Thursday 26 May 2011

Friends of the heart . . .

My mother has a beautiful quilt hanging over a quilt rail in her bedroom that was created by my father's mother. It is a beautiful mixture of bright colours and textures and I just love it . . . the pieces probably having been gleaned from old garments and scraps of material, long slivers of fabric painstakingly sew with dozens of meticulous stitches.

Some snippets of the fabric are dull and plain, and I can just hear some tired mother saying to her daughter, "But dear, it's a very nice and serviceable fabric. It will last a long time . . ." as her daughter rolls her eyes at the new plain coloured school dress.

Other snippets are bright and cheery, and I picture Birthday parties, summer vacations, holidays and other happy occasions.

Still others are a bit fancier, satiny and embroidered . . . they whisper to me of weddings, dances, first kisses and other special occurances . . .

The quilt is a happy combination of a variety of colours and textures, each slice of life bordered and decorated with my grandmother's embroidery stiches, marking one from another . . . if you were to close your eyes and run your fingers across it, a story would still be told.

Looking at it I am reminded of the many friends I have had throughout my life and the many people who have touched my heart. Some started off a bit scratchy and rough . . . like a sturdy piece of wool, but in time they softened, or I became used to them. Others were soft and deliciate like a piece of silk, and needed to be handled with care. Then there are the special ones, all soft and cosy like flannel, knowing always how to make me feel comforted and better.

Some have only been around for a season . . . circumstances and chance having forced us to leave each other behind. And yet . . . I know in my heart that if we were to meet again tomorrow, we would hug and laugh and talk nonstop just as if we had never been apart. I know, despite the distance that separates us, that they are friends for life. That is because God has sewn them into my heart, and friends of the heart are the very best kind of all . . .

Just my thoughts this morning . . . .

Most of the time I bake from scratch, but it's nice to have a few recipes up your sleeve that you can throw together using convenience foods at the last minute. This is one of my favourites and uses a lemon cake mix and lemon flavoured gelatin, the end result being a deliciously moist cake that packs a double lemon whammy that is quite, quite tasty!

*Double Lemon Poppyseed Cake*
Serves 16
Printable Recipe

A deliciously moist cake with a double blast of lemon flavour!

1 pkg(2-layer size) lemon cake mix
1 pkg(3 oz.)Lemon Flavor Gelatin
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup oil
4 large free range eggs
1/4 cup poppy seed
1/2 cup Cream Cheese Spread
2 TBS butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2 TBS shredded zest and 1 TBS juice from 1 lemon, divided

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4. Butter a 12 cup fluted tube pan of 10 inch tube pan very well. Dust lightly with flour. Set aside.

Place the cake mix, gelatin, oil, water and eggs into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Stir in poppy seed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with knife. Invert cake onto wire rack and gently remove the pan. Cool cake completely before proceeding.

Beat the cream cheese spread and butter with a mixer, using clean beaters, on low speed until well blended. Gradually beat in the sugar and lemon juice. Spread this mixture over top of the cake. Garnish withthe lemon peel. Cut into slices to serve.

There's a delicious Oven Baked Chicken and Tenderstem Broccoli Risotto cooking over in The English Kitchen today!


  1. Marie, what a lovely post this morning:) I love the analogy (hope I spelt that right)of friends to materials and colours and patterns to moods and memories.

    I have been MIA on blogging of late, with all that is going on with Ralph's eye. He has to have another operation on June 7th. Just hope and pray they can rectify the wrong that was done.

    Love and hugs dear friend


  2. What a beautiful quilt. I have one here at my house that my grandmother made. It's true how we are like all those fabrics put together. Quilting is something I've never done but I can understand how many enjoy it so.
    I hope your Thursday is a great day!

  3. Such a lovely post,I so enjoyed it.
    It sinks right into the heart.Thanks for your love and kindest.(HUGS)

  4. If you ever get down my way I must take you to the American Museum in Bath it has the most beautiful quilts ever seen and dozens of them. I coudl stay in that room all day when I go visiting...I made a few long time ago by hand not sure where they all are now. Now that I have said that I think sarah had one...must ask Beth about that one !! As I coudn;t comment yesterday I didn;t get asking how the day in Chester went were you able to get around a bit ?
    hopefully this will "go" today,
    Love Sybil xx

  5. Beautiful post, Marie. I hope I am one of those little pieces of fabric in your quilt! XOXO Bon

  6. so glad you are part of my quilt :) xoxo


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