Tuesday, 18 October 2011
The Simple Woman's Day book . . .
FOR TODAY, October 18th, 2011...
Outside My Window...
It is very dark and very cold. Not as cold as it can get in the winter, but the thermometer is definitely beginning to dip down there! There is some talk of it getting even colder next week and the possibility of snow. Unheard of!
I am thinking...
I was reading on the news this morning how a little girl (toddler) in China was hit not once, but twice by vans in the street and nobody in the vans stopped after running her over and 18 people walked past without doing anything before a 19th person stopped and dragged her to the side of the road. She is in hospital and in a coma. I know it is China and little girls are not valued there . . . but it is so sad to see that people are so uncaring . . . and oblivious to the suffering around them.
I am thankful for...
I think I live in a country where somebody would stop right away and help you if you got run over by a car. The driver might flee (there are those types everywhere), but I like to think that there would be people on the scene within minutes helping you out and calling ambulances, etc.
From the kitchen...
Oh gosh . . . Apple Pie Roll Ups. Too darn good!
I am wearing...
Long blue nightie, robe, slippers. I think it's time to break out the Jim Jams again though as my legs feel cold.
I am creating...
I was asked to do some place card settings for an event that is coming up next June. The Bride's colours are this mint green. I think this turned out rather sweet. She seems quite happy with it as well, so that's good! The Table numbers will go in the centre heart. I've a few other irons in the fire as well so stay tuned!
I am going...
I have meetings tomorrow night and we are planning on going to the Temple on Thursday. I have the sniffles though so if it breaks out into a full fledged cold I may cancel the temple visit. Saturday and Sunday is our bi-annual Stake Conference for our church, which is always quite enjoyable. Oh, and a new fridge is arriving tomorrow. Our old one has cocked up. It's a fridge/freezer and the freezer part is not working properly. We've had it for 10 years now and to be honest when it was moved this last time the movers broke off both handles and the door to the freezer part is just not shutting properly. We got a good deal at a scratch and dent warehouse on an American side by side refrigerator and so we bought it. There doesn't appear to be anything much wrong with it other than a tiny scratch on one side and a bit of a dent in the grill on the back. Nothing we can't live with! I am also planning on going Visit Teaching on Friday . . . as long as my cold holds off.
I am reading...
Years by LaVyrle Spencer
Eager to begin her first teaching position, lovely Linnea Brandonberg stepped off the train looking as grown up as her eighteen years would allow. The golden fields and fragrant wheat of Alamo, North Dakota, were as new and different as the Westgaard family with whom she would live.
Farm life in 1917 was hard and bitter--but tiny, spirited Linnea was determined to brave its challenges. And as World War I threatened to take those she held dear, Linnea grew to womanhood in the arms of Teddy Westgaard, a man who thought he would never find love.
A story of passion. A story of heartache. A story of a way of life that will long be remembered, with people and places as real as the emotions of the heart. I have read all of LaVyrle Spencers books through the years and this has always been one of my favourites and so I am reading it again. It's quite enjoyable. If I am not mistaken, LaVyrle Spencer retired from writing a while back. It's not a heavy book to read, quite light really, but I can tell you that it's really good. The other night I was crying while I was reading as it was a really sad part. If a writer can stir your emotions in such a way, then they are very talented in my opinion!!
I am hoping...
For good results of my ultra-sound last week. Happy to say that my father's cataract surgery went quite well. Thanks for all your prayers!
I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . the clock on the mantle humming as the wheels inside it turn. The odd car as it goes by. Mitzie snuffling as she snoozes, all curled up behind me on the sofa. The tap tapping of the computer keys as I write. They are morning sounds. The sounds as I hear whilst the house wakes up around me and the day begins. I know I say the same thing every week . . . my mornings have the comfort of being the same day after day. I love that about my days. They are quite, quite peaceful. (that's a good thing!)
Around the house...
I found this picture of a kitchen window one day. I just love it. We have a window in our kitchen that I would love to do this to. The trick is to find an old window like the leaded one that is hanging on the top. You can sometimes find stained glass panels to hang as well, which would be lovely also. I like the idea of a shelf as well. I could sure use one of those in my tiny kitchen too!
I am looking forward to...
Going to the Temple on Thursday. I love to see the Temple and I love to be in the Temple. It's such a beautiful and sacred place. I love the feeling that resides within it's walls. One of my friends has a brother who designed the Preston Temple. She was saying the other day that the safety standards that he was given were to be 20 times higher than any regular building . . . that the temple was built to withstand high winds, floods, earthquakes etc. I only know that it is beautiful inside and that I feel blessed when I am within it's walls . . . that I feel closer to my Heavenly Father there than I do at any other place on earth . . . and there is the same feeling in each temple I have been in. It is like being in another world completely . . .
I am pondering...
We have my eldest son, his wife and their boys coming over next July for a visit and I often think about it. We'll have the two boys on our own whilst they go down to London to watch her sister compete in the Olympics on Canada's Rowing Team. (I believe this will be her third Olympic Games.) I can't wait to have the boys. We started buying some things in charity shops to help keep them occupied while they are with us and the other day we scored Videos of all the Disney cartoon films for 10 pence a piece! Yes, we still have a Video player/recorder! Yes, it still works! We also have a DVD player, so we only very seldom use the video player.
One of my favourite things...
I love doing this daybook each week. It is something that I look forward to. It is nice to unwind with words and to speak from the heart and share my ponderings with others in this way. I would do the daybook every day, but I dare say it would not be as special then as it is now!
A few plans for the rest of the week...
I cancelled my reading lessons this week because of my sore throat and the sniffles. I didn't want to risk passing on my germs. My student also cares for an elderly woman and she is very vulnerable to germs, so I thought it best he stay away. The way my week will pan out all depends on if this develops into a full blown cold or not. We shall see!!
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
If this doesn't bring a smile to your face, I don't know what will! That is one very excited child! Either that or she is completely terrified. I can't quite decide . . . what do you think???
As a closing thought I would like to leave you with this:
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover"
What true words these are. We should live each day to it's fullest potention and never let fear guide our steps. As we cast off our fears and expand our horizons . . . at the end we may find that we have perhaps failed, or fallen down, but boy oh boy we will sure have enjoyed the journey!
And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!
Here's a delicious Vegetarian Meal. Oh, how I love brussel sprouts. I think we'll try to grow some next year in our garden. I could eat them every day of the week and never tire of them . . . seriously!!
*Brussels Sprout and Mushroom Ragout With Herby Dumplings*
This really is special and can make a brussels sprout lover out of even the most die hard hater of the lovely little green gems! You needn't use large onions actually. I like to use shallots, sliced in half. It is well worth the effort of making your own mushroom stock. It tastes so much better than store bought and you can control the amount of salt in it better. I love the little herby dumplings on top! They are like the icing on the cake and, as we all know, cake with icing is always better!
Mushroom stock (see recipe below)
4 tsp olive oil
2 medium to large onions, peeled and sliced about 1/2 inch thick, or half a dozen or so small shallots peeled and trimmed, and cut in half
3/4 pound of fresh mushrooms, a mixture of crimini and white button ones works well
(Wipe clean, trim and slice thickly)
3 TBS chopped flat leaf parsley (fresh)
1 TBS chopped tarragon (fresh)
1 fat clove of garlic, peeled and minced
the juice of 1/2 large lemon
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered if large
For the Herby Dumplings:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup milk, heated with 3 TBS butter
3 TBS minced fresh flat leaf parsley and tarragon, mixed
1 large egg
Make the mushroom stock, and once it is simmering bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the brussels sprouts and cook until nearly tender, about 4 to 6 minutes at most. Drain and then set them aside until needed.
Heat the oil in a large deep nonstick skillet. Add the onions or shallots and cook them over medium heat until they are nicely fragrant and nicely coloured, about 12 minutes or so, giving them an occasional stir.
While you are cooking the onions, chop the herbs and garlic, and slice the mushrooms. Once the onions are a rich colour, increase the heat to high and add the mushrooms, herbs and garlic to the pan. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over top and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown in places. Reduce the heat to low and add the sprouts and mushroom stock.
For the dumplings, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour in the milk, herbs and egg and stir quickly together with a fork. Drop by small spoonfuls on top of the simmering ragout. You only want 12 small dumplings. You will have extra batter, but don't be tempted to use it or your ragout will be too bready. This is one of those times whereby you just can't cut the recipe in half and the full amount is just to much. (Just close your eyes and tip the rest down the drain . . .)
Cover the pan with a lid and steam the dumplings for 10 minutes or until done. (they should be cooked through and dry on top) Serve the hot ragout in soup plates with three dumplings in each bowl. Delicious!
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 far clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
2 fresh mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped
2 tsp tomato puree (paste)
1 TBS chopped fresh marjoram ( 1 tsp dried)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 TBS plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the dried mushrooms in a large beaker and cover with 3 cups of boiling water. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over high heat. Add the vegetables and saute, stirring occasionally until they are well browned and aromatic. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Add the tomato paste, marjoram and wine. Once it has reduced to a syrupy consistency add the porcini and their soaking water. Season with about 1/2 tsp of salt and a little pepper. Simmer for about 2o minutes before straining to use. You may also freeze the strained stock.
Baking in The English Kitchen today, some delicious Apple Pie Roll Ups!