Tuesday 23 November 2010

The Simple Woman's Day book

FOR TODAY, November 23rd, 2010...

Outside My Window...

It is dark and cold, and supposed to get colder as the week progresses. Winter is here, it would seem. Areas of the country are expecting anywhere's up to 6 inches of snow! That is indeed very early. We don't expect any here in Chester though. Actually we're quite protected here by the Welsh mountains, so I guess we are lucky!

I am thinking...
We were at some friends' home last evening for Family Home Evening and we had such an enjoyable time that the feelings are still with me this morning. It is an extra special blessing to be able to share and ponder these most precious things of the heart and spirit with good friends.

I am thankful for...
Last week I said my central heating. This week I am saying I will be thankful to have it fixed! Yes, our boiler has failed. We have had no heat or hot water for 2 days now, so it is a might bit chilly in here. It is no problem boiling the kettle to have hot water to wash dishes with or have a sponge bath at the sink . . . but brrr . . . it's rather a bit on the cool side in here and I am longing for my bath in the tub! Hoping to have it fixed today!

From the kitchen...
There's leftover marmalade cake and sour cream apple squares . . . sigh . . . oh and a few cupcake madeleines! I'm really enjoying giving my new cooker a workout!

I am wearing...
Flannel Jim Jams! Soft and a lot warmer than my usual ones! I also have my big furry blue robe on as well as my slippers! Mitzie is laying right behind me so she's helping to keep me warm as well. I think I may also be warming her up! We're warming each other up!!

I am creating...
I have all sorts on the drawing board at the moment. I'm working very hard on a big, but still very hush hush project. Not long now before I can reveal all, hopefully!

I am going...
As soon as we get the boiler working and the water has heated up, I am going to jump into the bath!!

I am reading...

Miss American Pie by Margaret Sartar

Like all good Southern writers, Margaret Sartor sets the scene in her introduction to her memoir, MISS AMERICAN PIE: "Montgomery, Louisiana, isn't a very small town, but it's small enough. In the 1970s, the divorce rate was nonexistent, church attendance was roughly 100 percent, and the rules of proper behavior were generally agreed upon, if often ignored . . . We purchased cigarettes from vending machines, rode bikes without helmets, and thought seat belts were for wimps . . . On the whole, I would say my hometown was entirely typical of its time and place, more confused than reactionary, a sort of stranglehold of befuddlement." Having been a teenager myself in the 70's , I am really enjoying this!

I am hoping...
I hope all sorts . . . I am just a hopeful kind of person. Without hope where would any of us be?

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . clocks ticking, early morning cars, the honk of a taxi picking up one of the neighbours, and Mitzie snozzling next to me. Oh how I love that sound. So sweet.

Around the house...
I still have a ton of ironing to do! It it like I have a magical ironing basket that, no sooner do I empty it, but it fills up again with more ironing!!! Now, if only I had a magican money basket that did the same thing!!

One of my favorite things...
is going for long walks with Todd . . . preferably in the sun and on a nice warm day!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...
I am working hard to finish my secret project as the deadline for finishing it is looming in just a few weeks now, so I'll be spending most of my time on that, plus the usual church meetings and of course some cooking too!

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

This is a picture that was taken of the dining room table just before one of the dinner parties at the Manor I used to cook at. Look at all that silver and crystal! All polished by moi. The dinner parties always used to be a lot of work, with all the shopping, table setting, cooking, serving, and cleaning up afterwards!! (Whew!!) I did love doing them though. It all was a wonderful opportunity to stretch my abilities and I always enjoyed watching the guests enjoy their dinners! I kinda miss them!

And just as a closing thought for today . . .

Our minds like houses shabby grow.
A sudden flash of truth will show
How much we need to sweep away
The dusty thoughts of yesterday . . .
~Patience Strong

A thought to inspire for today.

And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. 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 promised someone that I would post my famous Corn Chowder recipe, and not being one to dissappoint here it is! (I used to make this every Sunday after church when my kids were growing up. It was quick, easy and delicious. With a crusty roll, some gently heated scones or just crisp buttered slices of toast it's a meal even HRH would approve of!)

*Corn Chowder*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This has always been a family favourite. Quick to put together, you can have a delicious and satisfying meal on the table in about half an hour give or take a few. Wonderful!

4 slices smoked rindless streaky bacon
½ leek, cut in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced into half moons
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 bay leaf
½ tsp summer savoury
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (425ml) tin creamed style corn*
1 cup whole full fat milk
1 knob butter

Heat a heavy bottomed medium large saucepan over medium heat and toss in the bacon. Fry until crisp. Add the slices of leek and cook for a few minutes longer until tender. Add the potatoes, bay leaf, herbs and boiling water to cover. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the creamed corn and the milk. Gently heat until heated through. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Add a lump of butter and serve hot with buttered crispy whole grain toast.

*Note- You can get the creamed style corn in the vegetable aisle of most grocery stores here in the UK.

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Shallots!


  1. I don't know, dear friend, only you could think how lucky you are to be a bit protected by the Welsh mountains when you're near freezing to death with no heating! What I would be thinking could only be represented here by asterisks!

    I must try and get hold of that book. What a pity I don't live next door so I could raid your bookshelves! (eh? WHAT!)

  2. do you know that at my job the word "hope" is not acceptable?? they asked me if I thought someone was going to get hired from their externship and I said I hope so and they said "hope" is a four letter word!!! Hope doesn't get the job done..i was mortified..and yes I will be moving on from there soon...

  3. Your corn chowder looks delicious and I've copied the recipe to try out soon. I hope that boiler gets fixed for you and that you are soon warm and toasty. We never know how much something like that means till we don't have it. We do have so much to be thankful for that we often take for granted. I hope your Tuesday is a terrific one!

  4. I hope you will stay warm...it's getting really cold here too with a big snow storm coning in today. Love the pic of the beautiful set table...the recipes look wonderful too! :D

  5. I had never had corn chowder before the very first meal I had in Canada in Lunenberg..I have loved it ever since ...Fingers crossed that the boiler gets repaired today and that it hasn't cost a fortune...why do they always seem to go when the cold weather is forecast...
    Love Sybil xx

  6. Hi marie, it's been a while since I popped by, so glad to hear you are doing well. Those dinner parties must have been really special to create! Hugs, Catherine x


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