Friday 12 February 2010

Thoughts on love . . .

Love is found in unexpected places.
It is there in the quiet moment,
When we first discover a beautiful thing,
When we watch a bird soar high against a pale blue sky,
When we find a place that shelters us and is our very own.

Love starts in little ways
It may begin the day we first share our thoughts
with someone else . . .
Or help someone who needs us . . .
Or sometimes it begins because,
Even without words, we understand how someone feels.

Love comes quietly . . .
but you know when it is there.
because suddenly . . .
you are not alone anymore . . .
And there is no sadness inside you.

Love is a miracle . . .
It can come to any of us at any age
at any time
and in any place.
All we need to do is to reach out and give . . .
And then, to reach out and receive.

This coming Valentines Day will be Todd and my tenth one together, and I can honestly say that with each year we spend together, what we have together only gets better and better. You never think that a love such as this will come your way this late in life, and it is a wonderful gift when it does. It is not the first flush, hearts and flowers love of youthful ardour and romance . . . but something which is much deeper and abiding, a love that transcends the here and now, that takes us into eternity in a very beautiful way. I know that we are each other's . . . not just until death do us part . . . but for time and all eternity, and that is a very special thing. To know that this man I care so very deeply about, cares enough for me to want to be with me for time and all eternity, makes me feel very special, and valued beyond measure . . . It just doesn't get much better than that!!

I am sharing a lovely vegetable gratin with you this morning. Cabbage and leeks go so very well together. Very tasty indeed! I love gratins. They're not hard to make and they are a delicious meal all on their own. You can make a gratin out of just about anything. I love butternut squash gratineed with garlic cream. Even Swede (Rutabaga) is delicious in a gratin. Parsnips and carrots??? Double yum!! Use your imagination and try making one today.

*Cabbage and Leek Gratin*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

You just can't beat the delicious flavour of cabbage baked in a lovely cream sauce with a buttery crumb baked on top. It's a way of helping even the most ardent cabbage hater to change their minds! I could eat a whole plate of this and nothing else!

1 medium cabbage
3 medium leeks
3 TBS butter
3 TBS flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
a dash of hot pepper sauce
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup of fresh bread crumbs
2 TBS butter, melted

Remove any old and tatty looking leaves from the outside of your head of cabbage. Cut it into quarters and remove the core. Shread coarsley.

Trim the leeks, cut in half and wash them thoroughly. Shred them coarsely as well. Mix them into the cabbage.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the vegetables. Bring back to the boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook them for about 5 to 6 minutes, just until barely tender. Drain in a colander. Make sure you get as much water out as you can. You don't want any to dilute the delicious cream sauce.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/375*F.

Make your cream sauce by melting the 3 TBS of butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring over medium heat, for about one minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and nicely thickened. Season to taste with some salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Add a splash of hot pepper sauce to taste.

Put the cabbage mixture into a buttered shallow dish. Pour the cream sauce over top and allow it to soak in for a few minutes, while you make the crumbs for on top.

Melt the 2 TBS of butter and then stir in the bread crumbs, mixing all together well. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs evenly over the top of the casserole. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until nicely bubbling and the crumbs are lightly browned on top.

Note - I sometimes add a cup of grated gruyere cheese, plus 1 heaping TBS of grated Parmesan cheese to the sauce to give it a rich and cheesy flavour. You may also add some grated cheese on top if you wish.

We're going Vegetarian today with a delicious Spanish Omelette over on The English Kitchen.


  1. You are very blessed, dear friend--but, then, I can't imagine anyone not loving you!

    Such beautiful thoughts on love...thanks for those!

    And this delicious-looking Gratin--aaahhh! Now I need to go and read about that delicious omelet--not good to make me want to whip out the frying pan when it's almost midnight, Marie!

    Much love sent your way this late hour!

  2. Have the very best day and weekend. It is so great that you and Todd have such a treasured relationship.

  3. Sweet old valentines! I still have a lot of them from when I was a kid. (My mom saved everything!) Have a wonderful Valentine weekend....Linda in Washington state

  4. By the way, are you going to be watching the Olympics from your home (Canada)? I am so excited for them to start....I love watching them. Linda

  5. Hi Marie,
    Thank you for stopping by. I just love all your Valentine pictures├ęThe Olympics are starting tonight; lots of excitement around here.

  6. I love cabbage and omlets so both your recipes looked mighty appealing today. Hope your Friday is a great one and that you have A HAPPY VALENTINE's Day!

  7. Hi, Dear Marie! "Love is a miracl..." I think so every day too! And this year Hubby & I celebrate 10 lovely years as well! The love just keeps growing and blooming. :o) Hope that you & Toddy have a very sweet weekend celebrating LOVE! We have plans for a museum/cafe outing tomorrow, and then Sunday I'll make us a special dinner. And if lucky, perhaps we'll get a chance to chat this weekend? Can but hope! LOVE YOU HEAPS, my dear friend! ((BIG HUGS))

  8. Happy Valentine's Day, Marie! Would you please add Sophia to your prayer list? She's in Jamaica this week on a mission trip with our church.


  9. Happy Valentines. Gratin looks scrummy.

  10. this will be our 10th valentines as husband and wife:) crazy! 11th together. every year has brought so many changes and so many wonderful things. i'm looking forward to an eternity more! happy valentine's day marie! enjoy your day with the man of your dreams. so glad you two found each other, you are both so sweet!

  11. I just love all of the cute pictures in this post. Where do you find such darling pictures?
    This is a lovely post on love!

    I must try your recipe. I have never had that before but it sounds so good to me. You are always introducing me to new things. Thanks, Hugs...Lura


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!