Monday 21 March 2011

The first day . . .

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.

There is an old saying that, if the wind is in the North East on the first day of Spring . . . it remains in that quarter until the first day of summer, and so, it was with more than a bit of trepidation that I poked my nose out the door this morning to see what type of wind was ruffling the leaves on our Camelia bush . . .

My fears were totally unfounded though, as it was only a tiny ripple of air . . . and coming softly from the South. Whew!!

The ground was sugared with just the merest hint of a light frost, but that was melting rapidly under the warmth of the rising sun. The hope in my heart that has hung precariously on the edge of my mind over these past days now stands firmly . . . it is a fact and official . . . the calendar on the wall and wind confirming what the blackbirds in my garden over these past three weeks have been telling me . . . truly Spring has come!

I could see the great big moon from last night fading away over on the horizon too, which was so very beautiful to see. How utterly amazing!

I'm not sure what I did, but yesterday when I was teaching the Sharing Time to the children during their Sunday School time I twisted my knee!! I know!!! I could barely hobble out to the car afterwards! Todd had to bring the car up closer to the church. I was so disappointed. I had been doing so very well. Too much, too soon, perhaps??? I have my first physiotherapy appointment this afternoon though, so fingers crossed, this is only a minor setback! I so enjoyed our walk on Saturday and have had high hopes that things could only get better!

Needless to say there was nothing fantastically complicated on our supper menu last night. Todd had to make do with these chili cheese dogs. He didn't complain though so all was well! (He never does . . . even when I feed him the dreaded pasta! I just get a disappointed look!)

*Chili Cheese Dogs*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

A delicious combination of smoky hotdogs and chili. Cheap and cheerful and everyone's favourite!

1 slice of streaky smoked bacon, finely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped jalapeno chili pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 pound of ground steak
1/2 tsp ground chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground regular chili powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
14 tsp ground cumin
pinch salt
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/4 cup of beer, beef broth, or water
4 (large) hot dogs grilled
4 hot dog buns, split and toasted
1/2 cup of grated strong cheddar cheese

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Toss in the bacon and one half of the quantity of onion. Cook and stir until the onion is wilted and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Add the jalapeno and garlic and cook for about a minute. then add the steak. Cook and stir, breaking it up with a spoon, until the meat is evenly browned and there is no longer any pink. Season with the ground chili powders, paprika, cumin and some salt, stirring it all in well. Stir in the tomato sauce and beer/beefbroth/water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is nicely thickened. This should take about ten minutes.

In the meantime grill your hotdogs and toast your buns.

Place a grilled hotdog into each bun and then top each with a spoonful of the chili, the grated cheese and a portion of the remaining chopped onion. Serve immediately.

Baking in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Traditional Custard Tart.


  1. Oh Marie, I am so sorry to see your knee has gone again. Mayeb you did just too much to soon as you say..your wlak sounded so good on Friday but maybe just to far..Fingers crossed that the physio can help bring some relief. Think that maybe you have infected me now as yesterday my knee nearly gave way as I was coming up the steps..oh boy was it sore...gave it a rub with the Ralgex and feels better now..
    Love for today to Todd, Mitzie and you

  2. Dearest Marie,

    I hope that physio brings you some relief. It must be in the air as Beth had a huge fall on her damaged knee about 12 hours ago and Pip has just broken her toe ( I am pretty certain of that one)

    Please enjoy your first day of spring. The description of the early morning was magic. It may be autumn here but it is still hot!

  3. I am hoping that knee is feeling much better today. Take care and do let it rest a bit. A few years ago I hurt my knee by walking the hill at the campground and have learned that I'm fine on flat ground so avoid that hill now. It took the better part of the summer before it felt better. I've found that the shoes I wear make a huge difference too. Most of the winter indoors I've spent wearing my crocks and they seem to give me the cushion needed as my knee has done well even with all the stairs I climb here at home. Your recipes today are 2 of my favorites.

  4. Marie, I am so sorry about your knee. Hopefully the therapy today will help. It is spring here too, the peeper frogs at the pond across the road are singing. Chili dogs are a favorite here. Much love to you my friend - Raquel XO

  5. Oh, dear Marie... you knee! So very sorry what happened, and that you are in more discomfort. Hope the physio will help you today. Be taking good care there... and take it easy. ;o) LOVE all the spring delight here. We still have lots of snow, but at least a little spring promise with birds starting to sing their love songs now. HAPPY SPRING to all of you there, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  6. oh no! your knee!!! so sorry marie :( hate to think of you in pain. hope physio helps you-prayers!!!

    p.s. happy spring! the high today here in north texas is 79. i'm lovin it.

  7. love this post, Marie, and your hopeful heart. and those photos - gorgeous! thinking of you as Spring dares spring forth! :)

  8. Spring, I am so excited aren't you? I will send you the recipe for the potato salad soon. Really must get in bed now.

    Love, B


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