Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, July 27th, 2010...

Outside My Window...

It is dull and gloomy looking, but it is home and I am glad to be back! Our garden did very well when we were away, except that something has totally eaten the cabbages to bits. I have little gem lettuces that I need to pick now, and lots of beetroot to pull and eat. Also beans to pick. I just love this time of year!

I am thinking...
It was ever so lovely to see my family and Canadian friends, but it's also ever so lovely to be back home where I belong. Be it ever so humble and all that . . .

I am thankful for...
That my Heavenly Father watched over us whilst we were away and that we travelled in safety and without incident. I was the main driver. I drove us all the way over to New Brunswick and back. Fredericton was a bit scary as a lot had changed in the 11 years since I had been there, but I did ok! Now I need to drive more over here!

From the kitchen...
There is not a heck of a lot as I basically just got home on Sunday evening and then I didn't sleep all Sunday night thinking about my scan. Yesterday I was too tired to do much. Hopefully I will be feeling more like my old self again today! (Although I do have a smear test to endure later on this morning. ugh . . . ) I have been thinking though that I may move all my recipes over to The English Kitchen though and leave Oak Cottage just for my ramblings . . . any thoughts on that? I would love to have your feedback. Pretty please with sugar on it. ☺

I am wearing...
Pink pajamas with wooly sheep on them! Baaaa!!!

I am creating...
I did a ton of sketches whilst I was away and have lots in the pipeline! It felt so good to put my pencil to paper again and create. I also have the Primary Presentation for this year to work on and a few other odds and sodds!

I am going...
Grrr . . . pap smear today. I hate them. Necessary evil I know, but that doesn't make them any more bearable. Other than that I have no firm plans for the week. It feels good!

I am reading...

The Confession of Katherine Howard, by Suzannah Dunn

Eighteen-year-old Catherine Howard thought she could have it all: a King, and a lover! Lady-in-waiting to Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's new German wife, it wasn't long before a teenage Catherine caught the King's eye. Pretty, lively and young, he swiftly made her his queen. Catherine found herself showered with riches and at the centre of a lavish court life. Dizzy with the power she suddenly possessed, she failed to realise the political realities of her life. Just over a year into her marriage, during a special service at which Henry was giving thanks to God for his wonderful wife, Archbishop Cranmer passed the King a letter, listing allegations against Catherine before she became queen. Henry asked the archbishop to investigate; he was never to see his young wife again. Told twenty years on from the perspective of Catherine's close friend, Cat Tilney, the novel tells the life of this damaged, dangerous and short-lived queen. Suzannah Dunn presents us with a feisty, determined Catherine, who refused to allow men to walk over her . . . even if they do happen to be the King of England.

I picked this novel up at the airport on my way over to Canada and am only now just getting in to it. Todd got a hold of it first and monopolized it most of the time we were away!! He loved it and I am also loving it! It's a crackin' good read!

I am hoping...
That I can get done all the things that I want to get done this week! I have so much that I want to do and it's all a jumble in my mind at the moment. I need to sit down and organize myself I think!

I am hearing...
Birds singing in the garden . . . the fridge humming in the kitchen. Rain softly falling. The quiet hum of the computer and my fingers tap, tap, tapping on the keys. Ahh . . . home, sweet home . . .

Around the house...
I have a drying rack full of drying wash waiting to be ironed and more wash to put in. I also have to do a general tidy up. Although I did leave things pretty tidy before we left, I have messed it up a bit in my unpacking and I need to finish putting things away. Sigh . . . I'm so lazy!

One of my favorite things...
Is communicating with all of you each day. I so missed this when I was away. Is that sad??? I hope not! I just love being able to put my thoughts down here of a morning. It helps bring balance to my day. It helps to keep me centred and I love all the feedback that I get from you, my sweet invisible friends!!! Life is just not the same without you in it!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
Not an awful lot and that's good, except for the dreaded smear test today. double ugh . . . Our Home Teachers are coming on Thursday evening and it will be nice to see them. We must go to visit out good friend Doreen and let her know we are back and I want to pop in to Chester and pick up a few bits. Other than that I hope to dig out my paints and brushes and get stuck in to painting! I can't wait to show you what I've done!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is "GranTodd" (as my grandson Gabriel named him) getting ready to ride the lion along with "Socker Monkey" (the name that Gabriel christened his Sock Monkey with). He sure looks like he is having a grand time doesn't he! We both had a grand time actually. It was so nice to see them all and I will soon do a post and share all of my holiday snaps! A lot of them didn't turn out, which is disappointing. I 'spect it was the humidity or something, but they are quite blurry, or maybe I was just overly excited to be there! I did get some good ones though, which capture some really special memories. Look for them real soon!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

"Dare to be wise; begin!! He who postpones the hour of living rightly is like the rustic who waits for the river to run out before he crosses."

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!)

I had the most delicious coconut cream pie for lunch one day whilst we were away. We had gone to the Lawrencetown Restaurant for a nice lunch together with friends and of course none of us could resist dessert. All homemade pies and cakes!! I just had to have the coconut cream. This is a picture of that pie, but this is my own recipe for the pie! I did not get theirs, but I can assure you mine is just as delicious if not more so! ( A girl is allowed to brag once in a while surely!!!)

*Coconut Cream Pie*
Serves 8
Printable Recipe

A delicious dessert that will have everyone scrambling for just one more slice . . . please!

1 (14 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 TBS unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the meringue:
3 large egg whites (you can freeze the other two for another time)
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
toasted coconut (optional)

one 9 inch fully baked pie crust

Put the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/3 cup of the sugar and the salt to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Stir occasionally.

Whisk together the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar and the cornstarch until well mixed, then whisk in the egg yolks. Slowly whisk in about 1 cup of the simmering coconut milk mixture to temper, and then slowly whisk the tempered mixture back into the rest of the simmering coconut milk mixture. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, whisking constantly and vigorously until the mixture is thickened and a few bubbles burst on the surface. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and the vanilla. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, stirring it about every five minutes or so.

Once cooled to lukewarm, pour the filling into the baked pie crust.

In the meantime whisk the egg whites for the meringue together with the cream of tartar and the salt, using an electric whisk until the mixture begins to show soft peaks. Continue to whisk, slowly adding the sugar, whisking it until the meringue is holding stiff peaks and is glossy. Spread and mound this mixture on top of your coconut filling.

Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/gas mark 4. Place the filled and topped pie onto a baking sheet. (If you are using toasted coconut to top, now is the time to sprinkle it over top of the meringue) Slide it into the oven and bake until the meringue is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.

Use a sharp wet knife to cut into wedges for serving. Delicious!!

Over on The English Kitchen this morning, last night's supper. Steak Burgers with Stilton and Ale! Scrummy!

My, but it's good to be back! ☺


  1. Oh Marie, it's so good to have you back!! As you know, I love reading your Tuesday's Day Book, today's was no exception.
    I'm really looking forward to seeing the photos of your family, it's a shame they didn't all come out as well as you hoped though. Good luck with the smear test today...horrible things but a necessity as you say! Love, Pat xx

  2. Your Day Book for today was so nice to read once more. You were missed. I'm thankful you were able to make the trip to visit your dear family but glad you are home again. If you move your recipes over I'd say just leave a picture and reference like you always do for the other blog would be fine. I often check out the recipes there anyway. I hope your Tuesday is a terrific one!

  3. Marie,

    I am so very glad to see you and your posts again. I have missed your cheer and optomistic view of our life journey.

    Welcome home,


  4. Marie, you were missed. I can't wait to read your posts each day. You never fail to make me feel better. I wish I had your strength and energy.

  5. Marie, you were missed. I can't wait to read your posts each day. You never fail to make me feel better. I wish I had your strength and energy.

  6. Hi, dear Marie! Must thank you & "GranTodd" (that is sooo cute!) for the card you sent my hubby--lovely of you to remember. And for the happy comment you left at my place. :o) Always love your Daybook entries to begin the week. So good to have your back here again. And with recipes--that coconut cream looks divine...mmm... I'm busy preparing my shop to close, so treats cheer just now... LOL! Hope we get to catch up more soon--looking forward to it. Happy Day, my sister-friend--LOVE YOU LOTS OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  7. Sounds like you had a good time and it is always so good to get back home. But then there's so much to do to catch up...I like have a recipe here, hope you'll keep doing that :D

  8. Marie it's good to have you back where you belong! Coconut Cream Pie is my all time favorite dessert so I'm happy to see your recipe here, though I'll have to postpone making it until I've lost a little more weight. :) Please do keep sharing recipes with us here - I look forward to them. blessings, marlene

  9. Welcome home, sweet, Marie! I have totally missed you. It was huge and I know exactly what you mean about needing to keep writing and it being so centering. I have only done 14 posts this month...doesn't work for me but I am going to catch up in the next few days.

    I am so glad you had a great time in Canada and it sound like you saw almost everyone! That is awesome and cannot wait to hear more. Hope your scan and pap have gone well.

    Love you, Bonnie

  10. Welcome back from your holiday. That book looks interesting. I did read 'Joy School' & that's one you featured sometime ago. I'm sailing off to Alaska this Friday, & am looking forward to a little getaway. Linda in Washington state

  11. oh, that picture of todd is just so sweet!!! and i love that your grandson calls him grantodd-how cute is that?

  12. Hi, Marie!

    Welcome back from what sounds like a wonderful trip to Canada. Did the weather behave while you were there? Has the jet lag messed up your schedule or was it easy to adjust back and forth?

    I loved reading your daybook. It sounds like your life right now is nice and peaceful and will give you a chance to practice your art.

    I love your recipe blog and this blog and whichever way you want to post things will be great.

    If you move all your recipes to your food blog, maybe you should continue to "advertise" on this blog whatever yummy treat you are showing on the food blog. Does that make sense?

    I loved hearing about your garden. Mine is just starting to produce. We have a really short growing season in Utah. August and September are the harvest months when my life is all about canning, canning and more canning (as well as a little freezing, too).

    Have a lovely one!

  13. Hi Marie,

    There really is no place like home! I love reading the Simple Woman's Daybooks.

    I'm related to Kathrine Howard! I love reading about her - she was a cousin wayyyyyyyyyy back!!! My mother's maiden name was Howard, her grandparents were from England, they joined the church there and later came to Utah as pioneers.

    I like reading your recipes on this blog, I love your recipe blog, but this one is very nice too.

    Would love to see some of your new sketches - good luck with your Primary presentation - love those sweet little spirits!


  14. Glad you are back and happy that you both had a wonderful holiday away! Your coconut pie recipe sounds really really tempting!

  15. Hello my friend! I am so glad you had a wonderful trip! I am glad you are back safe and sound.

    That book looks so good. I have read so many books about that time period. I just started The White Queen about the princes lost in the tower a little bit before that time.

    Sorry I haven't been over for a while. We are on a long road trip and I haven't had good internet until tonight. I hope things are going well and I think about you every day.


  16. Lovely Post Marie: I love Todd picture!! xx xgloria


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