Thursday, 8 January 2009

To do your best . . .

When I am dead if men can say,
He helped the world along the way,
If they can say, if they but can,
"He did his best, He played the man,
His way was straight, His soul was clean,
His life was not unkind or mean.
He always did his best and tried
To help men," - I'll be satisfied.
~author unknown

Did you know that the above verse was one of the late Johnny Cash's favourite inspirational verses? Mr Cash had copied it down in the 1940's and carried it around with him wherever he went. I know that he didn't always live that kind of life and that he had major struggles in his younger years with alcohol and drugs, and he was not the greatest father or husband in his younger years either, due to the alcohol and drugs. I do think he got it together in his later years though and that June Carter Cash was a stabilizing influence in his life as well as his faith in the Lord.

When you think about it though, these words probably weren't written for anyone that was a saint and perfect anyways. I expect they were written for plain ordinary folks just like us. People who may fail abysmally from time to time, but who still aspire to better things as time goes by and who hope to arrive home at the end with our heads held high, something like the great Mr Cash. Now . . . that's a wonderful thought, and something we can each one of us aspire to.

I am having major problems with my camera. We tried to take it back to the store yesterday but they seem to think there is nothing wrong with it and will not exchange. We have a call in to the technical people at Kodak now and are waiting to hear back from them. For every set of photos that I take for some reason only 2 or 3 may be uploaded from it, with me getting the message each time that "some pictures are already in your collection and were not transferred again." It's very frustrating because I know that they are not already in my collection and in fact are new pictures completely! In the shop they took 2 pictures and because they uploaded they said the camera was fine. Todd did a little experiment with it when he came home and had the same results that I always have. He took about 10 pics and ended up with two, plus the two that the shop took, which I had deleted and still showed up for some odd reason. Anyways, you will all have to bear with me til I get this sorted out and put up with crummy pictures in the meantime!! It is quite annoying to me as I am a bit of a perfectionist that way and I hate to show you anything less than my best!

I made the Potato Pancake Frittata from my cookbook challenge one night at the weekend and were were quite pleased with it. It had a lovely flavour and was very much like Potato Pancakes, except it was cooked in the tradition of a frittata instead of like pancakes. I have really enjoyed every recipe cooked from this book, "Seriously Simple Holidays" by Diane Rossen Worthington and I would highly recommend to anyone. And now for the recipe . . .

*Potato Pancake Frittata*
Serves 4

This had a wonderfully delicious flavour and was a lot easier and quicker to do than individual potato pancakes. We had it for supper with some bacon and scrambled egg, but it would make a lovely side dish for grilled meats. Amazingly it took only one potato! We had it with a bit of sour cream and some applesauce on the side.

1/2 medium onion, quartered
1 large egg
2 TBS fresh flat leaf parsley leaves
1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 TBS matzo meal or plain bread crumbs
1/4 tsp baking powder
peanut, canola or corn oil for cooking

Pre-heat the oven to 205*C/425*F.

Place the onion and egg in a food processor and blitz until smooth and fluffy. Add the parsley and potato and pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, and yet still has texture. You do not want it smooth. Pour into a bowl and then season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the baking powder and bread crumbs.

Pour oil into a 9 inch nonstick skillet about 1/8 of an inch deep. This skillet should have an oven-proof handle. If it doesn't cover the handle with two layers of foil. Heat the skillet and oil over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer. Pour the batter into the pan and level it out, smoothing off the top.

Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, to make sure the bottom isn't sticking. You may need to adjust the heat so that the bottom doesn't burn. Cook for at least five minutes until the bottom is nicely browned.

Once you have a nicely browned bottom transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly puffed and golden brown. Remove from the oven and carefully invert onto a 12 inch round platter. Cut into wedges and serve with some applesauce and sour cream on the side. Delicious!


  1. Good Morning
    I love that poem...I will try to make it my guide to live by too.

    I am sorry about your camera. That is so maddening! I know how frustrated you must be.

    I can't wait to try this potato dish. It looks so good to me.

    It is the first Wed. of the month another hour and a half so I must get busy and do my awards post. I have two awards that you gave me that I should pass on.

    Have a good day. Love, Lura

  2. What a wonderful quote Marie. I am sorry you are having problems with your camera. How frustrating! I wish I could give you some advice, but my husband is my tech guy and he is sleeping. I will ask him tomorrow if he has any ideas. Maybe it is something with your computer? Your fritata looks lovely.

    I hope you have a wonderful day!


  3. Your opening poem - at first I thought it sounded like Kipling. Do you know the one I mean? I think it's just called "If".

    That's odd about your camera. It sounds more like a problem with the memory card rather than the camera itself or - worse - your computer. I'm the last person who should give any opinion on teccy things though so I'll just shut up!

    I can almost smell your potato dish cooking - mmmm.

    love, Angie, xx

  4. That wasn't very clear was it! I don't think the poem IS 'If', I just thought it sounded like Kipling until I saw 'Unknown'


  5. I know I would absolutely love this potato dish Marie. We could have easily made this in our early days and enjoyed it as much then as now. You HAVE come a long way baby:D I always enjoy your inspirational posts.

  6. Good luck with the camera. I hope something can be done. I know I'd hate to loose pictures I'd taken.
    'On Ya'-ma

  7. That poem is a wonder...brilliant inspiration there! I must make note of that in my commonplace book. Nothing more frustrating for a blogger than camera wonkiness and/or failure! Will you have to get a new one? Are you sure it's camera itself, or some connection problem with computer? Perhaps a new USB connector? That potato pancake frittat looks so good. What's funny is I lately found a recipe for something similar and thought I'd try this weekend--the cakes are made much smaller though. Funny, I used not to like potatoes all the much, but now I do! Oh, but I'm sorry to have missed you last night on MSN again--we keep missing each other! :o( We were indeed sitting down to dinner, and I didn't get back on again. I'll be around this afternoon if you can steal away for a chat...hope so! Miss you! Hope you're having a great day. LOVE YOU ((HUGS))

  8. Oh dear Marie sorry to read youur camera is playing you up.It is so annoying when you need it so much too.I do hope you find out whats wrong.I havn't a clue.I love the little robin picture it is beautiful in your post today.The pancake looks yummy.Have a lovely day Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  9. What a great poem.

    That recipe looks to die for...YUM.

  10. So sorry you are having such trouoble with your camera hope you can get it sorted out soon. It does seem a strange fault. Love Joan.

  11. I hope your camera gets fixed soon! That friatta looks fabulous! :)

  12. Marie, You are a true Author..yes you have your cookery book out in print at last and so many people I know are going to love it and use it often but just as much as having the book in print is your skill as an author here writing your daily journal to share with s all...I do so so enjoy popping in and getting my heart lifted by reading your wonderful words.
    God Bless dear friend,
    Love sybil xx

  13. What a lovely poem ,if we can get just some of it right ......! How frutrating about your camera ,is it the camera or the up load on your computer ,because mine used to do that till we restalled Jan xx

  14. I hope your camera problem is soon fixed!! Sounds like it may be a lemon. Having worked retail before, at least here in USA, the squeeky wheel gets oiled. Keep going back till it gets resolved. Here, another key phrase is to say that you feel you were "baited and switched"...they will do just about anything to help you to feel better. This may not apply to this situation, but you can as a last resort use it anyway! Maybe the manager would like you to take a photo of the storefront where you bought this camera and show that on the blog eh? heehee....

    I enjoy reading what you post!

  15. Hey girl. I love the picture of that little bird - what kind is it? I love the snow falling effect...looks like it is snowing in the bird picture - just lovely. That potato frittata looks delish. I am a fan of any potato under any circumstance. I had a delightful slice of hashbrown casserole today - yum. Hope you're well. And Happy New Year! xoxo

  16. Dear, I've been way behind in my reading. Too many kiddies running around for Xmas for weeks! And too much spacey grief-head in general. Did you publish a cookbook??? Is there an "American version"? Would love it. And don't worry, your Xmas ltr is coming along soon. Allison

  17. How annoying about your camera :( I hope it is all sorted soon - although I did like the robin photo in this post.
    Looks like a lovely frittata!

  18. great poem and so true!

    that pancake frittata looks yummy!


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