Thursday 29 October 2009

Thursday ponderings . . .

Alone, I sometimes pause and say,
"You're in my loving thoughts today."
It seems there's no one there, and yet
I speak to those I can't forget;
Lest, being gone, they do not know
I think of them, and want them so!

I've always made it a habit, that . . . whenever a person's name pops into my head, I immediately say a little prayer for them. I don't know if it helps or not, but I reckon everyone can use a little prayer once in a while, and if the spirit is in tune enough to prompt me to think of them . . . then my heart must be in tune enough to speak a few words on their behalf.

Likewise, late at night, when I am in bed and either cannot fall asleep, or have been asleep and have awakened and then am having problems falling back asleep . . . I begin to pray for all those that I know, beginning with those whose names begin with the letter "A". I never get much further than "G" or "H" and I am off into dreamland again. I find it helps to focus on others and what may be happening in their lives than to dwell on my own. Looking at what I have just written though, I reckon next time I better start with the letter "Z" and work my way backwards, as those at the end of the alphabet are being left out!

I don't mind praying for other people. I quite enjoy it actually. I have often heard people say that they will pray for others because it is the least that they can do . . . but really it is one of the greatest things that you can do for others.

"It is the Discipline of prayer that brings us into the deepest and highest work of the human spirit." ~author unknown

Just my thoughts this morning.

Sometimes Todd and I like to have gammon steaks for our tea. We try not to eat preserved meats very often as they are not supposed to be all that good for you, but gammon steaks make for a quick supper and sometimes they are a real treat. All you need with this dish are a few boiled potatoes on the side to help soak up the sauce and perhaps a green vegetable or two. mmm mmm good!

*Gherkin Sauced Ham Steaks*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

As the butcher explained to me, gammon is ham before it's cooked. It only becomes ham afterwards. The gherkins in this recipe are not the sweet and bright green pickled ones we get in North American, but the small and slightly sour ones we get over here, which are what the French call Cornichons, so be sure to use the right ones. They go perfectly with the saltiness of the ham. A dollop of sharp and tangy English mustard on the side also goes very well.

2 large gammon steaks (each aout 7 to 8 ounces)
1 cup dry white wine
6 small gherkins, finely chopped
1 TBS butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped (I like to use the long French ones)
1/2 TBS flour
1 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a knob of butter for cooking

Melt the first amount of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add the chopped shallot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes, until the shallot is nicely softened without having browned. Stir in the flour and mix it in well. Whisk in the wine slowly, a little at a time, until you have a smooth sauce. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for about ten minutes while you cook the gammon steaks.

Remove the rind from the gammon steaks and clip the fat at half inch intervals all around. This helps to keep the steaks from curling up when you cook them. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the knob of butter and heat until it strarts to foam a bit and sizzle. Add the gammon steaks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until they start to brown slightly and the fat on the edge gets a bit crispy. Turn the heat out and finish the sauce.

Stir the chopped gherkins, parsley and lemon juice into the sauce. Season to taste with some salt and pepper and heat through. Serve the steaks with a bit of the warmed sauce spooned over and then the rest in a dish on the side so that people can help themselves if they so wish.

Note - if you don't do wine, you can use 3/4 cup of apple juice and 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar with good results.

I made this very tasty Salmon Cobbler for our supper the other night and it was totally delicious, even if it did spill out over on to the base of my oven! (Next time I'll put a baking tray underneath it!) If you'd like this scrumptious recipe hop on over to The English Kitchen.


  1. Neat! I often find myself praying as I cuddle the kids to sleep. . .and I usually fall asleep too.

  2. Love your say a little prayer whoever you're thinking of! I am sure it must help, does some great good. :o) Very nice easy recipe for today... And I know you're in need of easy meals this busy week. Hope you're not too rushed off your feet! Happy Day, sweet friend... Hope we can catch up sometime soon. LOVE YOU HEAPS ((HUGS))


  4. I often find my self lumping groups of people together such as my family and friends in my prayers. It's a good idea you have there to name them individually. All your recipes are always so inviting. Some day I'm going to try them all out.

  5. I'm glad my name begins with D. ;)
    You are the sweetest person, Marie.

  6. Thanks Marie for explaining the gammon thing; I'd always wondered.

    And yes, I also say little prayers for people who pop into my head. And I especially pray if some negative feeling comes to mind with it; I try to remember that the negativity is MY problem and not related to them. God simply is using that person to polish and refine me! They are, therefore, deserving of my prayers.

  7. I was all excited about your prayer list and being a B until I read that you'll start with Z next time! Just kidding~spread the wealth around! Great idea!

  8. I pray for others too and little animals that I see need help but I can't help them...I guess it's my way of helping them because I KNOW prayers are heard and answered.
    You dishes look wonderful as always too. Come say hi :D

  9. what is it about praying for people that nods us off to sleep. Sure as eggs is eggs,away you will go. I reckon God just knows how much you need the rest. so while he takes care of your concerns (he knowsthem already)he sends you to lullaby-land.

    love, Angie, xx

  10. Wonderful thoughts Marie. I really do think that prayers work. I am sure I told you about the little girl that lives next door to me. She had stage 3 brain cancer and it looked like she didn't have very long to live. I believe there were hundreds of people praying for her. And I think a miracle happened with her - they say that she was misdiagnosed with a different type of cancer that is now stage 1, but I think it was all of those prayers. She is doing great now. She can walk again and seems like a normal 3rd grader.

    Thank you for always lifting me up. You are a wonderful friend!


  11. What an awesome picture of ... (I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it's brown and looks like the back of some sort of plant?).

    I also love your idea of praying for people through the alphabet when you have trouble falling asleep. That's definitely something I'm going to try.

    I'm also going to try that ham recipe. It looks wonderful.

  12. How lucky am I that my name begins with an A?! :)

    Now you have me singing "Whenever I wake up....I say a little prayer for youuuu....forever....and'll be in my heart...." (It's a good thing nobody can hear me. My singing voice would make dogs howl)


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