Wednesday 3 February 2010

Now and then . . .

In wintertime, all can seem grim and grey, but . . . every now and then . . . in between the storms and gales, God sends a golden day . . .

A morning bright with skies of blue . . . so beautiful to behold.

It is the same with life. Now and then, in the midst of life's dark times of sorrow and distress, in between the tears . . . there comes a flash of happiness. A loving word, a tender smile . . . making all that you are going through seem more worthwhile.

Now and then we are given glimpses of a perfect Love . . . it breaks through our hearts like sunlight and fills our lives with glory as if an unseen presence has just passed by.

Now and then . . .

Isn't it wonderful????

I have come down with a dreaded cold. I don't get sick very often but when I do . . . watch out! My head and nose are all stuffed up and I feel just awful. I didn't sleep much last night. It was very interrupted as you can imagine. At one point, I awoke in a panic, looked at the clock and thought it said 7 o'clock, got out of bed thinking I was really late, jumped into the shower etc. only to come downstairs and find that I had mistaken the second hand on the clock for the hour hand and it was 1:35 or some such crazy time. Ugh . . . I did go back to bed and fall back asleep eventually, but it was fitful . . . Oh well, I suppose I am very blessed that I don't go through this very often. I can't remember the last time I had a cold, so this is very rare indeed!

Soup is the perfect meal for when you are feeling a bit under the weather. It's comforting and warms the soul, don't you think?

*Beef and Barley Soup with Mushrooms*
Serves 10
Printable Recipe

A delicious hearty, stick to the ribs, soup. Just perfect for a winter's day. It makes a lot, but freezes very well.

2 TBS vegetable oil
2 pounds beef short ribs, excess fat removed
2 onions, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 1 1/2 cups of hot water for half an hour
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups beef stock
3 cups water
3 cups pearl barley
1 TBS dried dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Brown the short ribs on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pot. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Strain the dried mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Rinse to wash off any sand and then add to the pot along with the fresh mushrooms. Cook and stir, for about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, stock, water and reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Bring to the boil. Add the shortribs and barley. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered for about an hour, until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the pot. Let cool until you can comfortably handle it. Cut the meat from the bones and return the meat to the pot, discarding the bones. Add the dill and cook for another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve ladled out into hot bowls with some crusty bread on the side. Delicious!

In The English Kitchen today . . . Dreamy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Fabulous!



  2. Dearest Marie I hope you feel better and soon. I hate nights like the one you describe. So I pray that you sleep well tonight and wake refreshed/

  3. Oh, my Marie... so very sorry you're unwell... Do be resting and eating some of that soup! I hope you will be feeling better very soon, my friend. I had looked out for you on MSN Messenger, hoping to chat you for a little online chat, but didn't see you... know I know why--you poor thing. Maybe a bite of that cake will boost your spirits? ;o) I does mine--LOL! Love these words--"glimpses of a perfect Love"...oh, yes... Be well, my friend--LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Sorry your are feeling bad this morning. Hopefully it will be a short lived cold, but most seem to last 7 days I've found. I haven't had one in quite a while either. Chicken soup, and plenty of juice and liquids always help me. Fresh oranges too taste extra good and give us extra 'C'. Take good care and get better soon!

  5. The number of times Iv'e done that with the clock Marie,I must start to put my specs on when I wake He-He.That soup looks delicious,I have just had my lunch and I could still eat a large bowl full of that Mmm,Sorry you arn't well,my nose ran all night Saturday and I ached but then come Sunday tit had dissapeared?? Lets hope your s does the same.Warm hugs hoping they help.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  6. Sorry for the Typing error Marie,it sounds a bit rude, but whats new with me Grr LOL!!Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  7. Dear Marie
    I'm sorry to hear you have a bad cold. It's the time of year Iguess. We had our bible study group here last night and 3 of the men had bad colds.
    Look after yourself.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  8. Hope you start feeling better! I love the inspiration you give me and the music just sets the tone! I've been reading your blog for almost a year now, there's times when I just listen to the music and clean my house or cook! Thanks Marie for all your hard work you put into this blog!
    Get Well Soon ~ Margie

  9. I'm so sorry you're sick, Marie! Wish I could bring you something yummy & comforting to help you...looks like that soup will do the trick, though!

    Get lots of rest and take good care of yourself, my dear! Know that you're loved and you're in my prayers--feel better quick!

  10. Have some soup, a piece of cake, several cups of tea; and when you can, relax with Jess on your feet to keep them warm and read a silly book that doesn't take any concentration. Get well soon!

  11. I hope you feel better soon Marie, we're all sick as well :)

  12. Dear Marie, get well soon. Aren't colds so miserable? I have been so blessed this year and have remained healthy but when I do get something I am like you...Watch Out! You probably became so rundown from all that cooking you did last week.

    Love your sunny day photos. Very pretty days! We've had no rain for 3 days and that=heaven in my book!

    You take good care, OK?


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