Thursday 28 April 2011

Solitary walks . . .

The silence of a wood is a living silence . . . it is full of breath and rustlings and movement . . .
The wind stirs, a mere sigh in the sentient trees . . .

A sudden flutter of wings ripples through the air and is lost in the muffled whisperings of startled leaves . . .
The crack of a distant shot makes the heart race, serving only to emphathise the peace which it disturbs . . .

The trill of a bird sets up a soft ripple along the surface of stillness, and the sobbing of doves beats like a hidden pulse at the heart of the silence.
A solitary walk in the woods is never boring . . . so say I.

I just love the beauty of this country I live in. You are never very far from the countryside where you can walk for seemingly miles in solitude, breathing in all that nature has to offer. It is a real wonder to me. Everything so green and lush . . . carpets of bluebells in the springtime . . . and the distant braying of sheep and lambs . . . so, so restful and inspiring.

We are off to Runcorn this afternoon to the Specialist Hospital for my check up, where I suppose they will be wanting to know if the cortizone shot has helped any. It has helped a bit, but I still have good days and bad days. There is a brother at our church who had his knee operated on at the same hospital a month or so ago and who was intially doing very well, but who now seems to be worse than ever and in an incredible amount of pain. Something's gone wrong somewhere! I do hope it is only a temporary blip for him!

I attended my first Relief Society Presidency meeting last night. I was a bit daunted, but it went well. I do have a problem knowing the names of all the sisters in the Ward . . . that comes from having been closeted away in with the children for this past year. I expect it won't be long though before I know who they are speaking of! They are a nice bunch of women and I am looking forward to my association with them! I will be in charge of organizing the extra meetings and activities, so that will be fun!

Speaking of fun, here's a deliciously fun recipe that will really please your family! Kind of like a stuffed Chicken Parmesan! Sort of like Lasagna Roll Ups, but made of chicken instead! Delicious!!

*Chicken Parmesan Roll Ups*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

If you like Chicken Parmesan, you will love this. Tender Chicken Breasts stuffed with a delicious cheese filling, rolled up, covered with a crunchy crumb, sauce and then baked.

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 (10 ounce) package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 1/4 cups grated part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
6 TBS grated Parmesan cheese, divided
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
1 medium free range egg
10 round buttery crackers, crushed (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups of spaghetti sauce, heated

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Set aside.

Mix the cream cheese, spinach, 1 cup of the mozzarella and 3 TBS of the Parmesan cheese together until well blended. Spread onto the Chicken breasts. Starting at one short end of each breast, roll up the chicken tightly. Secure with a toothpick if necessary.

Beat the egg in a shallow dish. Mix the remaining Parmesan cheese and the cracker crumbs in another shallow dish. Dip the chicken rolls into the egg and then roll them in the crumb mixture to evenly coat. Place, seam sides down in the prepared baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the chicken tests done. (Juices run clear when pricked with a fork.) Serve with some of the heated spaghetti sauce spooned over top and a sprinkling of the remaining grated mozzarella cheese.

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Roasted Asparagus Salad with Parmesan and a Lemon Vinaigrette.


  1. Oh Marie - those stunning woods are a joy to see. The bluebells make it such a serene and peaceful scene. Like you, I feel blessed to have nature like this close at hand.

    I'll be thinking of you at the clinic and hope it is of some help to you. How awful for your friend to be feeling worse after the knee surgery. That's one reason I am reluctant to let them at my knee - what if they make it worse? It's no fun when your joints start to let you down :(

    That chicken looks lovely. I made your goat cheese and artichoke stuffed one the other week and it was holey-moley delish! This looks perfect for spring (and that asparagus has mee drooling)

  2. Marie I hope that today's trip is a successful one. Those photos are just wonderful and soemthing I never see here.

    I would love to try your chicken recipe but I know that it won't be accepted by someone so it will have to wait for a time that is just me.

    God bless.

  3. This is such a beautiful post, Marie. Love your thoughts on walking in the woods. And the photos are lovely. I just love this time in our lives when we have time to do some of this wonderful things more often and with grater appreciation for god's gifts to us.

    Congrats on your new calling! I hope you will love it. It is a hard calling sometimes because you hear a lot of stuff you'd rather not but it is such a service to the sisters of the ward.

    I think you have the hardest calling of them all and the only one I have not had in the Presidency. But I think you could not be more perfect for it. All your skills and talents will be such a blessing to your ward.

    I hope your doctor appointment went well. Are you having surgery on your knee? I hope your friend gets better quickly. XOXO

  4. Those bluebells have my heart singing...*sigh*... Hoping all has gone well with your trip to the Specialist Hospital today, Marie. Another great chicken recipe...must make for hubby. ;o) VERY excited for the Royal Wedding tomorrow. Flying around today so I can justify keeping half an eye or more on the TV tomorrow... LOL! I'll be off-line at the weekend--lots of errands Saturday, and Sunday lots to do in the garden, as well as a creative project in the works. But hoping very much we can catch up soon! :o) LOVE YOU LOTS, dear friend ((BIG HUGS))

  5. Your pictures are so beautifully calming today Marie,, and the chicken roll ups sound really good,, something different.Marie I forgot to tell you ,, the cookbook I mentioned on my blog is written by a mormon lady and in the book she talks quite abit about how she lives her life,, food storage her family lifestyle and lots of encouraging advice for anyones life,, mormon or not,, thanks for sharing today,,

  6. those pictures are so pretty! i wish i lived near country that beautiful!

  7. I am in the woods today but there has been quite a bit of change here in my part of it and it's not so pretty anymore. I am upset about it but will survive I suppose. The view over the hill is still lovely so that is where I will sit to watch the sun set. Hope all went well with the doctor. I have heard the same about knee surgery it doesn't all turn out well.

  8. Marie, can I come and take a walk with you. I love the pictures and the lovely thoughts. I am so waiting for spring to come so I can enjoy a walk.
    Your writing is exceptional and I think you should do a book.
    I have had a couple of friends have knee surgery and they have done well and are glad that they had the surgery. It's a big decision I know.
    Have fun in the Relief Society; you will be fantastic at planning events; I on the otherhand liked the secretary position because I then was able to learn all of the sisters names.
    Blessing to you!

  9. What a beautiful country you live in. I so hope that I get to see it in person one day.

    We can't wait to see the wedding. We may not get up in the middle of the night to see it live but we will be watching the re-runs all day tomorrow. We even have little hats to wear so we will be properly attired for this royal occasion.

    I get better each day on this long road to recovery. Thanks again for your calls, prayers and love.
    I hope you get good news from your checkup. Hugs, Lura


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