Saturday 12 June 2010

Saturday This and That . . .

I love an old street in an old fashioned town . . .
A street that goes wandering up hill and down.
A street that wakes echoes wherever you tread,
And quaint timbered gables lean over your head.
Where sunlight and shadow make patches of gold,
on bricks, tiles and cobblestones centuries old . . .
I love an old street where you can see at a glance . . .
glimpses of history, beauty . . . romance.
~patience strong

I loved this poem this morning. It brought a beautiful picture to mind. Cobbles . . . so pretty to look at, and quaint . . . but very difficult to walk on at times!

We are off to Chester city today. There is a rather large cobblestone area there in the city centre and shopping district! It's Roman Days in Chester today, and there will be lots of Roman Displays and marches. At one time Chester was the fortress site of the 20th Roman Legion (Valera Victrix) and was known as Deva. There is a long Roman history here and there are still many, many evidences of Roman occupation, including the walls. The walls encircle the bounds of the medieval city and constitute the most complete city walls in Britain, the full circuit measuring nearly 2 miles. I'll try to take some pictures if I can!

We've been taking advantage of the dry days we've had over the past couple of days and taken several long walks. Oh, I do love walking with my Todd. When I was working at the Manor, I didn't have much free time and I am enjoying the luxury of being able to spend lots of time with Todd now, while it lasts! He's been building a pond in the back garden this past week. So far it just looks like a big hole to me . . . but I am sure he has a plan and it will look ok when he is done. He has great expectations for it. Eventually he wants to have frogs in it and various water plants. We shall see! He wants to try to attract a wider variety of wild life to our garden and he thinks a pond will help. In any case, he is enjoying doing it, so that is what counts!

I got two dolls finished this week and I think they turned out really sweet. Meet . . .

Poppy and her little dog Scooter, and . . .

Cherrie Amour with her little embroidered and beaded cherry pillow.

I had ever so much fun sewing these. I just love using the different fabrics and trying to make each one individual with different accessories and such. I think they each have rather unique personalities. Anyways you can see both of them in more detail in my Etsy Shop.

In less than three weeks we will be in Canada. It is hard to believe. The time leading up to our trip is passing so quickly! I can't wait to see my mom and the children and grandchildren. My mom hasn't been all that well over these past few years and I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with her. I hope that she doesn't fuss too much over us and that I can spoil her a bit while I am there. I will finally (hopefully) get to see all of my grandchildren. I have been able to see the oldest one and spend time with him, but he was only 18 months old at the time. He is now 4 1/2 and I have not seen the other 3 grandsons at all, so that will be wonderful! There is a new grandchild on the way as well, but it won't be arriving until late November, early December, so I won't have the chance to see it this time. It will be so nice to see my children as well. I am hoping to see most of them. My youngest son is in training in Ontario with the Military right now so I won't be able to see him, sadly . . . but I should be able to see each of the others! I better start thinking about what I'm going to pack! You can't take very much on the planes these days, so I have to really pick and choose!

I tortured Todd with some pasta again just recently. He really doesn't like it at all, but I love it so . . . once in a while I just have to have some. He doesn't fuss too much, and he does eat it, but I know he doesn't really enjoy it very much. He is just an old fashioned meat and potatoes type of a guy I guess! Anyways, this is a very tasty casserole. If you don't want to go to the trouble of cooking a chicken just to use, you can always pick up one of those rotisseried chickens for the meat, and then make up a pot of chicken broth with stock cubes to cook the spaghetti in! It really is delicious, honestly! It does make rather a large casserole, but you can always cook it in two casserole dishes and then freeze one for later on! A casserole in the freezer always comes in handy doesn't it!!

*Chicken Spaghetti*
Serves 12
Printable Recipe

This is a great casserole that is just wonderful to take to potlucks. If you like you can make it in two casserole dishes and freeze one for a later date. Delicious!

1 (3 pound) chicken
6 ribs of celery, chopped
2 onions, peeled and chopped
3 green peppers, deseeded, trimmed and chopped
1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 (14 ounce) tin of chopped tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) tins of tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
salt and black pepper to taste
1 (12 ounce) package of spaghetti
1 (2 ounce) package of slivered almonds
4 cups (16 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place the chicken in a pan containing enough water to cover. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until tender. Remove the chicken from the broth, reserving the broth. Cool and chop the chicken, discarding the skin and bones.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions, celery, peppers and mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring until softened. Add the garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add the chicken, undrained tomatoes, tomato paste and 1/3 cup of the reserved broth. Stir in the oregano, basil and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, while you cook the spaghetti.

Cook the spaghetti in the remaining chicken broth, using package directions, adding water if necessary. Once cooked, drain, but do not rinse. Add to the chicken mixture along with the almonds and 3/4 of the cheese. Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ Gas mark 3. Spoon the spaghetti into a very large casserole dish, or two smaller ones. Cover with foil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, Remove the foil and sprinkle the remaining cheese over top. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes longer, until the casserole is nice and bubbly and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.

To make up for having served Todd's favourite food, PASTA (not!) I made some delicious Fresh Cherry Trifles for dessert. Check them out on The English Kitchen.

And if that's not enough food for you for today, I have a feature over on Gordon's page, What Should I Have For Dinner Tonight running in live time now! This is in honor of the World Cup which is being played at the present in South Africa. I am up against the US. Check it out when you get the chance. I made a delicious Pundit Pie . . . plate sized yorkshire pudds stuffed with an assortment of grilled meats/tomatoes/mushrooms with some roasted spuds and veg on the side! Go England!!


  1. It sounds like you should have a wonderful day today. Enjoy the displays and the time with Todd.

    Our day has been very cool and long. I think I will have to try that chicken spaghetti recipe at some time. The only trouble is that someone here absolutely detests chicken much to the dismay of three chicken lovers.

    God Bless

  2. Everything, as always, looks so good! It sounds like you are enjoying your time wisely - getting out and seeing some of the lovely local sights.

  3. Glad you've been able to get in some nice walks with your Todd. I love walking with Mr. Schalk, too!
    Have fun at Chester and planning your trip. What fun!

  4. Your trip sounds like fun1 I loved the little cherry doll, she matches my blog! I am going to make that chick. pasta today..YUM! :D

  5. really lovely picturesMarie! enjoy with Todd Marie.
    We went to the hospital and take two tests we have wait to the next week to know about them. Only we need one more (about blood) aaah Marie Im more calm now we take the tests, all the morning we stay at the Hospital is a good Hospital. Now we are in my Mom house we lunch here and then we return home.
    Thanks by prayers Esperanza was so calm to these tests, I appreciate all the prayers, hugssss and kisses and thanks a lot. Love ya my dearest friend!! gloria

  6. I know you're so excited to be going home - I'm praying for a great travel experience and a joyous time with family. blessings, marlene

  7. how exciting to get to see so much of your family soon-i bet you can't wait to give those grandkids hugs! i hope your mom's health improves. enjoy every minute in canada with those you love and have safe travels!(of course i'll be commenting before you leave for canada but thought i'd wish you well early too:)


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