Thursday, 16 April 2009

Thursday morning thoughts . . .

The ninety and nine are with dreams content;
But the hope of a world made new
Is the hundredth man who is grimly bent
On making that dream come true.
~author unknown

I am a person that loves looking for wildflowers. Oh no . . . I don't mean the ones that you see growing in fields that dot the rural countryside. There are plenty of those, and they are very pretty as well, but what I am talking about are the other ones . . . the ones that shoot up in surprising places, almost in spite of themselves, between the cracks and paving stones, on building sites and other barren areas, amongst the stones of stone walls and in between roof tiles. These are the ones I love most of all. For, despite the most dire of circumstances and in the most unwelcoming and inhospitable of situations they have managed to persevere and succeed where other's have not.

I am reminded of a story I recently read about a church in London during the Second World War. It was very near to the annual autumn Harvest Festival and the altar had been decorated with a huge sheaf of wheat for the Thanksgiving Service. That evening the church was bombed and all that was left in the morning was a heap of rubble. All seemed lost, but, amazingly enough, some months later out of the earth sprang tiny green shoots, and before too long a patch of wheat was growing where once the church had stood.

It is a blessing to look for beauty in dark places and to find it. It strengthens my belief that, despite the darkness and uncertainties of life, there is always a ray of hope, a whisper of love and affection. We only need willing hearts and the strength of vision to look for it.

I made the most wonderful salad for our supper the other night. Along with a baked potato it made the tastiest meal. I like salads for supper once in a while. They make me feel like I am at least trying to eat healthily some of the time!

*Chicken, Cheese and Rocket Salad*
Serves 4

I just love the variety of flavours in this salad. You get the punchiness of the rocket, the creamy tanginess of Stilton cheese, the sweet crunch of ripe pears and then of course the lovely nutty flavour of the toasted walnuts. There's plenty of goodness to enjoy here.

5 ounces of a rocket salad leaf mix
2 sticks celery, trimmed and sliced
1/2 English cucumber sliced (peeled or not as you wish)
2 spring onions, trimmed and slices thinly
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 ounce of toasted walnut pieces
12 ounces boneless roast chicken, sliced
4 1/2 ounces Stilton cheese, crumbled
2 ripe red pears, cut into cubes
(You can use halved red grapes instead if you wish)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS sherry vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 TBS chopped mixed fresh herbs
(Parsley, oregano, basil, thyme)

Wash your salad leaves and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Place them into a large salad bowl. Add the celery, cucumber, spring onions, parsley and toasted walnuts. Mix together well.

Arrange the chicken slices over all and then scatter with the cheese and chopped pears. Season to taste with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a screw top lid. Shake until well combined and then drizzle over top of the salad and serve.


  1. Marie, what a lovely light spring time supper.

  2. How full of promise was that ear of wheat growing out of all that devastation ,lovely entry Marie Jan xx

  3. Marie when I get home from work this aftenoon I'll explain how to print just the recipes. Do you have a gmail i can send it to???

  4. Wildflowers...I love looking for wildflowers in wild places too! :o) Hoping there will be some wildflowers in bloom before long in the woods not far from here. LOVE your light evening supper salad, Marie! I like having salads for dinner sometimes too, and especially in the hot summer heat--little or no cooking then! I was thinking of doing a supper salad for dinner one night next week while making up menus today...Think I'll try this recipe of yours. Although, no chicken on my plate ;o) Happy Day, sweet friend...LOVE YOU HEAPS! ((HUGS))

  5. Your salad really looks good. With warmer weather I'll be eating more of them too. In the winter it just doesn't taste as good. Then I want soup, stews or casseroles to warm me. I'll be seeing some wildflowers this weekend. I know that in the woods there are things I won't see other places. 'On Ya'-ma

  6. i love it when i find a flower growing up through a crack in the sidewalk or somewhere unlikely-it makes me happy and it also makes me feel like i'm going to have a lucky day! if that flower could make it work, then i can too! funny how something as small as that can inspire you. from small things- come the greatest things, right?

  7. The pictures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing them.

    I enjoy reading about the wonderful recipes you make!!

    Have a great day.

  8. Great photos Marie and I'm loving that salad of yours!

  9. Marie- the salad looks so good! Just what I need and want this time of year. (Even though it is snowing here in Utah). Maybe if I eat more yummy salads like this spring will magically appear!

  10. This salad sounds so good.... I love salads and luckily so does John. I have not seen pears in our markets yet but I bet I could make it with apples.

    We drove all day yesterday and made it home in time to attend a TEA party last night.

    I miss my Utah family soooo much. They are all so dear to me and our little Calan has stolen my heart. I missed the night time dinner dates that we have been having last night.

    I hope that you had a good eve at YW. The temple opens today after our spring cleaning so this will be our first time back for two weeks. It will be good to go back.

    I am sending love to you and Todd. Have a nice evening. Love, Lura

  11. Thank you for the lovely post and yummy recipe. Salads are my favorite meal.

    All of your photos are wonderful.

  12. Some years ago we were in the former East Berlin a few months after the Berlin Wall began to fall. There was still wartime damage all over the place, although with the new freedom much work was taking place. It intrigued me then to see flowers and even trees growing from the damaged roofs and walls of many buildings. You're right, if they can poke their litle heads up they will.

    love, Angie, xx

  13. I might actually eat that salad. :)

    I have so many things to tell you! I have to e-mail you tommorow.

  14. Hi Marie!
    I love coming over here because your posts always lift me up!

    And your salad looks so good! I ove salad and I can't wait for it to warm up so I can start making salad for dinner. Right now all I want is soup. I'm stuck in winter mode.



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