Thursday 25 June 2009

Be Prepared . . .

The things we see in life, more often than not, depend very much on what has gone on in the background, the result of well thought out planning . . .

Have you ever thought when you sit down to relax and watch the television in the evening, about all of the hard work and planning that has been put into the program that you are about to watch?? The writing of the script, the rehearsal of the actors, the lighting crew, the recording crew . . . all the things that went into the making of that particular program which fit together to make a perfect mix . . .

It occurs to me this morning that it is the perfect metaphor for life. Our lives, in order to be fulfilled and relaxing, should too, be well thought out in advance. Most things can be successfully achieved if well prepared. A marathon runner runs the perfect marathon only when he has put in hours and hours of training, and even for the shortest of performances, the musician practises for weeks ahead of time . . .

Lord Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement, always spoke and wrote about being well prepared . . . in fact the words "Be Prepared," were his motto. He knew that being prepared for even the smallest things in life and learning to practice this habit consistently, would help to train youngsters to be able to meet the great challenges in life with courage, the tasks of life with strength, and even life's most challenging disasters with a measure of serenity.

There's something in those words for each of us to take in and make our own . . . be prepared.

"Life, believe, is not a dream
So dark, as sages say;
Oft a little morning rain
Foretells a pleasant day."
~Charlotte Bronte, Life, 1846

When I was 18 yaers old I started collecting cookbooks from Better Homes and Gardens. There was a whole series of cookbooks, a cookbook library as it were, some 10 or so volumes of various titles. These and the penciled notes written in my mother's hand were the backbone of my early cookery years in married life. One of my favourite volumes was the one entitled "Good Food On A Budget," and it's pages are splattered and time worn . . . This is one of our favourites from between it's pages. I've adapted it here and there through the years and now I think it's about as perfect as perfect can be! (Economical too!)

*Frankly Potatoes*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is comfort food plain and simple. You can't get much better than smokey flavoured hot dogs (frankfurters), slice potatoes and cheese. What's not to like?

8 ounces of smoked frankfurters
1 TBS butter
1 TBS flour
2/3 cup milk
1 cup process cheese spread (I used McLelland's Seriously Strong spreadable cheese,
but you could use Dairy Lee spread or even Cheese Whiz)
2 TBS minced onion
2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
4 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled and sliced (4 cups)
2 ounces grated cheddar cheese for topping

Remove 3 of the franks and set aside. Slice the remaining franks into 1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Whisk in the cheese spread, parsley and onion, cooking and stirring until the cheese spread is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly butter a shallow 1 litre casserole dish.

Fold the cooked potatoes and sliced frankfurters into the cheese sauce. Pour this mixture into the prepared casserold dish. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over top. Slice the remaining frankfurters in half on the diagonal and place in a decorative manner on top. Bake in the heated oven for 40 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling away, and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

To see what we got up to next, hop on over to The English Kitchen . . .


  1. Good thoughts for today...and every day, Marie! And good eating too! Hubby likes sausages of any kind, and with potatoes of course. ;o) Lovely floral photos here today. Did I miss you on MSN Messenger yesterday? I was on earlier, but wasn't feeling well so wasn't up for being there later into the night. Hope we catch up soon--have missed chatting with you! Happy Day, sweet friend. LOVE YOU HEAPS :o) ((BIG HUGS))

  2. You have a way of making even the simplist things look very grand. It is getting very warm here this weekend so I won't be turning the oven on. I'm going to try to use the crockpot though for some cabbage rolls. Have a great weekend!

  3. Marie your blog is beautiful and so are your other blogs and your artwork.

    Nice to see a little girl from Nova Scotia cooking up a storm.

    Renee xoxo

  4. Interesting post Marie. I know that in your faith being prepared for the future in all ways is taught. I have recently been convicted in a similar way. I've been trying hard to "stockpile" food and other supplies. While I simply don't have the storage space for a year's worth I do have quite a bit put back now. It surely gives a sense of peace to me to know that I'm sick and can't get out I have lots here to keep us going. blessings, marlene

  5. Taters and weiners, as we say down here! Sounds perfect to me!

  6. I'm glad you mentioned McLellands cheese spreads. They're lovely and tasty. Have you tried the smokey and chilli versions? They ought to be paying me for this ad didn't they?

    I am all for being prepared for the future but I like to leave just a little bit of room for the odd attack of spontenaity, to which I'm prone.

    Having said that, I do like to know, in my own mind, exactly what I'm supposed to be doing and when and how it's to be acieved, so yes, I suppose I'm one of life's planners!

    love, Angie, xx

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  8. Preparation and perspiration make a great team, don't they? Every thing that is worth something is worth working towards. Life is preparation and sweat and maintenance a good part of the time. People that do what they do so well, make it look often give the on-looker the wrong point of reference. I am a believer that there is no free lunch. We can only reap what we have sown thorough good old-fashioned preparation.

  9. Great post, Marie. Wish I had read it about half a century ago, and known then what I know now. But on the other hand, if I had, I may never have come to know the Lord and be the person I am today. All those years I must have been in the molding process for what I was created to be--and I don't think the Lord is finished yet. (SMILE)


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