Sunday 4 September 2011

Who am I?

I've been really excited over this past week or so with a group that I have joined on Facebook. No, it's not one of those game groups . . . but a group that has been started regarding a Reunion for all the kids I grew up with that used to hang out at the Rec Centre on the base I lived on when I was a girl/teen, and also the kids I went to junior and senior highschool with.

It's been wonderful catching up with old names and seeing what's going on in their lives. It's also been a bit sad as I discover old friends who have passed on and at such young ages . . . but all told, it's been a lot of fun. I'm not sure if I will be able to attend the reunion or not, but in the meantime I am really enjoying the group.

This got me to thinking though . . . and you know how that goes! It's been really interesting that on this group there are no "Crowds," like there used to be in High School . . . No "cool" kids, or "in" crowds . . . no "geeks" or "squares" . . . just a bunch of adults who are genuinely happy to be in touch with each other again and sharing all their memories . . . coming together on the common ground that seals us all together . . . school days and youth. It's pretty special.

It's like, now that we are all older and more mature, we are connecting on an inner level instead of the superficial level we once connected on. It's no longer important what anyone looks like, or dresses like . . . the person inside is shining through, and that's pretty special.

If all we ever do is to look at the outer shell of people, we would find that we are not all that unique really. There are lots of people with brown hair and brown eyes, or blonde hair and blue eyes . . . grey hair and loads of wrinkles, short or fat, thin or tall . . . those qualities in and of themselves do nothing much to distinguish us one from another, or to make us unique.

Who I am isn't the colour of my eyes or my hair . . . it's not whether I am skinny or robust, short or tall . . . it's the soul that lurks beneath this skin of mine . . . that part of me that is Divine and created by an all seeing, all knowing, understanding, and loving Heavenly Father. I've always been there, beneath my surface.

I am a work in progress . I am not the same person inside that I was 20 years ago . . . not even the same person inside that I will be 10 years hence. I am evolving, changing, becoming . . . hopefully better, hopefully becoming more like my Heavenly Father . . . with every challenge in life that I meet and conquer, with every act of Service that I perform, with all the love that I share with my fellow beings, etc. I was never a bad person, I don't think . . . but I am a better person now than I was then, and I will be a better person tomorrow than I am today.

That's what life is all about isn't it . . . it's about change and challenge, and becoming a better "me." Learning and growing, day by day and year by year, fulfilling the measure of our creation bit by bit . . . a beautiful journey which hopefully will take us back into our Heavenly Father's presence one day. It's not so much who I am . . . but who I am becoming, and that, my friends, is a very beautiful work in progress. ♥ ☺ ♥

Just my thoughts this morning.

I am going to share with you an oldie but a goodie this morning. This is a dessert I often made for the luncheons and dinner parties we used to have up at the Big House when I worked there. I always had to make several desserts so that the guests could have a choice. This was a favourite. You get a delicious lemon cakey like pudding on the bottom and an almost lemon curd on the top. We always served it with a raspberry coulis, but you needn't if you don't want to. A dollop of whipped cream goes very well!

*Little Lemon Soufflé Cakes*

Makes 6

Printable Recipe

These wonderful little cakes make a lovely light finish to any meal. Delicious tart lemon flavour combined with a sweet raspberry coulis base make for a delightful conclusion. Try them at your next dinner party. Your guests will love you!

nonstick cooking spray

3 TBS butter, softened

1 cup caster sugar

4 egg yolks

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

2 TBS plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup milk

4 egg whites

To finish:

1 bottle of raspberry coulis

softly whipped cream

fresh mint sprigs to garnish

Pre-heat the oven to 160*C/325*F. Lightly coat six (10 ounce) ramekins with some cooking spray and place in a large roasting tray with deep sides. Set aside.

Cream the butter with an electric mixer on high speed for about 30 seconds or so until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat well until combined. Beat in the egg yolks until the mixture is creamy. Gradually beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, salt and the milk. Beat for about 3 minutes on medium speed until well combined.

Clean the beaters well. Beat the egg whites with the clean beaters until stiff peaks form. Fold the yolk mixture carefully into the beaten egg whites. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the prepared cups.(I like to use a small ladle to do this) Add hot water to the roasting pan, to reach about halfway up the sides of the cups. Place the roasting pan on a baking tray for ease of getting it in and out of the oven. Bake for ten minutes, uncovered, then reduce the heat to 150*C/300*F and bake for about 30 minutes longer, or until a knife inserted near the centre of each comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for several hours.

Divide the raspberry coulis amongst six serving bowls. Carefully unmold each lemon cake onto the top of the coulis. Top each with a dollop of softly whipped cream and a sprig of mint to serve.

*Note- if you are lucky enough to have some fresh or frozen raspberries at your disposal make your own coulis!

*Raspberry Coulis*

The fancy name for fruit purée or thick sauce, a coulis (meaning 'strained') is perfect served over ice-cream or chocolate cake. If you fancy it, try this recipe with other berries such as blackberries and strawberries

300g fresh or frozen raspberries (About 1/2 pound)

juice of 1 lemon or lime

1–2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra to taste

Place the raspberries in a saucepan and add the lemon or lime juice. Mash gently with a fork or potato masher and sift in the icing sugar, stirring until dissolved.

When the raspberries are heated and just simmering, pour through a sieve into a bowl, pushing the juice through with a wooden spoon. Taste, adding more sugar if desired, although the coulis should be tart.

Over in The English Kitchen today, a scrummy Raspberry Rice Pudding!

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