Thursday 5 May 2011

The Buds of May . . . a dream come true

"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date."

This is what I dreamed about through the long cold months of winter, sitting by the stoked up fire . . . in the bitter days of fog and frost and snow . . .

This is what I pictured in my mind's eye as I gazed through fogged up window panes . . . when it seemed as if sunny days would never come again . . .

Lupins, tinted in rainbow colours all along the flower bed . . . tulips massed together in a blazing crowd of gold and rose and red . . .

This is what I longed for when the clouds hung dark and grey in the sky . . . the glory of the garden, all fresh and beautiful in the month of May.

Peonies, with their blown bushy and colourful heads, purple irises and wallflowers lining the pathway . . .

These are the thoughts I had as I sat in front of the fireside hearth in the depth of the cold winter . . . thoughts that I imagined the whole winter through . . .

This is the golden dream I dreamed . . . and now . . . it has come true.

Our dear Lura will be returning to California from the hospital today. Please say a few extra prayers for her as the journey will be long and arduous for her. It will be good for her to be back in her own home amongst her own things and I am sure her healing will step up once this happens. I know she will be well cared for, but at the same time I know it will be very difficult for her as she is still in an incredible amount of pain and none of her ribs have healed back together yet. She needs our prayers now, more than ever. Thanks so much for your ongoing love and concern for this very special and much beloved friend.

Lura, if you read this, please know that you are being born and uplifted by the wings and love of countless prayers.

We've been trying to lighten up things around here as much as we can and here is a lovely version of Eggplant Parmesan that is quite, quite delicious! I love it when that happens! Low fat and delicious at the same time works for me!!

*Eggplant Parmesan*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a lighter version than most, sporting a low fat bechamel and baked eggplant instead of fried!

1 large eggplant (about 2 pounds), sliced into 1/2 inch crosswise slices
1 TBS olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cup of skim milk
6 TBS plain flour
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups of best quality marinara sauce
1/2 cup of grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 230*C/450*F gas mark 8. Place the eggplant slices onto two rimmed baking sheets. Brush each side with oil and season with some salt and pepper. Bake in the heated oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, turning the slices over halfway through the baking time and flipping the baking sheets around.

To make the bechamel, whisk together 1/2 cup of the milk, the flour and the garlic until smooth. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1 1/2 cup of milk and 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until the sauce has thickened, some 2 to 3 minutes. It will be pink in colour.

Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a shallow 2 quart baking dish. Alternate layers of the baked eggplant with pink sauce. Dollop with the remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle with the Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake in the upper third of the oven until browned and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.

Let sit a few minutes before serving.

Cooking over in The English Kitchen today a delicious Warm Asparagus and Jersey Royal Salad with a Honey Mustard Dressing.


  1. Oh Marie how much I agree witrhyour sentiments about waiting..nay...lomging for these dleicious days that we have been enjoying this lasy month. I know the water situation is getting a bit of a worry but I will let the water board worry about that one....(get all their leaks repaired would help)
    HAve a lovely day. Looks like another nice sunny one. My friend has arrived and we are going to garden centre today so that I can set her to work !! doing the hanging baskets etc.
    I will be having our dearest Lura on my mind off and on all day with many arrow prayers being sent upwards.
    Love Sybil xx

  2. Oh Marie--

    I am so happy to hear that Lura is going home. That is great news!! I have been thinking and praying for her.

    It sounds like the weather is getting nice there and the flowers are blooming. Did you have a great time watching the Royal Wedding last week. I watched it with my girls and we loved it -- so fun!!

    I hope you are having a wonderful week. Your Eggplant dish sounds yummy. I have been doing a no sugar regime for 9 days and it is so hard.

    Sending you and Lura big hugs!!


  3. I'm so glad Lura is going home, she certainly is a strong woman.Your words and photos are beautiful today as always,,

  4. We've had many dreary wet and chilly days here but still everything is beautifully green and flowers are blooming. A warm up is coming and I've been longing for some sunshine. I'm thankful your friend is now able to return to her home. I'll continue for healing for her. I hope your Thursday is a wonderful one!

  5. Oh, so lovely, Marie... I love this time, just before summer breaks with all her beauty! Such good news about Lura... Hope once she's home she can rest more and be on the greater road to recovery. LOVE your baked eggplant parmesan recipe today... YUM! Hope you, Todd & Mitzie have a great weekend ahead! I'll be offline a couple days--still working on our kitchen, garden needs seeing to, hubby's sister's birthday this weekend, and it's Mother's Day back home in the States so hoping to chat with my folks back home. Hope you & I will get to catch up soon. :o) LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Thank you so much dear. I am getting ready to leave the hospital and I do feel your prayers and the prayers of all those who are supporting me.
    Much love. I will call you when I can after I get home.
    Hugs, Lura

  7. I'm so glad that Lura is going home. I hope her recovery continues and that soon she will be back on her feet. What a wonderful friend you are.

    We are waiting and waiting for a return of the sunny weather. It's back to winter here and the lupins are still fast asleep. But your pictures and words brought some of that spring into my home.

    I like your take on eggplant parmigana. I really love eggplant, but normally don't make this dish because of the frying. I hadn't thought of baking it first, though now you mention it, well... it seems obvious. Thank you for that. Another to add to my list - I am going to a vegetarian potluck dinner on Monday, so this will be ideal.


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