Tuesday 15 June 2010

The Simple Woman's Day Book . . .

FOR TODAY, June 15th, 2010...

Outside My Window...

The sun is SHINING! Yayy Sun!!! After a gloomy couple of days it is good to see it! I probably jinxed it now by acknowledging it's presence, but I couldn't help myself! Somehow everything always seems better on a sunny day!

I am thinking...
We watched a film last night about the early Saints. It was Family Home Evening and we usually watch something church related or do some activity that is church related on Monday evenings. Last week we watched the first Work and the Glory film and this week we watched the second one, American Zion. We will watch the third one next week. We've already watched them several times before and we read the whole series of books at least twice. We love them. The stories are bases on actual Historical accounts of the early days of our church and are very accurate, but very entertaining. It follows a fictional family, the Steed family, during those years . . . right from the early days on into the Utah days. Very well done and very entertaining. Those early Saints sure went through a lot. They were a special people chosen to come to earth at a very special time. I am not sure I could withstand all that they had to!

I am thankful for...
My Todd. He may not be perfect or built like a film star, or look like George Clooney but . . . he's perfect for me, and when I look into his eyes I see eternity. Who could ask for anything more. He loves me and I love him, with all of our hearts. We are each other's treasure. Everyone should be loved like this at least once in their lifetime!

From the kitchen...
I made a delicious looking Hazelnut Battenburg cake late yesterday afternoon. I have not cut it open yet. I wanted it to set overnight. It looks fabulous. Vanilla and Mocha checkerboards put together with nutella and wrapped in Marzipan. I can't wait!

I am wearing...
Pink and grey pajamas, and my long sleeves robe. It's been really chilly these past couple of mornings.

I am creating...
I have lots of ideas mulling around in my head. I need to get started on them. As Loretta Lyn would say . . . . "TImes a wastin!"

I am going...
I have a Primary Presidency meeting to go to tomorrow night at our chapel and my visiting teaching partner and I are planning some visiting teaching tomorrow morning. It feels good to be back doing church things again, and serving others.

I am reading...

To Draw Closer To God, a collection of discourses by Henry B Eyring

The Lord said to Joseph Smith, "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock and it shall be opened unto you." (D&C 88:63.) In To Draw Closer to God, Elder Henry B. Eyring explains some of the ways we can claim these promises. In his thoughtful, spiritual style, he discusses such topics as learning to hear the Lord's voice, choosing to be good, overcoming trials of faith, strengthening the family, surrendering to Christ, and helping others draw closer to the Lord.

If you would like to have the Spirit of the Lord with you more often, if you would like to feel closer to your Father in Heaven and have him be closer to you, you'll appreciate the insights and messages in this collection of inspiring discourses. This is the second time I am reading them and they are just wonderful. I highly recommend them to anyone, not just members of the church. There is an awful lot of value in President Eyring's words.

I am hoping...
We have not heard a lot about that Volcanic Ash problem lately . . . I am hoping all stays calm in the run up to our trip to Canada. We are going to drive down to Gatwick and park our car there for the weeks we are away. It was the cheapest thing to do. We looked into flying down, taking the train down etc. and the other options were just too expensive to consider. It also makes me feel better to know that it will be parked in a safe place for the time we are away.

I am hearing...
A ticking clock, the tapping of my fingertips on the computer keys, birds singing in the garden . . . the fridge humming in the kitchen. These are every day sounds . . . early morning sounds . . .

Around the house...
I have a basket of ironing to work my way through. Our downstairs bookcase broke on Sunday afternoon. The brackets the manufacturer used to support the shelves were very inadequate and so Todd went out yesterday and bought some metal ones at B&Q and shored them up so now they will never fall down again. I have all of my most used cookbooks in it. I will probably hoover today and clean the bathroom, wash the kitchen floor, etc. It is a puttering morning and then this afternoon we will be out collecting catalogues again. Here's hoping that the sun stays shining!

One of my favorite things...
Is baking. I just love to bake. I find it very relaxing in a wierd sort of way. I get a lot of pleasure from sharing my baked goodies with friends. They don't seem to mind it either!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Our good friends Jo and Colin will be here at the end of the week for a few days. I am really looking foward to seeing them! We will probably tour Chester on Friday afternoon and then we thought to go for a drive on Saturday out and about. We'll see how it goes. Fingers crossed it is a nice weekend weatherwise!!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

The Lavender is blooming in our front garden now. It isn't as large a bunch as what we had at the cottage, but it is a gift all the same!! I just love lavender. It smells so pretty and the bumble bees love it so very much. Each year I say I am going to gather some up and dry it, and each year I forget. I just enjoy looking at it so much I never think to cut any before it's too late! Fields of lavender are a beautiful sight to behold. If you have never seen one you are missing out on one of the world's great treasures! Absolutely stunning!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

Shut not your mind against the joys of life. Songbirds still call and sunlight gleams. Send forth your questing thoughts on wings of hope. Open the casement of your dreams . . . Live not in shuttered gloom of vain regrets . . . mental darkness set apart. Happiness beckons you and new life calls. Open the windows of your heart.

And there you have it . . . my day book for the first week in June. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!)

Here is a delicious late spring treat. The season for British Asparagus is almost at an end now, but you may still be able to find enough left to enjoy this fabulous tart! It is easy to make and very tasty to eat!!

*Asparagus Gruyere Tart*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

Simple and yet very impressive. This makes a great starter or a deliciously simple supper served with a salad on the side.

1 package of ready roll puff pastry
1 beaten egg
2 cups (5 1/2 ounces) shredded gruyere cheese
1 bunch of thick fresh asparagus, washed and tough ends trimmed off
1 TBS olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/gas mark 6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and roll the sheet of puff pastry out onto it. Lightly score the pastry with a sharp knife, without going all the way through, one inch in from the edges to form a rectangular outline all the way around. Take a fork and prick the inside area at half inch intervals all over, leaving the border plain. Brush the border with the beaten egg and bake it in the oven for about 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking prepare your asparagus. Trim off the tough and woody ends. I do this by taking each spear in my hands and snapping it off right where it bends easily, usually about an inch or two from the end. Wash it completely in cold water and shake or pat dry with some paper toweling. I then like to remove all the little spines that grow up along the sides. It is really not necessary to do this, many people don't. I do it because they can taste somewhat bitter.

Remove the crust from the oven and punch down the centre a bit with the back of a spoon. Scatter the grated cheese over top of the inside area, leaving the border clean. Lay the prepared asparagus spears on top, top to tail all along the tart in a single layer on top of the cheese. Drizzle with a little olive oil and scatter with some sea salt and cracked black pepper. Return to the oven and continue to bake until the asparagus is crispy tender, which should take another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Note - This also tastes fabulous served cold!

Over on The English Kitchen today, Tomato and Chilli Soup with a Posh Cheese on Toast!


  1. Enjoy the sunshine Marie.

  2. I always enjoy your thoughts, musings, photos, recipes and sweet visits too! Thanks for your recent one and I hope you have a wonderful trip.

  3. Hi, dear Marie! As we are having a difficult few days here we are definitely counting the joys of life! It was so good to talk to you--thank you for listening & share, you are such a wonderful sister-friend! :o) Reading about your week, lifts the spirits. And I think that volcanic ash situation is somewhat settled now, according to what I've read--so you may be flying free soon! Very excited you'll be going home to family & friends soon--hooray! Lovely recipes today... Happy Day--LOVE YOU HEAPS!! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  4. I just bet you are getting very excited about your Canada trip. Don't forget your flight socks! From indoors it looks like a lovely sunny day but it is brrrrrr cold. I shall miss you loads while you're away (we all will) but you're overdue a break.

    love, Angie, xx

  5. I know that when the sun shines I sure do appreciate it too. We have had our share of those gloomy days this Spring too. As always your recipes all look divine. I hope your Tuesday is a terrific one.

  6. Hello dear from Vista, Ca. I am visiting Sil for a coupld of days. Ron is away on a business trip and since I don't have Austin to care for I was free to come visit yesterday. I will go home sometime tomorrow. I miss being home where I could call you... talking to you is a happy event I so look forward to each week. However, it is nice to be here in Visit to spend time with Sil.
    I have not read Pres. Eyring's book. It sounds like one that I should run out and buy. I try to live close to the Lord but I need to do much better. I am sure that reading this book would help me.

    I can't wait to see that cake you talked about. It sounds devine.

    I send my love and hugs your way.
    XOXOX Lura

  7. i love the work and the glory movies-so good! i have never read the books-i should. and that pres. eyring book sounds fantastic. thanks for recommending it-i'm always looking for something new!

  8. we also enjoy watching related Church type things on Sundays when we are home. We like watching things by RC Sproul, we even enjoyed The Case For Christ, The Case For a Creator, The Case For Faith all by Lee Strobel.... They are really great informative documentaries .... hope your having a lovely day... hugs to you both and have fun with your friends this week...Mica

  9. Love the asparagas pastry! I copied it and think I'll make it for our father's day dinner! :) I have a question after weeks of wondering: What is collecting catalogues? I'm not familiar?
    take care!

  10. I love The Work and The Glory...the books and the films. I really like that we share so many things in common, Marie! I am in the RS Presidency so have the Presidency meetings like you and the VTing like you.

    And my neighbor just brought me a bouquet today of lavender that she had tied up in bundle to dry. I hung it by my front door and it smells divine! And to top it off I had tomato soup with cheesy croutons for dinner. See what I mean? Kindred spirits!

  11. Dear Marie!

    I have missed you. Sorry I have been away visiting my sister and her adorable baby.

    I am glad the sun is out. Sunshine always makes me feel happier. I am so glad you are able to go to canada. Have a safe and happy trip!

    Thanks for the recipes. I want to try that tart one soon! Have a great week!


  12. I love baking too Marie! I love because relaxing me too!
    And I love Asparagus Gruyere Tart Look fantastic Marie! huggs, gloria


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