Thursday, 20 May 2010
How rich are you?
How rich are you???
When I first moved over here to the UK I used to work in a Care Home as a Care Assistant, and then as a cleaner. ( got demoted, but that's a whole nother story!) Anyways, there were lovely elderly people in this home. I adored them all, but there was one woman in particular that I especially loved. Her name was Martha. I made a special effort each day to go in a speak to her, even when I was no longer considered a Care Assistant . . . it meant the world to her and it meant the world to me!
One day when I visited her, we had a lively little discussion (we often did) and before I left to go on and continue with my work she said to me in all seriousness, "I pray for you every night." I was very touched and I told her so. She went on to add . . . "I pray for my family first and then my grandchildren, and then I pray for my friends." and then she smiled and asked, "Am I daft??"
"No, you're not daft." was my answer . . .
I meant it. One of the finest tributes that one can pay to another, is to pray for them. It is a very beautiful gift is a prayer . . . I felt important to know that Martha, at the end of her life, a life that had been lived to the hilt and filled with fabulous things . . . significant things and golden memories . . . that I was important enough to be considered in her prayers . . . amidst the company of her family, children and friends.
I felt rich, and honoured and very special indeed, and I let her know so.
Oh how truly rich a man is . . . if he can be carried aloft on the prayers of others. I pray constantly . . . my words are sometimes uttered out loud, but mostly in my mind. I cover each of you with prayer daily . . . amidst the company of my family, children and friends . . . I like to think of it as spreading the wealth around.
A man is rich according to what he is . . . not according to what he has.
I think we will get another dog eventually. We've been talking about it a lot over the past few days. We are dog people and we miss that lovely companionship that a dog brings to a home. No surprise that our choice for the next time . . . when we are ready . . . will be a Labrador . . . either a black one or a chocolate one, but most importantly one that needs us as much as we need them.
I had a pretty exciting e-mail yesterday from The Times. It seems that they want to highlight my English Kitchen blog as their blog of the week and they were asking permission to do so and to use some of my food photos. Thrilled doesn't begin to describe how I felt! I can't wait for Todd to get up and to go and get me a copy so I can see it. I put a lot of work into all of my blogs and it is nice to know that it is noticed and appreciated. This blog here is my most important one . . . cos this is the one I pour most of my heart into . . .but it is nice to have the other's noticed as well.
Speaking of kitchens, food and recipes, here's a delicious one for a tasty and easy casserole that is not only scrummy, but also easy on the budget as well. You can use leftover ham for in it, or even tinned ham flakes. You can also use sliced ham that you would use for sandwiches. I sometimes ask for a slice of thick ham at the deli that I use for this. It is a very yummy casserole. We just love it! (Well I do at any rate. Todd hates pasta, but he tolerates this!)
*Ham and Mac Bake*
Serves 4 to 6
This is a wonderful casserole that is not only very tasty, but also very easy on the budget as well. My children always loved it when they were growing up and it was something different to do with the ham that was leftover from Easter. I often buy a slap of ham at the shops so that I can make this as well.
1/2 pound of macaroni (1 2/3 cups)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 TBS Dijon mustard
salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
2 medium eating apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup soft bread crumbs (about 1 1/4 slices)
2 TBS butter melted
Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water until done, according to the packet directions. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside until needed.
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 4. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute over low heat. Blend in the mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. In the meantime bring the milk just to the boil. (Just until bubbles appear around the edges) Slowly whisk the heated milk into the flour mixture, cooking and stirring it until thickened, smooth and bubbly. Stir in the cooked macaroni, ham and apple slices. Turn into a greased 2 litre casserole dish.
Toss the bread crumbs with the 2 TBS butter and sprinkle evenly over top of the casserole. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.
There's something very dangerous over on The English Kitchen today . . . yes, it's Five Minute Chocolate Cake!