Sunday, 12 April 2009

One Solitary Life

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant. He grew up in another village, where he worked in a carpenter shop until he was 30. Then, for three years, he was an itinerant preacher.

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a home. He didn't go to college. He never lived in a big city. He never traveled 200 miles from the place where he was born. He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

He was only 33 when the tide of public opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. While he was dying, his executioners gambled for his garments, the only property he had on earth. When he was dead, he was laid in a borrowed grave, through the pity of a friend.

Twenty centuries have come and gone, and today he is the central figure of the human race. I am well within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned--put together--have not affected the life of man on this earth as much as that one, solitary life.

~James Allen Francis

Yesterday Todd and I were blessed to have a wonderful day together. It began with an early morning drive up to the London Temple in Chorley. Oh how beautiful the grounds were! Every flower bed was filled to bursting with a variety of springtime blooms. I had not been to the Temple since before Christmas and so I had not seen the beautiful golden Angel Moroni that has now been placed at the top of the steeple.

We spent most of our day wandering about the grounds and inside the temple, partaking of the beautiful spirit that resides there. I could not think of a better way to spend an Easter Saturday than that. Afterwards we went into the visitors centre, which I had also not seen since it was completely renovated. It's really lovely and if you are ever in the area I recommend you pay it a visit. I'm sure you'd find it totally interesting. We saw the Joseph Smith film while we were there. I had already seen it when I was in Salt Lake City in February. (I still can't believe I was so blessed) It is one of those films you just want to see again and again.

Afterwards we drove up to Godstone to the LDS bookstore there and did some damage to our bank account. We always say we aren't going to spend any money but then we can't help ourselves. It is so nice to see everything they have in the store and I seem to want everything they have. However yesterday I restrained myself and settled for two small books of the writings of President Henry B Eyring, who is easily one of my favourites. I absolutely devour every word that comes from his lips. He is such a humble and inspiring man.

Of course I could not resist this . . .

We all know that us Mormon ladies are great cooks and what better than a cookbook chock full of delicious recipes! (I know, what am I like!!! I seem to pick up cookbooks everywhere I go!)

We then returned home enjoying a wonderful drive through the beautiful countryside in East Sussex and Kent. I do believe it is some of the loveliest countryside in the UK, but then again, I also say that about the Lake District, Devon, and the Yorkshire Dales! (I think I just love England full stop!)

Last night we were privileged to be able to attend the Tonbridge Philharmonic Society presentation of Handel's "Messiah." It was absolutely beautiful . . . all of it. The orchestra, the choir, the soloists. We sat there rapt and mesmerized for three hours, eyes closed and just drinking in the beauty and majesty of it all. I had heard bits and pieces of it in the past but this was the very first time I was able to hear it from start to finish. What a majestic piece of work. We all got to stand up and sing the Hallelujah chorus!! I think we did pretty good too. It was just wonderful.

We got home about 11 pm and fell into bed happily exhausted at midnight. We had to spend some quality time with Jess first, as she had been on her own for most of the day. She was quite happy about our fussing to say the least. All in all though we had a lovely day and now this morning we get to go to church and celebrate the holiest of all the Christian Holidays . . . He lives, our Great Redeemer lives!

I wish each one of you a Happy and Blessed Easter Sunday.

There wasn't a lot of time for cooking yesterday, just time enough to whip up this old standby of mine. Quick, easy and oh so very delicious!

*Tomato Dumplings*
Serves 4 - 6

Light and fluffy, and wonderfully savoury, these dumplings float on a delicious sea of a robust and tasty tomato sauce. What’s not to like about these lovely taste tempting babies?

½ cup peeled and finely chopped onion
¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
¼ cup finely chopped celery
¼ cup butter
1 bay leaf, broken in half
28 ounces of tinned chopped tomatoes, in their juices, undrained
1 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Dumplings:
1 cup plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp of Italian garlic seasoning
1 TBS cold butter
1 TBS snipped fresh parsley
2/3 cup of milk

Melt the butter in a large skillet (with a lid) over medium high heat. Whenit begins to sizzle add the onion, pepper and celery. Cook, stirring, until they are tender. Add the bay leaf, tomatoes, brown sugar, basil, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Make the dumplings as follows.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and garlic seasoning together in a bowl. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Stir in the parsley and then finally stir in the milk, mixing it only until mixed together and all the dry ingredients are uniformly moist.

Remove the lid from the simmering tomato mixture and drop the dumpling batter onto the top of the simmer liquid by tablespoonfuls. Cover tightly with a lid and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes without peeking, until a toothpick inserted into one of the dumplings comes out clean and they look set and somewhat dry on top. Serve immediately, spooned out onto warm plates.


  1. Good Morning Marie and Todd. Blessing of Easter to you both. May you always feel the reserection story within truly wonderful that we kow that OUR GOD LIVES...

    I am so glad that you had such a happy day yetserday.
    Love Sybil xx

  2. I've only ever made dumplings with Atora suet - I will have to give these a go. They look good Marie and I like the sauce.
    Happy Easter to you and Todd x

  3. Sounds like you are having a wonderful Easter weekend! Your trip splendid...I can imagine what a great day you both had! :o) Hubby would like this recipe...I've not been much for dumplings before. Something about the overly-moist texture I think--LOL! Wishing you, dear Todd & Jess a beautiful Easter Sunday. I know you will be calling home today, as will I, but I'll look out for you for a chat and hope to get lucky to catch up...have missed you this week! :o) LOVE YOU TO ALL THERE!! ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Days like that are few and far between - treasure them!

    We always promise ourselves we are not going to spend any money on a day out but we find it burns a hole in our pockets, don't you? Aren't there so many thngs you absolutly can't live without? Your book, for example, you know you're always stuck for recipes! May I just ask: did Todd get anything? Keith rarely does. Always says there's nothing he wants. Bless him.

    love, Angie, xx

  5. I'm wishing for you a beautiful Easter morning! Friends just returned from England and shared their pictures with us. Oh how I long to visitand see your wonderful countryside for myself! Easter blessings, marlene

  6. Happy Easter sweety! To you and Todd :)

  7. What an incredible Saturday you were blessed with. You had the spirit with you in great abundance I am sure. Your drive along the English countryside, is a dream of mine one day. How lovely, I can envision it. I am surely going to try your recipe...even at 7:30 am, it makes me want some now! Have a Blessed Easter Sunday.

  8. Happy Easter!!! I hope you have a wonderful day. Your Tomato dumplings look yummy!!!! It sounds like you had a great day and really enjoyed it.
    Lisa (lisita15)

  9. Oh Marie,
    What a wonderful, wonderful day you had. I am so glad. I was afraid that you had to work all weekend. I am so glad that you got to go to the temple. That brings the Easter message even closer to our hearts.

    So glad for our little chat today. I am sending you love and prayers to help you get through your Easter dinner work.

    My Easter morn is bright and beautiful with our little miracle here at my side. What a blessing.
    I will go to church later with Lynell. I am babysitting while Erin and Patrick are at their ward. JOY JOY
    Much love, Lura

  10. Sounds like you had a lovely day, Marie! Those dumplings look super yummy, btw! Happy Easter!

  11. Happy Easter, dear friend!

    I'm cracking up over that cookbook! I've never heard of it, but I think I need one. :)

  12. Hi Marie
    We had a wonderful day at church this Easter Sunday. So many new people visited to day with family or friends and many gave their hearts to the Lord, which is always so exciting!
    I agree with you that East Sussex and Kent are beautiful. We stayed at Gravetye Manor near East Grinstead a long time ago when times were prosperous for us. Do you know it? I'd love to stay there again one day but it's so expensive now I doubt we ever will!
    Happy Easter
    Rhondi xo

  13. What a beautiful blog! I was excited to discover this blog and even more excited to see a picture of a temple on your blog! Happy Sabbath day to you and thanks for sharing what is most important on your blog. I am excited to try the tomato dumpling recipes. I would really appreciate it if you would add my blog to your blog list. Thank you so much! I will for sure add yours to mine.

  14. What a lovely Easter weekend you had. It sounds wonderful from beginning to end. Happy Easter !
    'On Ya'-ma

  15. Dear Marie Have a nice and wonderful Easter and a lot of blessings!!!!! To Todd to of course! Gloria

  16. Happy Easter dear Marie! What a wonderful day you had on Saturday. Perfect, really.

    Thanks for the dumpling recipe. I will be making that one soon!


  17. Your tomato dumplings are a huge hit! This recipe will be used a great deal...especially when we have fresh tomatoes! Glad you enjoyed Easter.


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