Sunday 9 October 2011

Marie's Sunday Six

Indian Summer may be over, and it may be freezing cold, but I can still find plenty to smile about here in Casa del Marie & Todd! I hope you don't mind my sharing some of them with you today!

Every woman in Relief Society has been given this delightful book to read! I wasn't there the week they were handed out, but my RS President gave me my copy this past Wednesday night when we were together for a meeting. I've been reading through it ever since. I love it because it has been written from a Historical perspective about one of the oldest women's organizations in the World today. Of note, is the fact that this is the only authorized history of the LDS women, in the Church. That, in and of itself, is quite significant!

It's a beautiful book, both inside and out. The corners are rounded, and the layout of each page was no doubt carefully and lovingly thought through. It's not overly large and so fits easily into a handbag, which is pretty special as if I wanted to I could carry it around with me easily, and I am quite sure there will be times that I will want it with me.

I have only read the first few chapters in it and I am already feeling the power of it's teachings . . . and the influence and spirit of this beautifully written manual. I know it will become both a blessing and a support to me during my lifetime here on earth and help to prepare me for the lift to come. In short, I think it's pretty special and totally wonderful! It makes me smile.

We were priviledged enough to be able to attend a Baptism yesterday morning. It was a really special one. I have never seen a Baptism so well attended. The man who was being Baptised was the husband of one of our Ward Members and had been learning about the Gospel for many years. Yesterday morning as I was sitting here following my usual routine all of a sudden the name and face of a young woman came into my mind. She had been a member of our Ward here in Chester before we moved down South to Kent. During our years away, she and her husband had moved away from the Ward, but yesterday morning she came into my mind. I remarked to Todd that I wondered what had ever happened to she and her husband. They were a lovely young couple. Imagine my surprise when we saw both of them at the Baptism. The man being Baptised was her younger brother! Co-incidence I think not! It was a very spiritual Baptism . . . I think perhaps one of the most spirit filled I have ever been to. We had almost not gone as the granddaughter of a friend of ours was also being Baptised in another Ward yesterday . . . at the end we chose to go to the one in our own church because we felt we must support our own Ward. We were both very pleased that we had. It was just wonderful and I know we were meant to be there. Baptisms and the feelings that they bring into my heart always make me smile.

This is a picture of my youngest son painting his girfriend's toenails. It was on Facebook, and I hope he doesn't mind me sharing it with you. It made me smile. Knowing that I have a son who is not afraid to serve the woman he loves in such a special way, that he doesn't feel that he is too macho to do something like this . . . this really makes me smile. There is a lot more I could say right now, but I will wait for permission to do so! Let it suffice to say that this young man and his special lady and the love that they share for each other makes me smile in a very special way. Mother's are always very happy when their children are very happy. Knowing my son is very happy makes me smile in a very special way, and I am grateful to this special young lady for helping to bring him joy in his life.

This little lady makes me smile (as do all my Grandchildren!)! Oh how I long to hold her in my arms. It will probably be a long time before I am able to make that happen, but in the meantime I am enjoying the photos my daughter takes of her and I can see how very engaging she must be. Maryn is the only Granddaughter on both sides of the family and the only Great Granddaughter. I wonder does she know how very special she is? I know my daughter and her husband will make sure that she does, and that she will grow up feeling oh so very loved. That makes me smile too.

This little lady makes me smile too. I was so devastated when we lost our Jess. I never thought that I would be able to give my heart so freely to an animal again . . . it hurts so much when you lose one. I fell in love with Mitzie right from the first time I saw her. I knew she was perfect for us and that she would bring much joy into our lives . . . and that she surely does. She is such a little force to be reckoned with and so very affectionate and loving. She is not Jess to be sure, but she is every bit as loved and as special to us and I am so glad she is a part of our lives. She is stubborn and strong willed, but at the same time eager to please . . . she wants to make us proud, you can just tell that about her and she tries so hard to do just that. She is full of puppy ways and I love that about her. I can remember often thinking when we had Jess, about how much I would have loved to have known her as a puppy. With Mitzie we are experiencing that very blessing and it makes my heart swell with joy. I love her so very much. (How could you not?? Just look at that sweet face!) Oh yes . . . Todd makes me smile too! ☺

Actually my whole family makes me smile . . . both the blood relations . . . and the members I have chosen for myself in my friends. Family is a special blessing . . . through the hard times and the easy times. They can bring much sorrow in to your heart, but it is a sorrow that is also tinged with great joy at the same time, because always they bring much joy, eternal joy. Families are a special gift from God and as such are Divine . . . whether your family be just you and a beloved pet, or just you and your partner, or yourself and a few chosen friends, or the whole shebang! When a member of my family is happy, my heart rejoices with them. When one is sad, my heart aches for them . . . from one end of the spectrum to the other, my heart is always with them . . . no matter where, no matter how, no matter what, no matter when. Family makes me smile in a very special way.

And there you have it, my Sunday six for this the 9th of October, 2011. This is also Thanksgiving back home in Canada and so I want to wish all of my Canadian family and friends a very Happy Holiday. I wish I could be there to share with you all, but I can't, so you'll just have to eat my share of the turkey and SMILE! I love you!

I made Todd and I a tasty pizza for our tea last night. You just can't beat a nice homemade crispy pizza with lots of cheese, black olives and hot peppers on top . . . not to mention proscuitto, torn basil . . . whatever floats your boat actually. It's your pizza!

*Thin Crust Pizza Dough*
Makes 2 twelve inch crusts
Printable Recipe

I love a thin crust on a pizza, slightly crispy and not too doughy. This fits the bill on all counts.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (may substitute whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose)
1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water, with 1 tsp sugar dissolved into it
1 tablespoon olive oil
cornmeal, for sprinkling on the pan

Put the warm water into a large bowl along with the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Sprinkle the yeast over top and let it sit for aobut 10 minutes until it gets all foamy. give it a stir. Add the flour, salt and olive oil all at once. Mix in well and then dump it out onto a lightly floured board
and knead it for about 6-8 minutes until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic, adding a bit more flour if you need to. Shape into a round smooth ball.

Wash out the bowl with warm water and dry. Grease with a little olive oil and then put the dough into this bowl, turning it once to coat it with the olive oil. Cover and let sit in a warm place for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Lightly grease with shortening two 12-inch pizza pans. Sprinkle each with some cornmeal.
Divide the dough in half and place each half on a pizza pan. Spread and pat it out with your fingertips until it stretches to fit the whole pan, making it a bit thicker around the edges. Prick it all over with a fork.

If desired, pre-bake at 200*C/425 *F for 10 minutes, then spread with pizza sauce and use the toppings of your choice. We like to use three cheeses, a really good Parmesan, a good fresh mozzarella and some grated cheddar. We then use meats such as pepperoni, lightly fried bacon and salami. We also like to use some olive cured sun dried tomatoes drained and cut into strips, as well as some really good dry cured black olives. Some chopped sweet pickled little hot cherry peppers are a must as well, with a final dusting of Parmesan cheese on the top.
Bake at 425 F for 10-20 minutes longer or until bubbly and hot.

*If you don't want to use all the dough, you can freeze it. Take a portion of dough, form into a ball, rub olive oil over it and place it in a freezer bag (the oil makes it easier to take out of the bag). When you want to make a pizza, take the dough out of the freezer and allow to thaw before using.

*Marie's Pizza Sauce*
Makes enough for two pizzas
Printable Recipe

This is a really good pizza sauce recipe. After experimenting through the years with different types of tomatoes, sauces and spices I think I have come up with what is a real winner. Delicately spiced. The sauce is what makes a pizza in my opinion!

2 cups of tomato passata (seived tomatoes)
1/4 cup tomato paste (sundried tomato paste is nice sometimes for a change)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp chinese five spice powder
seasalt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid, slightly ajar and simmer on low for about 15 minutes. Let cool before using.

Over in The English Kitchen today, a delicious Iced Walnut Cake!

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