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!!

*Cranberry Loaf*
Makes one 9 by 5 by 3 inch loaf
Printable Recipe

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!!


  1. I'm the first hooray! Cranberry bread is perfect for this time of year!

  2. Another beautiful post. My precious pearl leaves Australia for Switzerland in the morning and she packed her string of pearls!

    Have a lovely day everyone.

  3. I love pearls; they are more beautiful than any diamonds in my eyes. Just between you and me, we are making our tourtières today; wish I could send you one.

  4. I love pearls Marie! I really love! I dont have really pearls but I love all with pearls!!
    Who nice was Todd gived you pearls, he is so adorable.
    Is a very nice post!!Send you huggssss and kisses, love yah! gloria

  5. Pearls...I've always been a pearl girl too, Marie! :o) Your musings today give much food for thought... and your recipe food for the stomach and soul! I love cranberries...mmm... dried, fresh, any old way, I'll take 'em! Hope you & Todd have a lovely weekend... And maybe we get a chance to chat? Hope so! LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Not only do you have delicious recipes on your blog to feed our tummies, but you also have wonderful foods for thought. This post is a true pearl (pun intended). :o)

  7. You are one of the beautiful pearls in my much loved strand of friends . I treasure you.

    I am still not well but I am feeling much better. I mostly just have a cold and cough now. My throat is not nearly so sore.
    They gave me all the easy jobs to do at the temple last night. I just wish I could get really well because I have so much to do to get ready for Thanksgiving.

    I would love to make your cranberry bread. I hope I can get my house cleaned up and do a bit of baking today or tomorrow.
    Have a great week end.
    Love, Lura

  8. Never been much of a fan of cranberries - probably cos ours mostly come out of a jar. I will try and get a few to make this though. I wonder if dried redy-to-eat ones would do the job?

    love, Angie, xx

  9. how pearls form has always interested me so much. it is just so cool! and pearls are one of my favorite pieces of jewelry-though i really don't wear them. i have a string of pearls joey gave me from the philippines(where he served his mission). his mom strung them but i need to figure out how to make them into a piece of jewelry. they are gorgeous!

  10. I too have a set of beautiful pearls..passed on to me by my Mom..I love them! Love your message too and those anything cranberry! Thank you dear friend! :D

  11. I have a beautiful 2-string of pearls that belonged to my Mum, I treasure them. I'd forgotten about them and haven't worn them for ages, perhaps should.
    The Cranberry bread sounds good, I love loaf cakes, they are so easy to store and cut, this one I'll also send to my ex-mother in law in California, she'll appreciate it. ~~~ Pat


Your comments mean the world to me, and while I may not be able to address each one individually, each one is important to me and each one counts. Thanks so much!