Monday 29 November 2010

Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow . . . food for thought

“During the bombing raids of WWII, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. The fortunate ones were rescued and placed in refugee camps where they received food and good care. But many of these children who had lost so much, could not sleep at night. They feared waking up to find themselves once again homeless and without food. Nothing seemed to reassure them. Finally, someone hit upon the idea of giving each child a piece of bread to hold at bedtime. Holding their bread, these children could finally sleep in peace. All through the night the bread reminded them, "Today I ate and I will eat again tomorrow."
(Linn, Dennis et al, Sleeping With Bread, p.l)

It occurred to me as I read this passage that these orphans were able to sleep, only because they were able to hold on to something that would nourish them. This is what brought them enough peace of mind that they were able to let go of the cares and woes of their life for a moment, a moment long enough to be able to fall asleep in . . .

I have been really and truly blessed in my life. I have never had to go to bed hungry, unless it was by choice. I have always had a roof over my head, be it small or large, humble or luxurious. I have always had a coat to keep me warm and dry, and shoes to keep my feet in the same manner. I have always had the luxury of being able to take a bath or a shower with warm running water, with soap and shampoo, and other luxuries that I often take for granted. When I go to the “loo” I sit on a porcelain throne and not a hole in the ground.

I fall asleep at night with the comforting hum of the fan running in the background in the summer, and of the electric alarm clock radio in the winter . . . with the comforting warmth of my husband laying next to me. I have experienced no fear of a bomb dropping on my house during the night, and I have never had to listen to the sounds of distant shells going off and fear them getting closer.

Yes . . . I do live in relative comfort compared to 90% of the world at large, and yet . . . there are times when even I cannot sleep. Nights where I lay there and toss and turn, unable to let go of my thoughts or worries of the day that has just passed, my mind mulling over things again and again. Perhaps I have some important event looming in the day to come, a talk to give at church or a huge dinner to cook for. Or maybe my thoughts are turned to things of the past that I cannot change no matter how much I wish that I could . . . but that still cause me grief. How many of us are like this?? I would wager more than just a few . . .

Sometimes when I find I cannot fall asleep I pray for others. I start with the letter A and I pray for everyone I know, individually, whose name starts with the letter A. And so it goes, down through the alphabet until eventually I do fall asleep. Somehow focussing on the problems and needs of others is quite helpful in helping me to forget my own. In many instances, my own needs pale in comparison. I rarely ever get more than halfway through the alphabet though, before I am gone, sailing away in a pea green boat with winkin and blinkin and nod . . . so if your name starts with anything much past an "M", you'll have to wait for my wakening prayers . . .

It occurs to me that at times like those, with my mind full of my own cares and woes, that I need to let go and let God. I need to hang onto the nourishment of the knowledge that He is and He cares and what will be will be . . . and in faith, just hand all my thoughts and woes over to him for that moment . . .

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? "Therefore do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?' or "What shall we drink?' or "What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” ~Matthew 6:28-34

Let Go . . . Let God. It’s so simple, and yet, it works . . .

Here’s something quite delicious that I made for supper last night. I better get it written down before I forget completely what I did!

*Twice Baked Butternut Squash*
Serves 2
Printable Recipe

I have long been a fan of twice baked jacket potatoes and I thought hmmm . . . why not try the same thing with a butternut squash? This turned out to be a wonderfully delicious experiment in taste that I hope you will find the time to make and enjoy yourself! The recipe is written as for two, but will very easily multiply to feed more, just use a larger squash and double the stuffing ingredients!

One butternut squash, about 2 pounds in weight
½ cup of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed completely dry
1 TBS butter
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ cup toasted walnut halves, chopped coarsely
3 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
Olive oil to drizzle

Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds and fibrous bits, and discard. Place the two halves on a baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven until quite tender, approximately ½ hour to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes until cool enough to handle.

With a metal spoon, carefully scrape out the flesh of the squash, leaving about ¼ inch border around one of the halves. (You will only be stuffing one half. Discard the skin from the other half.) Mash the flesh until fairly smooth, along with the 1 TBS of butter.

Squeeze as much water as you can from the spinach leaves and then chop them coarsely. Stir them into the squash along with the seasonings, thyme, walnut pieces and the gruyere cheese. Pile this stuffing into the remaining squash shell.

Increase the oven temperature to 200*C/400*F. Place the stuffed squash half on a shallow baking tray and pop it back into the oven. Bake it for about 15 to 20 minutes until it is completely heated through and starting to brown a bit on the top. Remove from the oven, drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and serve. Delicious!!

Over in The English Kitchen today, Open Minced Pies.


  1. Great entry as alasy Marie. If only everyone had the same faith us we do and could truly let go and let wonderful it would be,
    Love todays recipe, but you know what I have never tried squash...must rectify that..when next I can get out and about.At moment although not a great deal of snow what we have has frozen into a sheet of ice so can't get out. I am even going to cancel guild today as I don;t want the old dears to fall getting there !
    Love Sybil xx

  2. You always say things "just right", Marie.
    I love this post.

  3. So true to simply let go and let God but not easy always. Always better that way for sure.

  4. Marie I am just thrilled that I read your post today. Of course I read it every day but still. :) I love, love, love your idea of praying for people you know starting with the letter A. I could have used that idea last night! blessings, marlene

  5. As always a very thoughtful and beautiful post.

  6. What a lovely entry... so true... we have so much to be thankful for. To let go and let God brings such peace and serenity.

  7. What a wonderful way to fall asleep, so much better than counting sheep! I hope you don't mind if I adopt the practice as well. Thanks for a great post.

  8. My heart hurts to read about these orphan children of WWII. I didn't know that it was that bad for them, but it only makes sense, from what I've read because whole neighborhoods were demolished, weren't they?

    Where were your parents during the War? Can you share some of their experiences? My father was torpedoed in the Atlantic and drifted in a lifeboat for 6 days. Mama lost her husband during the Battle of the Bulge.

    Beautiful words and food for thought.

    Are those pictures from where you live? Is it snowing there now? It is here.\\Have a great one!

  9. I loved your thoughts and such beautiful pictures! I love the.."Consider the lillies of the field"...I have sung that song man times it! :D


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