Thursday, 8 October 2009

Thursday words . . .

I wonder how many of you have heard of the name Edith Leatham. Not many I'll wager, and in fact, I had not heard of her name myself until just recently. I took a particular interest in her because, like me, she was in the Greeting Card Industry, except that she didn't do little paintings for it . . . she wrote verses for inside the cards, and Christmas Cards in particular.

It helped to earn extra money to help get the family through, when the family had little money to spare. It was a true Godsend.

One day she was asked to put a poem to a picture of a child with it's mother, head bowed and hands folded. She wrote three simple verses and was paid five shillings for them.

Some forty years later she read four lines in a newspaper. Nobody knew that it had been her who had written them, but she recognized them as her own work, one verse of that five shilling poem of long ago.

Before she passed away in 1939, she saw them travel the world. Her words were, perhaps, the most perfect prayer for children that has ever been written . . . and I'll wager there are not too many of you that have not uttered it's words yourselves at one time or another . . .

Thank You for the world so sweet,
Thank You for the food we eat,
Thank You for the birds that sing,
Thank You God . . . for everything.

I thought it quite appropriate to mention, as we approach what is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Perhaps there may be amongst you a child, whom, when asked to give the family grace before dinner this year, will utter these very same words. Simple words sprung from a simple woman's pen, in a simpler time . . . penned in order to help out with her family's meagre finances. Kind of brings more meaning in to the words, doesn't it?

I know I posted a pumpkin loaf yesterday and you are going to get pumpkin again today. The funny thing about baking with a tin of pumpkin is . . . that you never quite use the whole tin . . . unless you are baking pies of course! You always end up with about half the tin that needs to be used up in another way. I had always wanted to try this tasty recipe for a Pumpkin Roll that is put out by the company that makes the tinned pumpkin, Libby's, and so I did . . . with a few twists of course! I really didn't get a decent photo of it, but I'm sure you get the picture. It was really, really tasty!!

*Pumpkin Roll with Ginger*
Serves 10
Printable Recipe

For the Cake:
1/4 cup of sifted icing sugar (For sprinkling on the towel)
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely minced preserved Ginger in syrup
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup of pure pumpkin (Not pumpkin pie filling)
For the Filling:
8 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
6 TBS butter, softened
1 tsp ginger syrup from the preserved ginger jar
1/2 tsp vanilla
(note the changes for the UK down below)

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Grease a 15 by 10 inch swiss roll tin, line it with some parchment paper and then grease the parchment paper. Set aside. Sprinkle a cotton dish towel with icing sugar.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger and salt together in a bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar together in another mixing bowl, until thick. Beat in the pumpkin and the minced preserved ginger. Fold in the flour mixture, mixing until well combined. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately loosen and turn the cake onto the icing sugar lined cotton towel. Carefully peel off the paper. Roll up the cake and the towel together, starting on the narrow end. Cool on a wire rack.

Beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter, syrup and vanilla together in a bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll the cake and spread this mixture over top. Reroll, wrap in cling film and chill for at least one hour before serving. Sprinkle with more icing sugar before serving if desired.

Note - The cream cheese in the uk has a lot more liquid added to it. You may use this right from the fridge. It does make for rather a gloopy icing though so I only used half the amount of cream cheese, half the amount of butter and roughly twice the amount of icing sugar, if not more, in order to get the proper consistency. Make sure you use lots of icing sugar on the towel, or the cake will stick.

If you are looking for comfort food today, be sure to check out The English Kitchen. I have pure comfort in a bowl over there . . . Cheese Crusted Tomato Soup.


  1. What a lovely prayer poem! I am printing it out with the picure and placing at each person's plate for our Thanksgivng dinner and I will tell them that this taken from my Blog friend in Engalnd. Being French Canadin, we never have English prayers so this one sounds special.Thanks Marie.

  2. No, I'd not heard of Edith either...not until your post today, Marie! Lovely thoughts on prayers today... This pumpkin roll has my sweet tooth itching--LOL! I would love a slice with my tea now...mmm... Oh, here yesterday I was all worried about the tin pumpkin shortage--hubby brought some tinned pumpkin home last night--I can make pie now--LOL! And maybe a pumpkin roll... ;o) Thank you so much for the sweet comment you left for me... Do hope we can catch up this coming weekend--have missed chatting with you! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. The prayer is one I've said as a child and here my grandchildren repeat too. I never knew who wrote it. Its amazing how things like that last and the person becomes anonymous that wrote it. I'm sure there are many more just like that. I collect quotes and will see in one place that the author is unknown and later see the same quote another place with the authors name posted. My sister often makes that pumpkin roll which we all enjoy. It is good. Have a great Thursday!

  4. I love this post Marie and I am drooling over the soup.

    Love Renee xoxo

  5. We used these words for Grace before lunch at my very first Infant School (when I was 5), set to a simple tune. We followed it with ##All good gifts around us are sent from Heaven above, so thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord, for all His love##. It may seem a bit long for a bunchof 5 - 7 year olds but it was a good discipline for us to follow. And I dare bet none of us had been there more than a week before we knew it by heart AND the tunes! Talk about 'sing for your supper'!

    love, Angie, xx

  6. Thank you for the info. about this lovely woman who wrote those simple, direct words, it made me think about her.
    Your roll up cake looks so very yummy, I've never made one (scared of the roll up part I think)..but I want to try this..thanks.
    come say hi :D

  7. Marie - I remember having a little Golden book with that prayer in it with the sweetest pictures! Happy Thanksgiving! I love that Libby's pumpkin roll, too - wish I could find that ginger over here. Maybe we could set up a swap?? Much love - Raquel XO

  8. I've never had a pumpkin roll. I must rectify this.

  9. I did not know who wrote that verse. Thanks for the info.

    You pumpkin roll looks sooooo gooood!!!!

    I had better go up and listen to my diet CD again because if I make that roll I will be tempted to eat the whole thing.

    All my Utah gang and I send you love, Lura

  10. Hello again dear,
    I was trying to stay up until you post tonight but I am too tired. I will say good night and look for your new post tomorrow.

    By the way...I made a confession on my blog tonight. Drop by and see what has happened. You won't believe it.

    Love you, Lura

  11. wow... nice post on prayer. i will also do prayer daily before eating.


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