group! It's a chance to get together in a more intimate setting and discuss things that are important to each person that is there. To bounce ideas and thoughts off of each other and to discuss the Gospel which is the driving force in each of our lives. You know, it's pretty wonderful to be able to share my life with a man that loves the Gospel as much as I do, and it is equally as wonderful to be able to share it with my friends. That is like the icing on a terribly delicious cake!
After all that talk of cake I wish I had baked a cake yesterday but I didn't. I did make these delicious little bacon and swede pies though. These are really comforting and warming on a cold winter's day, not to mention really economical and filling! I'd call these an all round winner!
*Swede and Bacon Pies*
I love Swede, or rutabaga as it is often called. It has such a natural earthy sweetness to it and goes with just about anything. Bacon and swede are perfect partners!
8 slices of back bacon, trimmed of all fat and cut into small pieces
1 TBS olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large swede, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
400ml chicken stock
1 tsp summer savoury or mixed herbs
A small handful of chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
For the Topping:
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 ounces strong cheddar cheese, grated
2 TBS butter
A little warm milk
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 TBS melted butter
½ cup bread crumbs
Put the bacon in a non-stick pan along with the olive oil. Brown on all sides and then remove from the pan. Add the onions and sauté them in the same oil until soft and beginning to brown slightly. Return the bacon bits to the pan along with the Swede and carrot. Season with some black pepper and the summer savoury and then add the chicken stock. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the vegetables are tender. About 5 minutes or so. Stir in the parsley and then divide amongst 4 individual pie dishes. Set aside and keep warm while you prepare the potato topping.
Place the potatoes into some boiling salted water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes or so. Drain well and then mash along with the butter and a little warm milk. Add the cheese and stir it in until it is melted. Season to taste with some salt and black pepper. Loosely spoon onto the Swede mixture dividing it equally amongst the four dishes and piling it up a bit in the middle. Don’t smooth it out, you want somewhat of a rough texture.
Heat the oven to 205*C/425*F. Melt the butter in the microwave and then stir in the bread crumbs, mixing it all together well. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over top of each dish, dividing them equally amongst the four. Bake the pies in the heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned in bits and the filling is bubbling away. Eat and enjoy!
PS - for those of you who asked yesterday, Castor Sugar is just a very fine white sugar, you can substitute granulated white sugar. I just prefer to use the finer stuff as it mixes in nicer.