Saturday 29 May 2010

Tending a Garden of Gratitude . . .

And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea more.

~D&D 78:19

I always spend some time each day, several times a day, looking up to the heavens and thanking my Heavenly Father for all the many blessings I have in my life. I do this both by myself and together with my Todd. It's so good to be together as a family and united in prayer, no matter how small it may be, and to hear daily expressions of gratitude to our Heavenly Father that are shared by the both of us. It is at once a very humbling and a very inspiring experience. It was something that I had prayed to have, for many . . . many years. Prayers do get answered, and not always in the way we expect them to be.

Heavenly Father intended His children to enjoy the good things in life.

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
~2Nephi 2:25

With all that we have been given, we must also have grateful hearts, and we must teach our children not to take their blessings for granted either. I wake up each day and I look around me and I feel like pinching myself to make sure I am not dreaming. I then say a silent prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father for all that I have and for all that He has seen to bless me with.

Thank you. Two simple words that can convey all the depths of your heart. Two simple words that say it all. Two simple words that should NEVER be left unsaid. Thank you is a wonderful phrase. Use it. It will add stature to your soul and your heart. Never let a day go by without saying thank you to someone, at least once, for something . . . and most especially never let a day go by without thanking your Heavenly Father.

Even in the darkest of corners and experiences in life, there is something to be grateful for, some little spark of light. That is how I try to live my life, even though it is not always easy to do. But how can you find what you are not seeking?? Look always for the light and you will find it . . . and then when you do . . . be grateful and give thanks. Know always that it is there waiting for you to discover it, even though at times it may be obscured by our own self doubts and self pity.

When I look back on my life and see all the experiences that I have had, that I thought to be really bad experiences at the time, as well as times of sorrow and disappointment (and there have been many), I have discovered that they were really times of great growth and enlargement . . . mind and heart expanding experiences. I am able then to give thanks for these disasters, no matter how large or small they might have been. Each setback has brought with it a little gift . . . a lesson to be learned, a pearl of wisdom, some blessing to be enjoyed . . . if not right away, then later . . . when my mind has cleared and my heart has settled.

We each one of us have that power within us . . . that special gift, the opportunity to turn our sorrows into joy, our defeats into triumphs, our darknesses into light . . . it only takes two little words. Thank you.

This being bank holiday weekend here in the UK and Memorial Day in the US I thought it would be nice to share a recipe with you for a delicious grilled chicken. We finally picked ourselves up a Barbeque yesterday. Nothing fancy, just a charcoal kettle type of barbeque. We got it for a really good price at Aldi. We were supposed to have the Missionaries for supper and I thought it would make a nice change to have something grilled. They must not have checked the board for their dinner appointments, as they didn't show up! They always call if they are going to be even 5 minutes late. Oh well . . . more for Todd and me to enjoy!!

*Thai Chicken with Peanut Dipping Sauce*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

I love the flavour of chicken thighs. They are a lot juicier than breasts and can stand up to the rich flavours of this spicy sauce. It is the perfect company meal in these warmer months, as most of the work can be done ahead and the chicken cooked once the guests arrive.

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
For the marinade:
2 TBS light soy sauce
2 TBS Tamarind Paste
1 TBS peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 spring onions, minced, both the green and the white parts
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the sauce:
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
4 TBS smooth, unsweetened peanut butter
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
2 TBS tamarind paste
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TBs runny honey
1 TBS peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
the grated zest and the juice of each, 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 spring onions minced, both the green and the white parts
1/2 jalapeno pepper, cored, seeded and minced (wear gloves to do this and DON'T rub your eyes
or lips while doing it!)
Crush red pepper flakes to taste

First make the marinade for the chicken. Stir together all the ingredients in a shallow glass bowl or a large zip lock baggie. Mix them well. Add the thighs, rutning them over in the mixture and rubbing it in to coat them well. cover and set aside at room temperature for at least half an hour, or cover and leave in the refrigerator overnight. Obviously the longer you leave them, the more of the flavour of the marinade will penetrate the meat.

While the chicken is marinating, you can make the peanut sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. I use my stick blender for this and it works very well. Serve immediately, or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.

You can either cook the chicken on a grill or on top of the stove. Remove the chicken from the marinade, season lightly and either place on the heated grill or in a heated heavy skillet that you have sprayed with some cooking spray. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes per side, basting with some of the marinade, until it is golden brown with slightly darker edges. If you are cooking it on the grill, moved it to the sides and put the lid down, cooking it for another 2 to 3 minutes. If you are cooking it in a skillet, lower the heat, cover and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Discard any remaning marinade.

Remove from the grill or the pan and place on a heated serving plate to rest. Brush with some of the peanut sauce and let rest, covered loosely in foil for about 5 minutes. Serve hot, with the remaining dipping sauce on the side. Delicious!

Over in The English Kitchen today, a delicious teatime treat, Custard Buttons!


  1. Thank YOU Marie...
    Gerushia's New World

  2. As we're not fond of chicken thighs, breasts will just have to do for this! We have an all-singing, all-dancing gas barbecue......which never gets used (too much clatting about). Give me one like yours any day.

    Thanks for still getting up early and writing to us every day, even though you don't have to.

    love and hugs, Angie, xx

  3. Marie,

    What a wonderful post, you write so well and it is all so relevant and true. Love your receipe too :) Thank you for sharing with us all and once again love your background music :)

    All things nice...

  4. A lovely post once again Marie.Thankyou.Also Rooster sends a big Thankyou for the Custard button recepe He-he.I have just let him have a peek at them.Have a great weekend Marie.Take Care God Bless Kath xx

  5. Hi, Dear Marie! Many thanks for your welcome home wishes! It is good to be back in blogland. The gift of gratitude is a big part of my every day--always so much to be thankful for. :o) Enjoy the long weekend. Do hope to catch you for a chat tomorrow--so look forward to it! Must go see that recipe for the custard buttons! ;o) Happy Weekend to you & TodD--LOVE YOU HEAPS! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  6. SO much to be thankful for, Marie! I'm thankful for you, too, my friend!

    Just wanted you to know we're on vacation this week in San Diego...just stole a minute on my sister-in-law's computer to say hello & let you know why I'm not visiting often!

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend--that chicken looks incredible!

    Lots of love sent your way from gorgeous Southern California!


  7. Dear Marie
    I have missed reading your encouraging posts. I had several discouraging things happen this week in my business and so your words today really blessed me. Thank you for being such a bright light in blogland.
    ((hugs)) Rhondi

  8. Ditto... ditto... ditto! What a beautiful post! I have always tired to live my life with the theme, "Enjoy the Journey". Sometimes it's tough when the road gets really bumpy... but by looking for things to be thankful for it changes everything.

    We are Thai food and BBQ LOVERS, so this recipe looks perfect for our Sunday dinner!

    Thanks Marie :)

  9. All I need to say is
    THANK YOU!!!!
    Hugs, Lura

    p.s those custard cookies look so good. I must pop over and get the recipe

  10. Awesome post, Marie, to which I must say Amen, Amen, Amen!!!

  11. Timely message! I was hoping to send a note off to you earlier today, to thank you for giving birth to my wonderful husband ** years ago today!
    I am also thankful for my Dad & my sister, who babysat our two boys so we might have our first time alone in just over a year ;D
    (Nope, that does not mean you will have another grandchild on the way - we just escaped long enough for a movie :P )

  12. Hi Marie,
    What a beautiful and encouraging post! Just what I needed to hear! Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts about gratitude! I have so much to be thankful for to the Lord, I pray to be more grateful!

    Sorry the missionaries did not show. They missed a yummy meal! Thank you for sharing the recipe and the custard buttons look yummy too! Love, Paula


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