Wednesday 24 November 2010

Much ado about nothing . . . .

One little unshed raindrop

May think itself too small,
Yet somewhere a thirsty flower
Awaits it's fall

One little word unspoken,
May seem too small to say,
But somewhere for that one word
A heart may pray.
~Helen Thomas Allison

It is wise never to dismiss the small things in life. They are often the things which make the most impact on people. I could be a small deed of kindness for someone, taking very little effort on your part, but it could make a world of difference for the recipient . . . likewise, you could make a small mistake and it could be the only thing you are ever remembered for, forever. I know what that feels like!

We finally have heat and hot water. It took most of yesterday before we had it going. Can you believe that the cowboys that put the boiler into this place originally allowed some of the cement and brick dust from when they were drilling when they put the boiler in originally, to fall down inside the boiler pipes, and it had hardened finally to the point where the boiler couldn't work! All that had to be cleared out and now it's working like a charm! Another example of something small that had long reaching implications. Something perhaps that on the day might have taken a few extra minutes of time to clear up . . . but ended up taking hours of work to fix and several days of us freezing!!

I have always taken the stance that, any job worth doing at all, is a job worth doing well . . . sure there are times when the lazy side of me just wants to take the shortest route possible, but then as I ponder the implications, I just put my shoulder to the wheel and do it properly to begin with. A shortcut taken is never worth the trouble it may cause in the long run!

I've been asked to speak at a Baptism this weekend. This is the first time I've ever been asked to speak at anyone's Baptism. It is an honor indeed! I shall be working hard over the next few days to make sure I have a speech worthy of such an important event! Whoever said there is no rest for the wicked must have been talking about me!

It is hard to believe but from tomorrow there is exactly only one month left until Christmas!! How did that sneak up on us! It seems like only yesterday we were complaining about how hot it was and now we're almost to the end of the year. Time seems to fly by ever so quickly and I am not the only one that has noticed that. Everyone I speak to seems to say the same thing! Thankfully I took all the grandson's Christmas Gifts over to Canada when I was there in July so I only have my mom's and dad's to mail out now, and my Eileen's. I better get cracking and get them into the post before it's too late!

I was sitting here reading Winnie the Pooh last night while Todd watched a cowboy film on the telly and it was the one where they had had a lot of rain and piglet was stuck in the tree as the land all flooded around them. It took a while for him to think of it, but he finally put a note into a bottle and sent it off in the flood waters asking for help. I thought to myself that is a bit like prayer isn't it. We find ourselves in a sticky patch and try to get ourselves out, and then when we can't get out of it, we usher up a prayer for help . . . a message in an invisible bottle sent out on the waters of faith! I wonder sometimes why we often use prayer as a last means of resort . . . surely it should be the first!

Well, now I am just prattling on, so I will draw this to a close. I wish you all a very happy middle of the week, and to all you Americans out there, a Very Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

This is a recipe I adapted from one I saw Giada de Laurentis make one day. She called it Vendure Al Forno I think. I call it Cheesy Baked Courgettes. No matter what you call it, it's delicious! I love her recipes, but I am always left scratching my head and wondering how she stays so thin???

*Cheesy Baked Courgettes*
Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main vegetarian
Printable Recipe

I absolutely love this way of cooking courgettes. They are able to retain some of their bite without going soggy and the flavour of the cheese and the cream really make them quite delicious. Indulgent, yes, but once in a while you owe it to yourself to be a bit over the top!

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil. (does not have to be best quality as it is only for greasing the dish)
5 medium courgettes, washed, dried and cut crosswise into 1 inch slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup double cream
4 ounces good mozzarella cut into fairly thinish slices
4 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated
6 TBS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup dried bread crumbs (I use Italian seasoned ones. If you are using plain add some oregano and basil and garlic just for spice)

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Lightly grease an 8 inch baking dish with the olive oil.

Arrange some of the courgette slices in the bottom of the dish to cover. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pour 1/3 of the cream over and then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella and 1/3 of the cheddar cheeses. Sprinkle with 2 TBS of the Parmesan and 1/3 of the bread crumbs. Repeat the layers twice more, ending with bread crumbs.

Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until nice and bubbly and lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Baking in The English Kitchen today, a Maple Pumpkin Pie!


  1. Dearest Marie, thank you for the sunshine. I can't begin to tell you how much your words inspire, make me think and, also, while reading your words my heart warms and tears fall. You're a good dose of medicine. I mentioned before that I wished I lived next door to you, because of your excellent culinary skills because I'm sure you'd share your wares with me, but now, I believe it's not JUST your cooking/recipes that makes you special -- it's your kind, loving spirit. When my family begins the Thanksgiving prayer, tomorrow, and share the things/people we are thankful for -- I will count you in my blessings and PRAY you never stop writing. Thank you!

  2. The little things DO matter the most! As I was drifting off to sleep last night, my husband held my hand. The happy feeling has carried on to today... :)

  3. Such a lovely little poem, and how true.


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