Thursday 2 September 2010

Thursday musings.

Up and down the garden path
with coloured steeples rise . . .
all astir with questing bees
and wings of butterflies.
Stately stems, thickset with blooms
that soar above the hedge.
Towers of flowers . . .
a blaze of glory
down the border edge.
Rosy red and butter yellow,
pink and snowy white.
Hollyhocks, just hollyhocks . . .
an ordinary sight.
But surely there's a question here
for those with eyes to read.
How did all this beauty spring
from one small pinch of seed?
~Patience Strong

I just love Hollyhocks. They are my most favourite of all the garden flowers . . . well, along with sweet peas, pansies and snapdragons . . . I'm a simple girl with simple tastes it seems.

As a girl we loved to make little dolls from the blooms. We'd carefully choose a flower. Only the right one would do and then we'd pluck it off with the green bit attached. Ten two more unbudded ones would be picked and using toothpicks we would the skirt (flower bloom) to the two buds forming a bodice and head for the doll. Another toothpick would be inserted through the middle bud to form arms. Oh my but we would play with them for hours . . . taking them to fancy dress balls and all sorts . . . the imagination of a child is a wonderful thing . . . and I had a very vivid one. Perhaps that is because kids back then did not have a lot of toys to play with, nore did we have computer games, computers, a lot of telly to watch and mother's that tolerated us in the house for long periods of time!

It was expected on sunny days that we would play outside the whole day, only coming in for meal times or if someone was hurt! We had the run of the neighbourhood, and, as long as we were within shouting range all was well.

In fact hanging around the house looking like you had nothing to do was rather dangerous, for it was certain that our mother would find us something to do to busy ourselves rather quickly and we wouldn't like it!

I heard on the news this morning that Stephen Hawking, a world renowned scientist, has made the statement that the Big Bang was the result of the inevitable laws of physics and did not need God to spark the creation of the Universe.

"The fool saith in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
Psalm 14: 1-3

What a silly man! Just goes to show that you can be very intelligent and educated, and still be rather ignorant and blind about some things. We live on a beautiful planet and are surrounded by millions of miracles, large and small, all fitting together in a beautiful orchestration . . . surely this was all planned and not the result of some accident. To me it's patently obvious! Mind you . . . I am a girl who makes dolls out of flowers . . .

Mitzie is growing like a weed! It is hard to believe that we have only had her for 3 weeks . . . it seems she has always been with us. She is such a little dear. We love her so. She is eager to please, and yet has a very stubborn and determined side. The last few days she has enjoyed venturing onto the grassed area of our garden . . . keeping Todd company whilst he putters away doing the garden chores that are needed this time of year. I am ever so happy that we made the decision to get another pet . . . we are animal loving people and our home was never complete without one.

Here's a delicious entree that will please your family to no end!! I always have several bags of meatballs in the freezer that I can just whip out to make meatball dishes with. Time saving and economical. I make my own when minced beef is on special. I have my own mixture that I make up, shape into balls and then bake. I then freeze them on oven trays and once frozen solid I pop them into freezer bags. Doing it this way makes it easy to take out just as many as you want at any given time. You can buy frozen meatballs of course, and there are some very good ones out there, but it's just as easy to make your own and then you know exactly what's gone into them!

*Sweet and Sour Meatballs*
Serves 5 to 6
Printable Recipe

I usually have a bag of meatballs, already cooked, in my freezer, ready to make into this delicious favourite of ours. You can have it on the table in less than half an hour . . . really!

2 dozen meatballs, either from your own favourite recipe (my preference)
or good commercially prepared ones
1 cup of soft light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup of cider vinegar
1 TBS tomato catsup
2 TBS flour
2 TBS soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.

Blend the flour and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Add the vinegar, catsup and soy sauce. Blend well together. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens. This will take about five minutes.

Place the meatballs into a 1 1/2 litre casserole dish. Pour the sauce over top and give it all a good stir. Cover and bake in the heated oven for about 20 minutes, until the meatballs are all glazed in the sauce and have absorbed some of it. I always remove the lid for the last five minutes or so. Serve hot with some steamed rice on the side.

Baking in The English Kitchen today a scrummily moreishly Fudgy Banana Nut Loaf! You can never have too many banana loaf recipes!


  1. I've never seen blossom dolls before. They are charming! I need to make those with my girls. Thanks for the idea.

  2. Good morning, dear Marie! Oh, I just LOVE hollyhocks! And making hollyhock dollies! I have yet to get hollyhocks going successfully in the garden yet though. The main reason is that in early spring, our kitty Charlie lays around in the flower beds, sunning himself, and trampling all the tender new leaves... it's a wonder anything gets to growing for him! LOL! Thanks so much for a good dose of Mitzie today... She has grown! Thanks so much for your lovely comments at my place--so happy to see you stopped in. And, yes, we need to coordinate our calendars better... LOL! Hope we get to chat the weekend. I may be here sporadic the next day or two since I close my shop Saturday morning. Happy Weekend to you all there--Miss you & LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  3. Sad that so many try to theorize the creation, when it is evident that it all had to have had a start somewhere no matter how they try and explain it. It took God to make it. Your baby is growing and I can't believe it has been 3 weeks already. The hollyhocks are just beautiful! Have a wonderful Thursday and enjoy those many blessings you have there!

  4. Well how much more English Country Garden can you get than Hollyhocks? We used to have a lovely big pink one in a border but it was killed when we had to have a dying tree felled. The garden contractor carelessly allowed the tree to fall on it and it never did recover.

    Mitzi will ALWAYS try to get the better of you - your will against hers. Most times she will win! A bit like something I saw on a child's T-shirt in the market today "I came, I saw, I made a lot of noise, I got one!"

  5. It is amazing that a man like Hawking can be smart in many ways and yet so lacking in real wisdom and understanding...wonder what he will do as he stands to face his creator...I imaging his knees will bow and he will cry like a baby! :D

  6. You always have such wonderful posts. I love the girlie you made out of a hollyhock. She is very lovely and graceful. What fun childhood can be when not spent in front of a screen. I remember lying on my tummy in the grass watching ants work on their hills. I would do this for hours and hours. They were so fascinating.

    God bless you,

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  8. I too was saddened by Hawkings downward spiralling plunge into a vacuous void of reason... But I am uplifted by your post once again... and the meatballs look so yummy.. My great grandmother used to walk into the woods with my mother when she was just a tot and they'd sit in the glen and make flower dolls just like your hollyhock ones... What wonderful flowers .. they look so ethereal! Lovely dancing ballerinas!!


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