Monday 9 August 2010

Storing up treasures . . .

The real measure of our wealth would be how much we'd be worth if we lost all our money.

~John Henry Jowett

I used to work for a woman that had everything that money could afford her. She lived in a beautiful house, on a beautiful country estate in a home filled with beautiful things. She drove a beautifyl car and wore beautiful clothing, designed by the worlds most famous clothing designers, and had a closet filled with beautiful jewelry. She had her hair done in the finest salons, and people were at her back and call to attend to her every need, every minute of every day. She had everything that anyone could ever hope or want and yet . . . she had nothing. She led an empty life . . . with no purpose and no meaning.

I remember telling her one day about how much time I had enjoyed spending with my family and grandson on a recent trip to Canada and this really wistful look came over her face. She remarked to me about how much she would love to have one of those, but then again . . . how she never thought she would have one. For all her wealth and all that she had possession wise . . . there was still something in her life that was missing . . . someone who could give her more joy than anything else she had all put together in one place.

If I were to die tomorrow, I think that I would die a happy person. (although to be sure I'm not ready to die just yet!) I have a solid roof over my head and plenty of food in my belly. I have a husband and a family that love me and whom I love dearly in return. I have wonderful friends that I call family too, and we care about each other just the same as if we were family . . . kindred spirit friends. I have a solid relationship with my Heavenly Father and His Son, my redeemer. I have a heart that is filled with joy, contentment and peace. Peace about who I've been and with who I am . . . with why I am here and with where I am headed. What more in life could I need . . . everything else is really only the icing on a very delicious cake.

My real treasures and wealth lay in the relationships and the love that I have built with those I would leave behind . . . and of the memories of the times we have spent together. These things would be my only legacy. I have no real wealth or riches to bestow upon them, save a few trinkets . . . my real wealthy being in the love and the knowledge that they were loved by me with a strength and a width beyone measure. It is the things that are intangible that have the real worth in life . . . and the most meaning, and these are the things I have in true abundance.

What a blessed and lucky person I am. I would that it were so for everyone . . .

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.
~Matthew 6: 19-21

This is a lovely dessert that is sure to bring some smiles to the faces around your table. Suitable for a special occasion or celebration, or simply just because . . .

*Strawberry Tiramisu*
Serves 6 to 8
Printable Recipe

It might sound like a lot of faff, but once you have all the elements prepared, the dessert itself goes together very quickly. Plan ahead as it will have to chill in the refrigerator overnight.

For the cake:
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup scalded milk
1 TBS butter

For the Strawberry Syrup:
1/2 pint strawberries, hulled, halved and mashed slightly
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup of corn syrup
2 TBS Brandy (optional)

To finish:
12 ounces white chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 pints of strawberries, hulled and chopped
White chocolate curls

First make the cake. Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ Gas mark 4. LIghtly great and flour an 8 inch spring form pan. Set aside.

Separate the eggs carefully, putting the whites and yolks into different bowls. Beat the whites until stiff. Beat the yolks until thick and lemony coloured. Fold into the egg whites and beat together. Add the sugar slowly and beat with a spoon for five minutes.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Fold into the beaten mixture. Put the milk into a small saucepan along with the butter and heat it just until the milk is hot and the butter is melted. Stir this into the beaten mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven to a rack to cool for five minutes before removing the sides of the pan to finish cooling completely. Remove the bottom part of the pan as well.

While the cake is baking, make the strawberry syrup. Place the strawberries in a small saucepan and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally until they come to a complete boil. This should take six minutes or so.

Line a strainer with cheesecloth and place it over a bowl. Pour the hot strawberries into the strainer, mashing them a bit with the back of a spoon to extract all the juice. Discard the pulp. Return the juice to the pan along with the syrup and the sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it comes to a full boil. Boil for exactly one minute. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam from the top with a metal spoon. Stir in the brandy, if using, and set aside to cool until just warm.

Wash the spring form pan completely and dry it. Put it back together.

Put the white chocolate pieces, along with 1/4 cup of the heavy cream into a bowl and place the bowl over a pan of hot water on top of the stove, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Melt the chocolate along with the cream, stirring, until smooth. Once melted remove from the heat and cool completely.

Put the mascarpone cheese into a large mixing bowl. Whip it until fluffy. Stir in teh melted chocolate mixture. Whip the remaining 1 1/4 cup of heavy cream until stiff in another bowl. Fold the whipped cream mixture into the mascarpone cheese/chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the chopped berries.

Take the cake and carefully trim the top off until it is completely flat. Carefully slice it through the middle into three layers. Place one layer into the cleaned spring form pan. Brush it completely with the warm syrup, allowing it to soak into the cake. Cover with 1/3 of the chocolate mixture. Carefully lay another piece of cake over top. Brush that completely with the warm syrup as well, again allowing it to soak in. Cover with another 1/3 of the chocolate mixture. Place the final layer of cake carefully on top and once again brush with the rest of the strawberry syrup, allowing it to soak in. cover with the remaining chocolate mixture and smooth the top as much as possible. Cover with cling film and place in the refrigerator to set, at least four hours, or overnight if possible.

To serve, set the cake onto a pretty plate and remove the sides of the pan. Scatter white chocolate curls over the top of the cake and garnish with more berries if desired, before cutting into slices to serve. Delicious!

I'm cooking The Perfect Omelette over in The English Kitchen today!


  1. Wonderful thoughts Marie. And that strawberry Tiramisu looks so good. It's funny -- we were over at my mom's house last night and she served the same dessert. Delicious!

    Is everything ok? I saw your status on Facebook. I hope you are ok. Thinking about you!!!


  2. I think underneath it all she was a very unhappy lady, with an unfortunate way of showing her unhappiness by taking it out on everyone else. More to be pitied than despised I suppose but hard to think that way at the time. I'm a horrible person and I have to say it wouldn't bother me at all that she was denied something she perceived would make her happy. It would have been just one more thing for other people to tidy away for her. If I was the Genie of the Lamp I would grant her wish on condition that she gave away something - of MY choosing. Oh, horrid horrid horrid!!!

  3. I too have met some wealthy people who were always discontent with what they had and did not have a happy life at all. Our true treasures don't cost much money but are worth their weight in gold. Knowing that we have such treasures does make us happy and life much more worthwhile. I hope your Monday is a wonderful one!

  4. VERY beautiful post today, Marie. I couldn't agree more. It is odd how some "fortunate" few seem to have everything, and yes lack the most important things in life--real love, friendships, compassion, consideration for other, real generosity. I feel sorry for folks such as that, and can only wish them well. LOVE the strawberry tiramisu today... oh, that is a perfecty summery dessert--thank you! Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Wonderful post, great recipe. Is is true money cannot by happiness.

    Thank you Marie

  6. I love this Marie. You are so right that all the money in the world is not enough if you don't have what really matters in this world.

    You do have a lot to leave as your legacy...your blog with its beautiful thoughts, your art, and your recipes. Your family and friends will never forget you because of what you have put on paper and on the computer. (Not that this is an issue for many years of course.) And most of all your living, loving testimony of the truth...that blesses everyone you meet. Moth and rust cannot touch it.

  7. We talked about this very thing at church last week - treasures are never things! blessings, marlene

  8. Too true, too true. How'd your tests go?

  9. Lovely post Marie, like you I believe in heart Treasures, and you have a lovely heart and a lot of God gifts!

    Love your strawberry Tiramisu: lovely!!! gloria
    all my love and take care, talk me about your scan, prayby the way! xoxoxoxo gloria

  10. How true and such wonderful thoughts to ponder. Like you, my family and friends are my treasures in life. We are both rich aren't we.
    Hugs, Lura


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