Saturday 16 July 2011

Poetry Saturday . . . A Bird Came Down

A bird came down the walk:
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.

And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.

He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,--
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head

Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home.

Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.
~Emily Dickenson

I just adore the poetry of Emily Dickinson. (1830 - 1886) She was an American poet, whom lived a quite reclusive life with her family in Amherst Massachusetts. Thought of as being a bit eccentric by the locals she was known for her penchant for wearing white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests, and in her later life, even leave her room . . . most of her social contacts being carried out by correspondance. Today we would call her agoraphobic or it is even possible she had an image dysmorphia disorder. (We have a friend who has a son with this and we have never seen him. He lives his life in his room and on the computer, only coming out at night and to select family members.)

A prolific poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearly eighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. Upon her death, however, her sister discovered her cache of poems and the actual breadth of her work became apparent. She is considered to be a major American poet. I think it's quite interesting that a lot of successful poets really lived tragic and quite tortured lives . . .

I was busy with brush and paint again yesterday and I finished not one, but two little paintings.

"Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same." - emily bronte
This would make a delightful wedding or shower card, or thankyou card for someone who has been an attendant at a wedding I think.

And then this one, A Hundred Hearts. I love her apron filled to overflowing with hearts and love.

Of course both are available as prints and or cards! Just send me a message if you are interested! Thanks!

Here's one of my favourite versions of Lasagna. I love lasagna. I could eat it often. Todd, well, he's not so enamoured with it, but then, he is a staid meat and potatoes man. He tolerates it on my account once in a while! (By the way the dish washer arrived and we did our first load last night. Todd managed to successfully plumb it in himself! I was quite amazed! It did take him all afternoon and two trips to B&Q, but he got there in the end!)

*Chicken and Vegetable Lasagna*
Serves 12
Printable Recipe

A delicious lasagna which makes good use of leftover cooked chicken and some of that glut of courgettes from the garden!

For the Sauce:
1 TBS butter
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups courgette (zucchini)cut into half moons
2 cups cubed cooked chicken
1/3 cup water
1 (14 1/2 ounce) tin of chopped tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
1 (6 ounce) tin of tomato paste
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

10 uncooked lasgna noodles

For the filling:
2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 medium free range egg, slightly beaten
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Have ready a 13 by 9 inch buttered lasagna dish.

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse, drain again toss with a bit of olive oil and then set aside.

Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until it begins to foam. Add the onions, mushrooms and courgettes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisply tender (6 to 7 minutes). Stir in all of the remaining sauce ingredients. Leave to simmer while you make the filling.

Combine all of the filling ingredients, except the mozzarella cheese, in a small bowl.

Arrange half of the noodles in the prepared baking pan. Spread with half of the filling. Spoon half of the sauce over top. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Layer with the remaining noodles, filling and sauce.

Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Over in The English Kitchen today, that delicious Boston Cream Pie I cooked for the missionaries!


  1. I'm with you on that lovely lasagne Marie, can almost smell it down here ! reminds me I must go and make a bit of toast for breafast !! How clever of Todd to manage to get the dishwasher plumbed in by himself...brilliant...must have been the thought of no more washing up that galvanized him into action LOL
    Wet day ahead by the looks of things this morning so think it will be a good book reading day !!
    LOve Sybil xx

  2. good for Todd, did you try it out?This lasnga looks like one a deli makes here in town and its really good,, it hads hard boiled eggs sliced layerinit,, oh Marie I just love your new work and you areso right ,, the first one is perfect for summer weddings,, and i love the second one as well.You are so talented,, you have the wow wow factor for sure!!Happy Saturday.

  3. I really enjoyed reading every word of this post and have saved both the lasagna and boston cream pie recipes. Simple delicious. Very well done.


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