Wednesday, 11 March 2009
The Footprints of God . . .
A devout believer in God and an athiest once went camping together. At the end of the first day, the believer knelt down to pray inside their tent. The athiest looked on in amusement.
"Did you ever see God, hear, or put out your hand and touch Him?" the athiest asked. The answer came . . . "No." The athiest's reply . . . "Well, then, you are a fool to believe in a God that you have never seen, heard or touched."
They then retired for the night.
They awoke the next morning just before sunrise. The believer spoke to the athiest, saying, "There was a wolf around the tent during the night."
Immediately the athiest asked the same questions he had asked the night before. "Did you see the wolf, hear him, or put out your hand and touch him?" Again . . . the answer was no. The athiest was thoroughly convinced that this believer was a truly strange man.
As they went to leave the tent the believer pointed out the tell tale signs of the wolf's recent presence, footprints in the dirt surrounding the tent. Just then, the sun began to peer over the horizon and bathed the earth in the warm and tender glow of early morning as the birds began to sing. The believer gazed over at the athiest and reverently said . . . "Behold the footprints of God."
As a believer, I have a really hard time understanding how anyone can not believe in God, especially when I am surrounded by all the evidence that encircles me . . . from the tiniest grain of sand on the earth to the majesty of the stars in the heavens at night. Did this all happen by accident? Surely not. There is so much that is good in the world, and that is right, and it all flows together with purpose and intention. Like the cogs of an intricate watchwork . . . everything fits and turns with precision. One does not really have to look very far to see the very real evidence of His presence . . .
I made Todd a delicious Chicken Pot Pie for his tea last night. I had some leftover chicken from the weekend and it's one of my favourite things to make for him, and to be honest, it's one of his favourite things for me to make for him as well!!
*Down-Home Chicken Pot Pie*
I like to bake the pastry separately from the filling in this one, sliding it on top of the pie just prior to serving it. This helps to insure a truly crisp crust. Don't worry, they both cook at the same time in the oven and at the same temperature!
Pastry: 1 cup flour
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
5 TBS, plus 1 tsp cold butter, cut into bits
2 - 3 TBS ice water
Filling: 4 TBS butter
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup chicken broth
1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium stalk of celery, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp summer savoury
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
First make the pastry. Combine the flour, thyme and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and then cut it in with a pastry blender or two knives until it is crumbly, with some pieces the size of a split pea. Drizzle with the ice water, 1 TBS at a time, tossing with a fork until the dough begins to come together. Gather into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for about an hour.
In a large skillet with a lid, combine the chopped potato, sweet potato, carrot and celery along with 1 cup of the chicken broth. Bring to the boil. Cover, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes until the vegetables are tender. Pour the vegetables and broth into a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, melt the 4 TBS of butter over medium heat. Stir in the 1/4 cup of flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring for one minute longer. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the chicken broth, whisking it in until smooth. Whisk in the milk, pepper, salt, poultry seasoning and summer savoury. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, continuing to stir, until the sauce it smooth and thick. Reduce to low heat and simmer for a few minutes. Pour this into the bowl with the vegetables and broth. Add the chicken, peas and corn. Stir it all together well. Taste and adjust seasoning as required. Pour the filling into a shallow 2 1/2 quart baking dish and set aside.
Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough to a round large enough to fit into the baking dish, 1/4 inch thick. Place on a small cookie sheet. Crimp the edges and cut into quarters. Prick all over with a fork. Place the pastry and the casserole with the filling into the oven and bake until the pastry is nicely browned and the filling is bubbling, from 18 to 2o minutes. Remove from the oven. Slide the pastry on top of the hot filling and serve.