Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Today is the best day of your life . . .
Once upon a time, not so far away, a primary teacher stopped to speak to one of his students who was standing all by himself in the playground during break time, looking very forlorn and dejected.
"Michael," he asked, "Why is today the best day of your life?"
Michael looked at him with a puzzled face. "I don't know sir," was his reply. "It doesn't feel like it."
His teacher smiled down at him. "But, I am right, Michael," he said. "Just think about it. You have never been taller than you are today. You have never been stronger than you are today. You have never been wiser than you are today. Today is the best day of your life. Congratulations!"
Michael looked up at him with a huge grin on his face, and then ran off to join his companions. He suddenly felt taller, stronger and wiser, which felt very . . . very . . . good!
Today is the best day of each of our lives, as is each day that passes. With each new day comes new opportunites and blessings . . . the opportunity to grow and to learn and a day filled with promise. Each day is yours to do with what you will. Will you make it worth the time . . . or will you squander it away . . . the choice is yours to make. It can be the worst day . . . or it can be the best day. It's all up to you!
I just love potatoes. For me, they are one of the ultimate comfort foods. I have never been able to do well on a low carb diet, because I adore them so much. They are my favourite vegetable and when you combine them with cheese, onion, cream . . . well, you'll see . . . this is peasant food from France, and oh so very delicious!
Mmm . . . potatoes, onions, mushrooms, creamy cheese and bacon. What more could you want?
7 ounces of proscuitto, in one piece
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, and then cut into
1/2 inch wide half moons
1 cooking onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces dry white wine
9 ounces creme fraiche
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
500g of Reblochon, rind removed
salt and black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 240*C/475*F. Cut the proscuitto into 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inch strips. Place into a large skillet and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or so, until the fat has melted away from the meat. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the potato and onion to the pan drippings. Increase the heat to medium high and cool for about 5 minutes or so, until the onions have softened. Add the thyme and the mushrooms. Cook, stirring until the mushrooms are wilted. Add the wine, increasing the heat to high and bring to the boil. Cook for a minute, then remove from the heat. Stir in the creme fraiche and garlic. Mix well. Add the proscuitto and season to taste with some salt and pepper. Pour into a buttered shallow casserole dish. Dice the cheese and scatter it over the top. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190*C/375*F and cook for a further 30 minutes until the potato is tender. This goes wonderfully with a tossed green salad.
Note* If you can't find Reblochon, you can use Taleggio, Fontina, Vacherin or a firm Brie cheese.
And for even more comfort, looking from the sweet side of things . . . there's a mighty tasty rice pudding on show at The English Kitchen. mmm . . . mmm . . . good.