Monday 13 June 2011

Monday Ponderings . . .

Delicate and beautiful, and as vivid as sunset skies . . . they are a mass of sweetness . . . clounds of crimson and pink butterflies.

Are they flowers??? These moth-like things with brightly tinted wings of flame . . .

Sweet Peas . . . that is what they are called, but so beautiful. Is it possible that such beauty can have such a simple name, and yet they do . . .

I do so love Sweet Peas. They are one of my favourite garden flowers. When we lived in the cottage, we gave over an entire wall to them each summer and they grew up just under the kitchen window sill. In the summer months, when the windows were open, their sweet scent perfumed the air beautifully.

Here I have a few planted in the front garden along the fench which divides us from the neighbour's patch, and then in the back garden a wall basket which hangs on the shed is filled with them as well. I could never be without my Sweet Peas.

Old fashioned flowers for an old fashioned girl . . .

And so, another week begins. I wonder what treasures it will hold for us. Such anticipation, I can hardly stand it! We got lots of rain yesterday, which was a good thing. They say the UK is officially in a drought now. It's either one or the other. We either get too much rain, or not enough. My first year over here was the wettest on record. I thought I was going to develop webbed feet. It rained literally every day. I was left wondering what I had gotten myself in to! I am not sure what it will do today . . . the sun is peeping out on the horizon, but it could go either way as there are also heavy clouds hanging around.

I believe if we cannot see the beauty in a sunless day, when the sky is grey and cold . . . we'll never see much when the sky is blue and the earth all green and sweet. If we cannot see God in the daily round, as we hurry here and there, the is not much hope that we'll every truly find Him anywhere . . . and so I try to embrace the rain. I know we need it so very much . . . In a perfect world it would rain only at night when we were sleeping, and be sunny every day . . . but that is Camelot, and alas . . . we live in the real world!

Here is a easy way to make an inexpensive piece of meat taste delicious and oh so tender. You need to plan ahead as it needs refrigeration over night. It is rubbed all over with a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic and some picante sauce, then left to marinate for at least 8 hours before baking at a low temperature until it is fork tenderly delicious. Perfect for in a bun. Serve with some coleslaw and potato chips on the side.

*Sweet and Spicy Barbequed Brisket*
Serves 10
Printable Recipe

Brisket is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat. Here it is tenderized overnight with a rub and marinade and then baked until fork tender the next day. Shredded and served on buns, this is a favourite!

1 (about 5 pounds) trimmed beef brisket
freshly ground black pepper
1 TBS garlic powder
2 cups picante sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
To serve:
10 sandwich buns, with sesame seeds

Season the beef with the black pepper and garlic powder, rubbing it in all over with your hands. Place the brisket into a 3-quart shallow baking dish. Stir the picante sauce, brown sugar and Worcestershire in a small bowl. Spread this mixture over the beef. Cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the meat and dish from the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 150*C/350*F. Bake for 4 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Slice or shred the beef and divide amongst the sandwich buns, along with some of the sauce spooned over top of the meat.

In The English Kitchen today, a simple Apricot Sheet Cake.


  1. Good morning dear. I have wanted to call you for several days....but I take my nightly meds about 11pm and I don't wake up until late each morning. By the time I get myself up, showered and going it is early afternoon and too late to call you. My new medicine really helps my neck and shoulder muscles but it knocks me out. Well, at least by going to bed late I get to tell you good morning.

    I can ride in a car without much pain now. Maybe before long, I can get me some sweet peas to plant. I do love them too but the last I had planted died during the hot summer here. I use to grow them all the time when we lived closer to the ocean and it was cooler. Since we moved inland I've not had much luck with them.... but I do love them.

    I hope you have a great week. I have 2 doctor appts. that I am kind of dreading...but I think all will turn out well.

    I send love to you and Todd.... and Mitzie of course. Hugs, Lura

  2. Morning Marie, Sweet Peas are one of my very favs. as well. I could almost smell them from your photographs. This is the first year I have not had any..I planted the seeds but none have come up...most odd...Looks like it might be anice day here just had a shower but brighter by the minute..My friend Pam will be over always a special time when we are together..
    Have a lovely day, Sybil xx
    PS Great to read the news from Lura

  3. Hello Marie,
    Sweet peas are one of my favourite flowers too! I've planted some in a big square wooden contsainer that Peter made for me, it has a cane wigwam and they've just started to flower! I did cheat this year and buy plants though instead of sowing my own. I just had to pick the first three flowers from them and bring indoors though, just to tell myself that summer really IS here....despite the rain!

  4. Good morning, dear Marie! OH, I love the sight of these sweet peas...*swoon*... I love old fashioned flowers and old-fashioned gardens. I dream of having such, but so far my efforts in the direction have proved mixed--a lot depending on the weather...LOL! It's been raining a lot here too in recent day--some parts of the country flooded--very sad. It had been so warm & dry so far--and on watering restriction for garden. But blue skies today! Summer in Norway is great all in all. Must go so about that apricot cake...mmm.. Perfect for elevenses. ;o) Happy Week, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  5. such a lovely post,my husband is drooling, I just showed the photo of the brisket,

  6. My patience is being tested this morning as my internet connection is so slow. Finally I've been able to make a comment here. We have those lovely sweet peas climbing a pole here in our garden and I just love them. I do hope your Monday is off to a wonderful start. LOLAH!

  7. I love sweetpeas,My neighbor Sheryl grows them and share's them with me.There by the end of May most garden's are dead to much heat.So glad you get to enjoy your.
    I pray that you,Todd and Mizie have a lovely week.Lovexxoo.


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