Monday, 19 January 2009

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, January 19th, 2009 ...

Outside My Window...

The wind is blowing to beat the band and rain is lashing itself against our windows. Yes, it is raining again. We did have a brief respite yesterday afternoon, but alas it could not last. They are saying to batten ourselves down as more storms, rain and possibly even snow are on their way to England. We shall see. My first year over here ended up being the worst autumn and winter on record for rain with widespread flooding etc. I thought I was going to develop webbed feet!

I am thinking...
About my stove dying yesterday. Yes, it finally happened. I wore the poor thing out I guess. I had turned the oven on to pre-heat it for some cupcakes I was making (Lemon Meringue) and went to put them into the oven and lo and behold . . . no heat. It had happened earlier in the weekend as well, but I was able to get it working that time. No such luck this time. What to do . . . what to do . . . I tried baking one in the microwave, but we almost died from smoke inhalation. Warning: Do not try to bake Lemon Meringue Cupcakes in the microwave.
I ended up having to throw them and my pretty polka dot cupcake cases into the bin . . . sad, so sad. Anyways, it was our own stove and about 8 years old. It was a floor model when we bought it, so we had gotten a really good deal on it. I expect we will not be getting a good deal on another one. Todd is going out to look today. It's not something we can really afford right now, but we do need one so . . .

I am thankful for...
all the many blessings I do have in my life. I was sitting there having a little boo hoo about my stove yesterday afternoon and Todd said to me . . .

"You could be sitting in a grass hut somewhere in the world right now, with a starving child on your lap, but you're not."

No, I'm not and I have been richly blessed in so many ways, so yes, while it is a bit of a pain to have to go out and get a new stove and we can least afford to do so right now, but I do have a lovely roof over my head, food in my belly, a man who loves me, and the gospel in my life. What more could a person want! Never cry over spilt cupcakes! (Even Lemon Meringue ones!)

From the kitchen...
See above . . . nuff said!

I am wearing...
My trusty old pajamas! Thank goodness for comfy old pajamas and the way they feel. All cosy and tucked up in my chair, I feel so at home and at peace. I hate to have to get dressed later on, but alas, I don't think it would do to turn up at work in my pajamas . . . mores the pity!

I am creating...
I dug out my book on creating sock dolls the other day and am trying to decide which ones I want to make. They are all so cute and something I would love to make for my grandsons. No sock monkeys, but I can't get the proper socks over here for them. At least not that I've been able to find. I thought about bartering for a couple of pairs, you know . . . like trading a set of my greeting cards for some . . . but then I thought maybe nobody would want to do that, so I will make them elephants or some such.

I am going...
I have a luncheon to prepare for on Wednesday so I will be busy planning that and then shopping for it today. I just love doing luncheons and dinner parties. They give me a chance to stretch my abilities and I just love the challenge of executing one to perfection. I love the planning, the shopping and everything to do with it. I love setting the table and seeing it when it is finished. I love dressing the plates. I just love everything about it. It's so much fun for me!

I am reading...
I admit I got bored with the Cranford Chronicles . . . well not bored, really so much as I was not really able to get into it right now. I have to read to suit my mood. There is a film coming out called Ink Heart that I want to see when it comes over here, and it is based on a book by the same name, written by Cornelia Funke. Now how could a book written by someone with a name like that not be delicious!!! I have always found the books to be far better than the films and so I am reading the book and enjoying every page turn!

I am hoping...
that when Todd goes out to look for a new stove today he is able to get a good deal on one and that I will like what he picks out. I would normally go to pick one out with him, but I have to work and won't have the time and I cannot go too long without one, so it is being left up to him. As long as it is white and fits in the proper space, and does what it is supposed to do, I guess that is all that counts! Self cleaning would be nice, but we will see. They cost more.

I am hearing...
The clock on the wall is ticking as the little teacup pendulum moves back and forth. Jess is laying by my feet snoring away. (her favourite place first thing in the morning) The wind is raging and the rain is falling and I am at peace. Here, safe within these comfy walls, I am at peace . . .

Around the house...
We ordered the paint to paint the kitchen. It is a pale yellow called calico. I hope it works out ok. Our home teachers are going to come over and help Todd paint it one day, probably on Saturday. It's kind of exciting really!! Then this new kitchen will finally be finished! You know, I still haven't managed to fill up all my cupboards!! I must be slipping!!

One of my favorite things...
is dancing. I love to dance and have always done so. Todd and I never go to dances. In fact I have never really truly danced with Todd. I feel self conscious now because of my size, but when I was younger, I used to love to dance and danced through my days. I took ball room dance at one time and really enjoyed that . . . the Viennese waltz, the cha cha, rumba, jive, fox trot. My favourite one was the fox trot, followed closely by the rumba. I also love square dancing and line dancing. Line dancing is great exercise and you don't need a partner to do it with! Plus, being a big fan of country music, I just love the music! I should dig out my dance dvd's this week and do some more of it. It couldn't hurt could it!! I definitely need the exercise!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
There is the luncheon on Wednesday and then on Thursday, there is Seminary and YW mutual activity. We are sorting out our YW's room at the chapel and decorating it. Our room kind of gets used for a lot of things, but it can't hurt for us to have it looking a bit more like a young women's room. We are going to put up some posters and create a bulletin board for the girls. I expect there will be some food involved as well at some point, knowing the girls! It should be fun!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Here is a little glimpse of my latest creation that I will be posting over on my Blossom Time Creations blog a little later on today. It's a bit of departure from the art I've been doing. I have always loved Raggedy Ann and I thought I'd do a raggedy one. It's called Raggedy Joy. I think I will list it as a print in my Etsy shop later today as well. I did a bit of work on my Etsy shop yesterday as most of my listings had run out. I wanted to do more, but there just wasn't enough time. Perhaps later this week. I have made a sign and gotten some cards ready for Todd to take them down to the Post Office in the village. Hopefully they will do well.

Well, I had planned on showing you some delicious looking Lemon Meringue Cupcakes this morning, but they will have to wait for another time unfortunately so I have had to dig into my archives from my Muses to find a recipe to share with you today. This is a really delicious one though so I don't think you will mind!

*Breaded Pork Chops With a Honey Mustard Sauce*

Serves 2
As written this recipe serves two, but can be easily multiplied to serve more. Covered on the outside with a crisp coating, tender and moist on the inside and accompanied with a deliciously sweet, yet tangy sauce, there’s much to love with this one!

2 boneless pork loin chops
Salt and pepper
1 cup dried seasoned bread crumbs (I used Italian)
1 large egg
2 TBS milk
2 TBS olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and minced
½ cup dry white wine or apple juice
1 TBS grainy mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 TBS honey
¼ cup heavy cream
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/375*F.

Put the two pork chops into a heavy plastic freezer bag and then pound them as thinly as you like with the side of a rolling pin, until they are roughly twice the size you started out with. Try hard not to tear the meat.

Beat the egg and milk together in a shallow plate. Place the bread crumbs into another shallow plate.

Dust the beaten pork chops on both sides with some salt and pepper. Dip each one first in the beaten egg to coat, allowing the excess to drip off and then roll each in the bread crumbs, coating them well, using your fingertips to help them to adhere. Repeat once more, so that they are double coated. Let sit for about 10 minutes for the crumbs to dry on well.

Take a heavy bottomed skillet and heat it over medium high heat. Add the oil and when it is starting to shimmer add the pork hope. Reduce the heat to medium and then brown them well on both sides, about 3 minutes on each. Put them onto a small oven tray and place them into the heated oven. Turn the oven heat off and let them sit in the oven while you make the sauce.
Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook it in the drippings, stirring it frequently until it is quite soft, but not browned. Add the white wine and cook for a few minutes until it is reduced by about a third. Stir in the mustards and the honey. When the honey is melted and they are completely amalgamated together stir in the cream. Heat through.

Remove your chops from the oven and place on warm plates. Serve with the pan sauce spooned over. I like to serve a green vegetable and some type of potatoes with this.

Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries!

PS - I was just over at my friend Susan's blog Not Quite June Cleaver, and she is hosting a wonderful giveaway, a beautiful book and one of her lovely aprons!!! Hop on over and have a gander. You could be the lucky winner if you enter!


  1. Marie --

    I am so sorry to hear about your stove! Do you have anything like craigslist over there? Our craigslist has many used but very good appliances on it for a fraction of the price of new ones. How sad that you had to throw away your lemon cupcakes...

    Your paint color for your kitchen sounds so pretty and cheery. That will look so nice!

    I hope you have a great week this week and that your weather clears up a little.


    PS - your Raggedy Ann doll painting is adorable!

  2. Hi Marie, I popped over from Duckie to say hello. What sort of socks are you looking for for the sock dolls? There is a shop in Somerset that has stripey socks which i have used for making sock monkey's would they be any good? Your dish looked delicious. Jane

  3. I am so sorry that your stove broke. What a pain. However, I think that Todd has the right attitude about it...but it is ok for us girls to boohoo a bit. I am sure that there are many ways that you would rather spend the money.

    Isn't the cottage a part of the big house estate? Shouldn't your wonderful, kind and generous boss get you a new stove??? I can see that you are not holding your breath for that to happen...oh well, I can wish.

    Let me know what kind of socks you need and I will try to find them and send them to you. I will be glad to.

    One day wear the jammies I sent when you do your day book so I can picture you in my mind wearing them while you write.

    Claire is spending the night with us. She likes to sleep on the love seat in our bedroom next to our bed. John is snoring away on one side of me and Claire on the other. Maybe I should try to sleep in the other room...heehee

    My tummy is better but not good yet. I hope that your headache is gone but with the stove going out I am afraid it is not.

    PLEASE SEND A LITTLE OF THAT RAIN OUR WAY. We need it so badly and you need some of our sun. What is up with that???

    Have a good Monday my friend. I hope that Todd gets a great deal on a wonderful stove for you.
    Love, Lura

  4. I do hope you get your stove replaced soon. That is one thing you need for sure. I use my little toaster oven alot here and rarely turn on the big one. It is probably over 20 years old at this point as I bought used and have had it for 16 years now. The pork chops really look and sound delicious in your entry today. Everything you make seems to be that way. Have a lovely Monday !
    'On Ya'-ma

  5. Marie,
    So sorry to hear about your stove....I had the same experience last year, seemed like the only things that I wanted to cook for a few days required an oven.
    Are the socks you are looking for the brown/white tweed with the red heels and toes? I would gladly send you some.
    Have a great Monday.
    Hugs, Barb

  6. I'm sorry to hear about your stove....mine once went on me on Christmas eve,and it didn't get fixed until the 29th. the porkchops look yummy!

  7. So sorry to hear about your stove. Sorry that your cupcakes had to go to the bin, that in itself would have brought a tear to my eye. A few yrs back while I was still married, my stove went out. I remembered cooking on an old castiron stove out on the reservation and how we went about cooking lovely things. So while we shopped I got out the electric skillet, crockpot, and electric burner eyes that were for using out with the grill and yes even the grill. It was ok ever had biscuits on the grill - we did. Hahaha. While we were shopping we made a funny discovery, if you want a simple stove it seemed to cost more, and the stove with everything computerized and times and just everything even with the shinny cooktop was the least expensive. So of course that was what we bought it was actually 300 less than the regular stoves. I am hoping that is the sort of thing Todd finds for you, but I know what he gets will be what our heavenly father directs him to and it will be perfect no matter.

    Wish I were nearer to give you a real hug or two. I think we all need an extra hug when we have crazy life things happen to us. I will be praying and I know the Lord will provide that extra hug for you today.

    I love your drawing she is so cute! You certainly have the gift.

    Pork chops look great - bet they are!

    love and hugs,
    Ruthanne oxox

  8. Oh, Marie...I'm so sorry about the loss of your oven! *SNIFF* Hope you'll be able to get a new one very soon...Have you started on the kitchen painting yet? I always love these posts of yours on Monday, so see how your week is starting off. And I LOVE your Raggedy print--she is a darling! What fun, happy creation she is! It was so wonderful to get a chance to chat with you last night--that always caps off the week so sweetly! :o) Keep up posted about the oven...And hope you'll get to those lemon cupcakes again sometime...mmm...LOVE YOU HEAPS ((HUGS))

  9. Marie,
    I am a lurker here, but out of all the blogs I lurk on, yours is a must for me everyday(I am also a fellow 'zaar member). Anyhoo, I don't know how different stoves are over there, but twice ours has stopped working. Both times it was a heating coil(or something like that) that needed to be replaced. It just kept the Oven from heating up. My own Todd was able to replace it himself and it was much cheaper than a new stove. Just a suggestion. Ours is at least 8-10 years old, but still works ok(knock on wood). At any rate, I hope you get something worked out!

  10. You know it's almost lunch time here and those pork chops are making me salivate. YUM.

  11. Oh Marie I am so sorry to hear about your stove! I hope you manage to find a good one soon. We recently redid our kitchen and I know how eye-watering the costs are!
    What a shame about your cupcakes - they sound yummy. Your chops look just as gorge tho! :) xx

  12. Marie,

    I love your blog. In fact, it is the first one I read everyday and then I leave it open so that I can listen to your playlist. Today there was no playlist.

    I am so sorry to hear about your oven. I was without mine for several weeks while we waited for a part. Not a fun experience. I hope that it is fixed/replaced soon.

    I am a memeber of your faith and love your inpirational comments.

  13. Stoves are a necessary thing! Especially in your world! I want to see Ink Heart too!

  14. I hope your stove gets fixed soon! You'll have to tell me how you like Inkheart. I'm on the waiting list on the library!

  15. Marie:

    Oh how I love browsing your blog. You are a true inspiration.

    I'm in the process of upgrading mine right now. All I have left to do is have my husband create a banner!

    I tried to email you through your blog, but it didn't work. When you get a chance, can you pop by my blog and email me. I have a little something that I want to send to you, but I can't find your address. I know I had it at one point in time, as I have sent prints to you.


  16. Hello Marie.
    My name is Claire. My Grammy says that you are her good friend.
    She helped me make a blog.

    We had a royal tea party. She said you have a real queen and have real tea parties in England.

    We talked about you when we had our tea party. Come and see us.
    Love, Claire

  17. I've missed several of your posts because I've been sick Marie, I have to go back and see what I've missed!

  18. Honey, you are in the right place and the right profession for you. What a gift. I am glad you have this in your life.

    I love hearing about Jess, especially since Tippy died - Jess snoring at your feet in her snuffly, delightful way. Just like Tip would. Well poke your feet around in her fur and love her madly, for the both of us. :)

    I am going to borrow your quote from Todd, and give you credit of course. xo

  19. We had to get a new stove a while back. I am still getting used to it! :)


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