Friday, 20 November 2009
Pearls . . .
"I hope for you the very best that life has to offer, but I hope even more for a few simple things . . . things that come of the heart, things that come of the spirit, things that come of the divine within each of us.
When all is said and done, when you have lived your life and grown as old as I am, you will recognize that it is the simple virtues that count, that make the great differences in our lives. It is better to sleep at night with a clear conscience than to worry oneself sick while living a fraud.
When all is said and done, our success in life will not be spelled out in the money we make, in the honors we attain, in the plaudits of men, but in those virtues which become the essence of that which is greatest within each of us."
~Gordon B Hinckley
I have a lovely string of pearls that my Todd gave to me, very early on in our married life. They're so wonderfully beautiful . . . their lustre, their shape, their colour . . . they are almost a creamy white. I treasure them so much so that, much of the time, I am afraid to wear them, lest they fall off without me noticing . . . and I lose them. I have always loved pearls, and I believe them to be amongst the most beautiful of all our jewels.
Interestingly enough . . . this very loveliness which is contained in a pearl . . . is the result of great suffering. At the very beginnings of what becomes a pearl, is a sharp grain of sand which becomes buried in the folds of an oyster, and . . . like a speck of dust which can greatly irritate the eye . . . causes such discomfort to the oyster, that the oyster continuously tries to cover it with calcium carbonate. In the end, what was a great irritant, turns into a smooth and roundish beautiful object . . . the pearl.
There is a lesson in there for each of us. Our pleasures are indeed to be enjoyed, for what is life without a bit of joy to temper the pain. But . . . when problems, vexations, pain and misfortunes threaten to spoil our life . . .it is up to us to exercise restraint and courage . . . patience. It is only in this way that we can make the best of the worst and turn what so might easily spoil us into . . .
a pearl . . . of great price.
Just my thoughts today.
I was so thrilled the other day when I saw that once again there are fresh cranberries in the grocery store. I just adore fresh cranberries. They remind me of home and at this time of year they are particularly a joy . . .both to cook with and to eat! Yesterday I made a delicious cranberry loaf, which I think you will find is quite different than the usual cranberry loaf. I make several of these each year and we really enjoy them. I hope that you will too!!
Makes one 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf
This loaf is a bit different than most cranberry loaves. This is so scrummy, you are going to find yourself wishing that you had made two of them!
1 cup flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
(here in the UK use digestive biscuit crumbs)
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 TBS finely grated orange zest
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup orange juice
1/3 cup cooking oil
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Lightly grease a 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf pan and dust it lightly with flour. Set aside.
Whisk together the flour, cracker crumbs, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the cranberries, raisins, and walnuts. Beat together the egg, orange juice, cooking oil and orange zest. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mis together until all are moistened. Scrape into the loaf pan, leveling it off.
Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before removing from the pan to a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Wrap tightly to store.
If you are looking for a delicious dessert to serve over the holidays that is not only easy to prepare, but quick and mighty tasty, look no further. I have posted a real beauty today, over on The English Kitchen.
Tune in tomorrow for a great giveaway, just in time for Christmas!!