Tuesday 19 January 2010

The Violinist . . .

I once knew a woman who had been a violinist for a world renowned symphony orchestra. She had played around the world for many years, in many interesting places and in front of many influential and famous people. When I knew her though, she had settled into semi-retirement and was quite happily teaching a few keen and talented pupils.

She confided in me one day as we were sharing a cuppa and a cake together, that, as a youngster, she had hardly dared to hope that she would ever be able to make music her profession. She had grown up in a very poor family, with very little money to spare. The idea of anyone making a living as a musician was quite un-heard of . . . but then, one day, a friend told her of some words that had been spoken by a former American President, Woodrow Wilson.

"He said that you should never allow hope to die. You should 'nurse your dreams and protect them through bad times and tough times to the sunshine and light which always come'. And now," she said . . . . "I'm glad I did!"

I'm glad she did as well. By nursing her dreams she not only made a better life for herself, but a better world for all who had the opportunity to listen to her play, and she was making a better life for those students whom where lucky enough to have her teach them.

Often it is other people's dreams that bring much joy into our own lives. I say never give up. Hang on to your dreams and protect them. You just never know when they will come to fruition, and you just never know who else will be blessed in their doing so.

I decided to make something warming yesterday for our tea. A delicious chili, but a different one. A white chili, so called because all the ingredients in it are pretty much white, well, except for the green chilies. This is an exceptionally flavourful chili and very easy and quick to throw together with the help of tinned beans. If you don't have any tins of roasted green chilies, never fear, just chop up several fresh green chilies and saute them along with the onion and chicken in the first part of the recipe. Use only as many as you can stand and do take care in handling them. Fresh chilies can be quite hot and burn the skin or eyes. I usually wear gloves when I am handling them.

*Creamy White Chili*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

This chili makes a nice change from the red kind with beef. A delicious combination of chicken, green chilies, haricot beans, cream and sour cream. Perfect for a cold winter's day.

1 TBS vegetable oi
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
14 ounce can of chicken broth
2 (15.8 ounce) cans of haricot beans, drained and rinsed
2 (4.5 ounce) tins of chopped green chilies, undrained
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
8 ounces of sour cream
1 cup of whipping cream
2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack or medium cheddar cheese
To garnish: coriander sprigs, optional

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and chicken. Saute, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the chicken is done. Stir in the salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Cook and stir to coat the chicken with the spices. Add the haricot beans, chilies and chicken broth. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir in the sour cream and whipping cream and heat through. Spoon into heated bowls and top each serving with some grated cheese and a sprig of coriander if desired. Delicious!

Over on The English Kitchen today are some delicious Rock Cakes. Oh my but these are scrumptious!


  1. What a beautiful story of faith, hope and sticking to your dreams--I really enjoyed it, Marie!

    I love white chili! Haven't tried my recipe for years, though--I need to do so and to try yours as well--your's will probably knock the socks off of mine!

    Hope you're having a beautiful day--it's been raining here like crazy--strong winds, etc. I do love a nice, blustery day once in a while, though!

    Much love to you, dear friend!

  2. Dear Marie,

    Loved today's story. I have one young Miss who is determined to be a professional musician. She plays the violin, the cello and sings too. I will share this with her when she returns home on Saturday. This lucky girl has her great grandfather's violin. She was heart broken when she couldn't take her violin to Switzerland under the rules of her exchange.

    I would love to try that chilli and maybe one day I shall.

    Take care and blessings on you all.

  3. I am not a dreamer Marie,and I don't think I ever will be,so guess I don't have a dream to hold on to.....but I do love chili,never had white chili,but yours looks good Mmm.Have a lovely day.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  4. What a wonderful sentiment ,and one we should all try to hang on to however old we are, there is always some thing to strive for ..love Jan xx

  5. Hold fast to dreams... I love this story, Marie! Such hope and encouragement... just what we all need sometimes! :o) Your white chili is wonderful! I've been wanting to make a vegetarian version. Hope very much to catch you for a chat today! I've been doing some sewing for charity--this and more when we talk. :o) Hope you're having a wonderful day, dear friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Hi Marie
    Thanks for the encouragement to hang onto our dreams. I needed encouragement today. Your posts are always a bright spot in my day!
    Hugs, Rhondi

  7. We all need hope in our lives and where would we be without any dreams. Dreams are the things we hope for and make us keep on going for sure. Wise words there today. I've had a similar white chili but have not had haricot beans. Your recipe does sound perfect for a chilly winter day.
    Hope your Tuesday is a great one!

  8. What are haricot beans?

    A fan page? I've never heard of one. I'm terrified of facebook.

  9. I stumbled upon your blog through my twd feed and I just wanted to say how much I loved the story. It seems like the fields that are often ignored (like music) are ones that can touch peoples lives the most. Reminds me why I chose music. Thanks so much!


  10. Nice story..I love nurturing dreams, and they do come true! The chili recipe looks good! So do the rock cakes...always good things here! Thanks..come say hi :D

  11. Great post Marie! And beautiful pics of violins AND chili! xo

  12. Such words of encouragement to live by when we do feel like throwing in the towel. I know it is true. I love the talents of others and how much they bless our lives. President Kimball once said that, "the only limitations a man has are the ones he puts upon himself." I try to remember that when I think I just cannot do something.


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!