Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Small and simple things . . .

The other day as I was sitting in the Dentist's office, I overheard a woman say to someone else . . . "I'd love to do some real good in the world, but the chance to do so never seems to arise."

I suspect that this is a way that most of us have felt on one occasion or another. How wonderful it would be, we think, if we had the time, or the means, to be able to make a grand gesture that would change everything in the world for the better. Sounds great on the surface, and it would be pretty wonderful, but alas, the thought can also help to give us a good excuse not to do anything at all, and to miss out on the smaller opportunities to make things better that present themselves to us, each and every day.

When we look at the world as a whole, the task of creating change for the better can seem somewhat daunting and very overwhelming, somewhat like trying to eat an elephant.

I am reminded of the story about the two friends who were walking along a beach that was strewn with starfish that had washed and were dying in the sand. As they walked along, one of the friends periodically would reach down to pick up a starfish and throw it back into the sea. The other friend remarked about how futile a gesture that was. and how little a difference it made, when the beach was filled with dying starfish. The saviour of the starfish simply looked at his friend and remarked, as he picked up another starfish and threw it back into the sea . . . "It made a difference to that one."

We might be tempted to save our efforts and means to try to save or change something that is deemed important, but I like to believe that it is in the smallest things, and simplest of gestures, that great change can be brought about.

"Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations."
~Jean Paul Richter

I would rather do something small, than do nothing at all . . . change can indeed begin with baby steps and small and simple things . . . change begins with one . . and you can eat an elephant by taking just one bite at a time . . .

I'm afraid that there's no Tuesdays With Dorie here again this week. This week April of Short + Rose chose the Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte, on pages 284-285. Whilst this sounds quite, quite delicious . . . my Todd doesn't do chocolate and I'm not doing it right now either . . . so I gave this week a miss. You can check out April's page though, if you would like to see it and perhaps try it out yourself.

There may be no chocolate here today , but there is a tasty little Spaghetti Pizza Pie. I know, pasta is not a favourite of Todd's either, neither is pizza . . . but once in a while I do like to indulge myself in the treat of both and so, I did. He doesn't actually hate it per se . . . it's just that it's not one of his favourite things to eat. I'll make up for it today by cooking him something meaty and potatoey, but in the meantime let's indulge.

*Spaghetti Pizza Pie*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

The kiddies are going to love this one, even the BIG ones! I have given the basic version here, but you can dress this up with additions of pepperoni slices if you want, or roasted peppers and olives. Any pizza topping works well. Use your imagination and go wild!!

8 ounces spaghetti noodles
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 large egg, beaten
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
2 cups tomato passata
(seived tomatoes)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup chopped sweet green peppers

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/375*F. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie dish and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti in it for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender, but still firm. (al dente) Drain well, rinse and transfer to a bowl. Toss with 1 TBS of the oil and let cool.

Meanwhile, heat the other TBS of oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, basil and oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add the tomato passata. Cook, stirring from time to time until thickened.

Mix the beaten egg and the parmesan cheese into the cooled spaghetti. Press this mixture into the prepared pie dish, making a shell shape. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Spoon the sauce evenly over top. Sprinkle on the rest of the mozzarella, the green peppers and any other toppings you desire. (Here I have used salami and dried black olives) Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is just beginning to brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for about five minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

A tossed salad goes very well with this as well as some Garlic Bread.

Not in the mood for pizza or pasta?? Here's a delicious Tomato and Chick Pea Soup that I cooked yesterday my The English Kitchen. It's hearty, delicious, quick and economical too!


  1. Beautiful pictures, and that soup! Yum :)

  2. Much food for though here today...along with terrific food to eat! I often feel that I could be doing more, give more to others and the world. I think as long as we take each day and do our best, give our best at many given moment, we do give more than we may even realize. Just a smile, a touch, a hand to help..."small" things can mean a lot. So much good comfort food lately, Marie--loving it! This spaghetti pizza is a fun idea! And I can't wait to visit you Kitchen for the soup--you know how I love soup. ;o) Hope your week's off to a good start. Will look out for you on MSN for a chat--can but hope--LOL! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Life offers us countless opportunities to 'do good'...sometimes the smallest of gestures can have a ripple effect. We may not all be 'Mother Theresa' but we can make a difference!

  4. I agree it is in the little every day things that we can make a difference and we should never think that those little things are worthless. Just as you and I go to work and do a good job we are doing our little bit there too. That spagetti pie does look like it would be worth a try. Your ideas of new things to do with something simple amaze me.
    Have a great Tuesday!

  5. Marie! Julie again--just doing a little research this morning and realizing you have so much to share! I love this blog of yours, as well...and here I find we are both LDS women--what a lovely surprise!

  6. Hi Marie,

    Was going through your old posts and read your old post "A Tip For Happy Living & this one as well and thought I wanted to tell you that you're such a wonderful gal; such a wonderful person and am so thankful to have have crossed paths with you ;)).

    Regarding this post, I think alot of the times, we're so comfortable in our own comfort zones, we forget. There is so much we can do.. be it little things like teaching our children to respect & value others, to bless others in so many different ways.. be it being generous with what we have by giving and helping the poor and less fortunate.. Ok, I think I better stop, lest I start blogging here =O)..


  7. This is so true. Just think if Michelangelo, or Mother Teresa, or Gordon B. Hinckley had thought they could not make a difference? I love the song, "Have I Done Any Good In the Word Today?" By small and simple things great things are brought to pass.

  8. We just have to reach out and do something right dear one.

    Love Renee xoxo

  9. I think we are all looking for ways to do our part to make a difference. If we have that idea in our hearts we will all succeed doing our own little things in our own way. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass".

  10. Beautiful thoughts written, shared and taken to heart. I enjoyed every morsel of the wonderful comfort food you shared. Do you know how special you truly are?
    You encourage me to BE and DO better!
    I am reminded of President Monson's talk at conference about kindness. It goes along way to bless lives!
    Stay warm and happy...the snow has arrived!;]

  11. I so agree with you, we should go about doing good continually...it's so much fun too!
    That spaghetti pizza looks so good to me...NUMMY! You are so wonderful..always spreading the "good" around! Come say hi :D

  12. i love the starfish story-it is beautiful and so very true. and i can't wait to make that spaghetti pizza-my kids will think that is way cool!

  13. I love anything with spegetti and pie in it.

  14. Spaghetti pizza pie! I can see myself making this next time it's my turn to cook - the kids would love it!

  15. Beautiful post Marie. I think sometimes small things make the biggest difference down the road.


  16. Love this post Marie! When my girls were small I'd ask them during the evening meal what nice things they did for someone that day, I told them that even the smallest things were important. Some of the answers used to make me laugh, I remember one thing was that she had picked up a pencil that the teacher had dropped!!
    My helpful thing to do today is to take my 81 year old aunt to a shopping centre that she wouldn't go to on her own, we'll have lunch together and Peter will pick us up when he finishes work in the afternoon, I know it means a lot to her and gives us a chance to catch up on our news. ~~ Pat x


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