Thursday 20 May 2010

How rich are you?

How rich are you???

When I first moved over here to the UK I used to work in a Care Home as a Care Assistant, and then as a cleaner. ( got demoted, but that's a whole nother story!) Anyways, there were lovely elderly people in this home. I adored them all, but there was one woman in particular that I especially loved. Her name was Martha. I made a special effort each day to go in a speak to her, even when I was no longer considered a Care Assistant . . . it meant the world to her and it meant the world to me!

One day when I visited her, we had a lively little discussion (we often did) and before I left to go on and continue with my work she said to me in all seriousness, "I pray for you every night." I was very touched and I told her so. She went on to add . . . "I pray for my family first and then my grandchildren, and then I pray for my friends." and then she smiled and asked, "Am I daft??"

"No, you're not daft." was my answer . . .

I meant it. One of the finest tributes that one can pay to another, is to pray for them. It is a very beautiful gift is a prayer . . . I felt important to know that Martha, at the end of her life, a life that had been lived to the hilt and filled with fabulous things . . . significant things and golden memories . . . that I was important enough to be considered in her prayers . . . amidst the company of her family, children and friends.

I felt rich, and honoured and very special indeed, and I let her know so.

Oh how truly rich a man is . . . if he can be carried aloft on the prayers of others. I pray constantly . . . my words are sometimes uttered out loud, but mostly in my mind. I cover each of you with prayer daily . . . amidst the company of my family, children and friends . . . I like to think of it as spreading the wealth around.

A man is rich according to what he is . . . not according to what he has.
~author unknown

I think we will get another dog eventually. We've been talking about it a lot over the past few days. We are dog people and we miss that lovely companionship that a dog brings to a home. No surprise that our choice for the next time . . . when we are ready . . . will be a Labrador . . . either a black one or a chocolate one, but most importantly one that needs us as much as we need them.

I had a pretty exciting e-mail yesterday from The Times. It seems that they want to highlight my English Kitchen blog as their blog of the week and they were asking permission to do so and to use some of my food photos. Thrilled doesn't begin to describe how I felt! I can't wait for Todd to get up and to go and get me a copy so I can see it. I put a lot of work into all of my blogs and it is nice to know that it is noticed and appreciated. This blog here is my most important one . . . cos this is the one I pour most of my heart into . . .but it is nice to have the other's noticed as well.

Speaking of kitchens, food and recipes, here's a delicious one for a tasty and easy casserole that is not only scrummy, but also easy on the budget as well. You can use leftover ham for in it, or even tinned ham flakes. You can also use sliced ham that you would use for sandwiches. I sometimes ask for a slice of thick ham at the deli that I use for this. It is a very yummy casserole. We just love it! (Well I do at any rate. Todd hates pasta, but he tolerates this!)

*Ham and Mac Bake*
Serves 4 to 6
Printable Recipe

This is a wonderful casserole that is not only very tasty, but also very easy on the budget as well. My children always loved it when they were growing up and it was something different to do with the ham that was leftover from Easter. I often buy a slap of ham at the shops so that I can make this as well.

1/2 pound of macaroni (1 2/3 cups)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 TBS Dijon mustard
salt to taste
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
2 TBS soft light brown sugar, packed
2 cups cubed, fully cooked ham
2 medium eating apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 cup soft bread crumbs (about 1 1/4 slices)
2 TBS butter melted

Cook the macaroni in lightly salted boiling water until done, according to the packet directions. Drain well, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside until needed.

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ Gas mark 4. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute over low heat. Blend in the mustard, salt, pepper and sugar. In the meantime bring the milk just to the boil. (Just until bubbles appear around the edges) Slowly whisk the heated milk into the flour mixture, cooking and stirring it until thickened, smooth and bubbly. Stir in the cooked macaroni, ham and apple slices. Turn into a greased 2 litre casserole dish.

Toss the bread crumbs with the 2 TBS butter and sprinkle evenly over top of the casserole. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

There's something very dangerous over on The English Kitchen today . . . yes, it's Five Minute Chocolate Cake!


  1. Thats wonderful about the paper and your blog! Ilove the recipes here too, you always have good ones.
    That lab is a cutie..they are so full of energy too. Have you thought about a Golden or a golden-doodle..they are so loving! Come say hi :D

  2. I can see why the paper wants to you your blog. I love your thoughts and also the pictures are beautiful. I am always uplifted in reading your thoughts. I too am a praying woman and I don't know what I would do without prayer and knowing that I have a Heavenly Father that hears and answers prayers. Blessings and hugs to you! LeAnn

  3. How marvellous that the Times has contacted you. What an honour. Your blog is the highlight of late afternoon and evening.

    Martha sounds wonderful. You are so right we come into this world and leave with nothing. True riches are not stored on earth. We forget that in our materialistic world.

    I still miss my lab 22 years later. I will probably never have another pet as I have developed allergies while owning pets. Yes every pet I have owned for cats to horses I rode for school sport. But the eyes of dog are so welcoming.

    Have a great day.

  4. Dear Marie,

    I so enjoyed reading about Martha and how she not only prayed for her family and friends, but let you know she prayed for you too! I agree with you, prayer is a beautiful gift, and it is a comfort to be able to talk to the Lord about everything! I am so thankful you pray for us, your readers! I am praying for you too!

    Your photos are all so lovely! I am so happy your blog will be featured in the paper! It is well-deserved!!! Thank you for the recipes you shared. I will go take a look at that chocolate cake. I hope you find a sweet Lab soon! Like you, we are dog people and I could not imagine life without their sweet companionship! Have a blessed day! Love, Paula

  5. Fabulous news about yout blog and The Times, Congratulations:)

    About Martha, she was rich beyond words. I find it very sad now that people, especially in the UK are emabarrassed talking about praying. Telling someone you will keep them in your prayers is a beautiful gift, but is not said so much as it was when I was a child and a young woman.

    I pray every night before I sleep, but I hold conversations with My Lord everyday.


  6. That's so awesome, Marie. Congratulations!!! I just know that I know that I know the Lord has more wonderful surprises in store.

  7. How emotional, how touching, and how beautifully instructive this post it. It is truly thought provoking. It does feel good to feel important. It does feel good to be prayed for. And yes, that is the ultimate wealth!

  8. Great write-up Marie, should put you well in the public eye. Nothing like starting at the top!

  9. I am very rich indeed. I loved your entry today about prayer. I think there is just about no greater gift someone could give to me. How wonderful to have your blog featured. Congrats on a job well done! That 5 minute cake is something I'll definitely be trying out.

  10. Marie, congratulations on The Times! Well done you! Oh, get a puppy! Bless! Oh I love new life!

  11. Marie this is amazing! I was so thrilled for yo when I saw this on Facebook yesterday! You go, girl, and you deserve the accolades!


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