Monday, 18 August 2008

A Simple Woman's Day book . . .

For Today
Outside my Window
The sun is just starting to peek above the horizon. All the earth is bathed in early morning dew, which sparkles like little jewels upon the grass and flowers in my garden. It reminds me of when I was a child and my mother would send me out to the garage to bring out our bicycles and my brothers toy wagon in the mornings. I would be wearing canvas sneakers and the toes would get all wet from the dew . . . it felt nice. There's a special smell in the air in the early morning . . . the smell of dew and the earth waking up.

I am thankful for
I am just thankful to be alive and living the life I am living. I have been given so many blessings . . . the blessings of family, friends, employment, good health . . . my cup truly runneth over with blessings, both large and small. What more could one ask for . . .

From the kitchen
I have a huge tin of freshly baked cookies that are calling my name, like a siren calling the captain of a ship to crash his vessel upon the rocks . . . will I answer the call??? Knowing me . . . most definitely!

I am wearing
Pink pajamas, with multi pink striped bottoms and a plain top, embroidered around the neck with little flowers. They're old. They're tatty. They're my favourite pajamas.

I am reading
The latest novel in the Twilight Series, by Stephanie Meyer. I started it about a week ago and am about 3 chapters in. I know . . . not much. I only get to read for about 15 minutes a night before I am falling asleep, or reading the same page over and over again, so it will take me a while. Never mind . . . I'll get there in the end! I'm also reading the latest issue of the Ensign.

I am hoping
To get my cookbook wrapped up and ready for publishing this week. Or as close to that as possible. It's been a long haul. It's become very clear that I won't be able to put as much into it as I would have liked, but never mind . . . that leaves the door open for volume two, which is a happy thought.

I am hearing
the quiet hum of the refrigerator and freezer. Jess is sleeping over in the corner and I can see the gentle rise and fall of her chest as her breath softly blows in and out, low contented sighs . . . the birds are singing in the garden and I can hear the flutter of their wings as they fly back and forth from the feeder. Off in the distance I hear a couple of crows. The peacocks have been strangely silent these past weeks. Maybe they've gone . . .

Around the house
the dishes from yesterday's dinner are sitting on the counter next to the sink, all dried and waiting for someone to put them away. We were too tired last night to be bothered. A basket of beets is waiting on the counter for me to do something with them. They are one of my favourite vegetables, and a most welcome Birthday gift from a gardening friend . . .

One of my favorite things
puttering away in the kitchen, be it tidying up, cooking, drawing, writing . . . standing at the window and looking out at the garden. It is my favourite room in the house and the place I love to be more than any other place.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week
I have packages to pop in the post, letters to write, some eclairs to bake, a home to take care of, a husband to love, my cookbook to finish . . . I have two sets of missionaries coming for dinner on two different nights. On Tuesday night it is an ex missionary and his friend who have come back to England for a visit and then on Thursday night it is the two missionaries that are working in our area right now. Feeding up the missionaries is one of my most favourite things to do. I also have to fit a week's work in there somehow!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you

A beautiful summer's day . . . in one of the most beautiful places on earth . . .
Who could ask for anything more?

Hop on over to The Simple Woman to see some more of today's Simple Woman's Day Book entries for this, the third week in August, 2008. Sigh . . . summer's almost over and it seems as if it's barely begun . . .

I see the Apple Pie Muffins were the front running winner of my Make Me Bake Poll last week. Look for them really soon! I'll be putting up a new poll later on today. For some reason this morning I am not able to get into my AOL e-mail. I don't know what's up with that. Technicians will have to be called. If you have e-mailed me and I haven't answered, no worries . . . I'm not ignoring you, really I'm not. I'll get to you eventually!

Simple meals are sometimes the best aren't they? This is a recipe from out of an old Amish/Mennonite community cookbook of mine. Aren't those little community cookbooks just the best! This recipe is one that my family has always loved. It uses very few ingredients, but is so very tasty and easy to throw together. A wonderful testament to the ingenuity of a simple people and their ability to create something very tasty out of simple ingredients and very little money!

*Poor Man's Steak*
Serves 4 - 6 (depending on how hungry you are)

I expect there are about as many versions out there of this recipe as they are Amish or Mennonite cooks! This is the one I like to make and of course the one we like to eat! It's amazing what can be done with just a few simple ingredients, but then again, country folk are experts at that!

1 cup water
1 cup cracker crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 pound ground beef
All-purpose flour
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk

Put the water, cracker crumbs, salt and ground beef into a bowl. Mix well with a fork. Take a jelly roll pan and line it with a long sheet of plastic wrap, that hangs well over the sides. Pat the meat mixture into the pan evenly and then wrap it up over the top to seal it all in. Place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

The next day when you are ready to cook it, cut the rectangle of meat into 6 slabs. Place some flour on a plate and coat each slab on each side with the flour, shaking off any excess. Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/350*F.

Heat the butter in a large skillet until it starts to foam. Add the slabs of flour coated meat and brown well on each side. Remove to a 9 by 15 inch baking dish, placing the pieces in a single layer.

Stir together the mushroom soup and the milk. Pour this mixture evenly over top of the meat and place the baking dish into the heated oven. Bake, uncovered for 35 to 45 minutes.

We like to have this with mashed potatoes and a vegetable on the side.


  1. I love this post because I can just picture all you have described. It almost makes me feel like I am there with you....I can only wish!

    Have a good day. It sounds like you have a very busy week.

    By the way, how did your talk in church go? I have no doubts that it was great. Hugs.... Lura

  2. What a lovely daybook! I can hardly believe that summer is almost over, either, but it does not bother me as I love autumn best of all! We love poor man's steak here! I am so grateful for the chance to have "met" you and do so enjoy being your friend! Much love, Raquel XO

  3. We must be kindred spirits. One of my favorite things is puttering in the kitchen and I too am finishing up a cook book this week! I hope you have a productive week! :)

  4. That looks delicious! I can't wait to see your cookbook! I tried to send you another message yesterday, but it didn't go through. I'll try again.

    I didn't like Twilight. Don't read her newest one--Breaking Dawn--it'll really bother you.

  5. I love qhen you talk about "simple woman's day book! all is said I think and love dear Marie, and the pictures with this blue sky so lovely!
    And I love the recipe, and really love your dish so cute!!!! xxGloria
    Have a beautiful day with Todd!!!

  6. Thanks for the recipe! I will make it soon.
    I loved reading your daybook and seeing your drawings and photos.
    Mama Bear

  7. Marie! It is good to see you on the daybook!
    We seem to consistantly hang in the same crowds, lol!

  8. MarilynInMiamiFL :)18 August 2008 at 16:34

    Hi Marie, I am on AOL too, and before calling and waiting FOREVER on the phone, I would try Live is fast and works so much better because after you are done you can PRINT the instructions for repairing it :) Also..they have an ongoing problem with adding pics to profiles and inserting pics in letters using the camera icon. If you want to put a picture in the note you still can, just right click your mouse and choose insert picture :) Hope this helps :)

  9. Oh, another Breaking Dawn fan? My daughter hooked me on the series, and we did the midnight thing and everything. (so sad, but true) Enjoy.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe, it looks yummy.

  10. I loved this daybook and how lucky for you living in an English Cottage? It's one of my dreams :)

    I've added you to my bloglines!

    Have a great day!

  11. BTW I forgot to say....I LOVE the Twilight Series. Can't wait for Midnight Sun and the movie in December :)

  12. Oh, Marie ~ How wonderful to have stumbled across your blog through Simple Woman! Your descriptions are lovely; your life sounds like a dream! I'll be back to check and see what you're up to ~ and get some recipes! Blessings!

  13. I enjoyed reading your post. And I love the photo. To see beautiful blue skys that aren't hot!
    Good luck on your projects for the week.

  14. When was your birthday Marie? I know it must have been recently so Happy Birthday. Didn't realise your cookbook was so nearly finished. Good luck with that.
    love, Angie, xx

  15. I wanted to let you know I made the Poor Ma's Steak for my family tonight and I think it went over well. I asked my youngest son to rate it between on1-10 and he rated it and I quote" like 8000 mom" Thanks for a great recipe! I posted it on my cooking blog.


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