Thursday, 29 October 2009
Thursday ponderings . . .
Alone, I sometimes pause and say,
"You're in my loving thoughts today."
It seems there's no one there, and yet
I speak to those I can't forget;
Lest, being gone, they do not know
I think of them, and want them so!
I've always made it a habit, that . . . whenever a person's name pops into my head, I immediately say a little prayer for them. I don't know if it helps or not, but I reckon everyone can use a little prayer once in a while, and if the spirit is in tune enough to prompt me to think of them . . . then my heart must be in tune enough to speak a few words on their behalf.
Likewise, late at night, when I am in bed and either cannot fall asleep, or have been asleep and have awakened and then am having problems falling back asleep . . . I begin to pray for all those that I know, beginning with those whose names begin with the letter "A". I never get much further than "G" or "H" and I am off into dreamland again. I find it helps to focus on others and what may be happening in their lives than to dwell on my own. Looking at what I have just written though, I reckon next time I better start with the letter "Z" and work my way backwards, as those at the end of the alphabet are being left out!
I don't mind praying for other people. I quite enjoy it actually. I have often heard people say that they will pray for others because it is the least that they can do . . . but really it is one of the greatest things that you can do for others.
"It is the Discipline of prayer that brings us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit." ~author unknown
Just my thoughts this morning.
Sometimes Todd and I like to have gammon steaks for our tea. We try not to eat preserved meats very often as they are not supposed to be all that good for you, but gammon steaks make for a quick supper and sometimes they are a real treat. All you need with this dish are a few boiled potatoes on the side to help soak up the sauce and perhaps a green vegetable or two. mmm mmm good!
*Gherkin Sauced Ham Steaks*
As the butcher explained to me, gammon is ham before it's cooked. It only becomes ham afterwards. The gherkins in this recipe are not the sweet and bright green pickled ones we get in North American, but the small and slightly sour ones we get over here, which are what the French call Cornichons, so be sure to use the right ones. They go perfectly with the saltiness of the ham. A dollop of sharp and tangy English mustard on the side also goes very well.
2 large gammon steaks (each aout 7 to 8 ounces)
1 cup dry white wine
6 small gherkins, finely chopped
1 TBS butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped (I like to use the long French ones)
1/2 TBS flour
1 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a knob of butter for cooking
Melt the first amount of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add the chopped shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until the shallot is nicely softened without having browned. Stir in the flour and mix it in well. Whisk in the wine slowly, a little at a time, until you have a smooth sauce. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about ten minutes while you cook the gammon steaks.
Remove the rind from the gammon steaks and clip the fat at half inch intervals all around. This helps to keep the steaks from curling up when you cook them. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the knob of butter and heat until it strarts to foam a bit and sizzle. Add the gammon steaks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they start to brown slightly and the fat on the edge gets a bit crispy. Turn the heat out and finish the sauce.
Stir the chopped gherkins, parsley and lemon juice into the sauce. Season to taste with some salt and pepper and heat through. Serve the steaks with a bit of the warmed sauce spooned over and then the rest in a dish on the side so that people can help themselves if they so wish.
Note - if you don't do wine, you can use 3/4 cup of apple juice and 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar with good results.
I made this very tasty Salmon Cobbler for our supper the other night and it was totally delicious, even if it did spill out over on to the base of my oven! (Next time I'll put a baking tray underneath it!) If you'd like this scrumptious recipe hop on over to The English Kitchen.