Tuesday 4 October 2011

The Simple Woman's Day book . . .

FOR TODAY, October 4th, 2011...

Outside My Window...

It is still dark, dark, dark. I'm not sure when the clocks go back, but I think it is soon. It is getting dark around 7pm now. It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that it wasn't getting dark until 10 pm and it was light between 4 and 5 am. The days are definitely getting shorter!

I am thinking...
The family of Amanda Knox must be feeling so relieved now. Their nightmare of the past few years is now over and they will have their daughter home with them. It must have been hell on earth for poor Amanda over these past couple of years. My heart broke for her as she was giving her statement.

I am thankful for...
Yesterday the missionaries were over to help Todd in the garden again. I could hear them singing hymns together as they worked. What a beautiful sound that was. I am thankful for the missionaries and all that they do for us.

From the kitchen...
Hmmm . . . I need to bake!

I am wearing...
Nightie, cream coloured with blue polka dots and lace trim, and a pair of new slippers I picked up at Asda at the weekend. They're really cute. Brown with cream and pink polka dots on them and little pink bows. I know . . . I guess I just love polka dots!

I am creating...

This is a complete departure from my usual little girls. I just felt like painting a Barbie like person yesterday. I do so love Barbie. What girl doesn't?

I am going...
I have my Presidency meeting tomorrow night, but after that there is nothing else planned this week. Other than my reading lessons, I am having a quiet week for a change. I must relax and enjoy, as I am sure that the month will slowly begin to fill up!

I am reading...

A Game of Thrones, a song of fire and ice by George R R Martin
This is the first volume of a brilliant trilogy, written in the style and muse of Tolkien. The first volume of George R R Martin's glorious high fantasy tells the tragic story of treachery, greed and war that threatens the unity of the Seven Kingdoms south of the Wall. Martin unfolds with astonishing skill a tale of truly epic dimensions, thronged with memorable characters, a story of treachery and ambition, love and magic. Set in a fabulous world scarred by battle and catastrophe over 8000 years of recorded history, it tells of the deeds of men and women locked in the deadliest of conflicts and the terrible legacy they will leave their children. In the game of thrones, you win or you die. And in the bitter-cold, unliving lands beyond the Wall, a terrible winter gathers and the others -- the undead, the neverborn, wildlings to whom the threat of the sword is nothing -- make ready to descend on the realms of men. A Game of Thrones begins the most imaginative, ambitious and compelling fantasy epic since The Lord of the Rings. Thronged with memorable characters, it unfolds with astonishing skill, a tale of truly epic dimensions. I am reading it on my kindle and am thoroughly enjoying. It's a can't put down kind of a book!

I am still reading this. It's really good.

I am hoping...
That all is well in your little corner of the world.

I am hearing...
Early morning sounds . . . the clock on the mantle humming as the wheels inside it turn. The odd car as it goes by. Mitzie snuffling as she snoozes, all curled up behind me on the sofa. The tap tapping of the computer keys as I write.
They are morning sounds. The sounds as I hear whilst the house wakes up around me and the day begins. I know I say the same thing every week . . . my mornings have the comfort of being the same day after day.

Around the house...

I am slowly working towards getting this look in my living/dining room. It is a work in progress. I love French Country, but with just a touch of elegance. I want it to be comfortably pretty without going over the top!

I am looking forward to...
Christmas. I know, I said that last week and this week we are one week closer! The mince pies have started to show up in the shops already! I would like to get BonFire night over with before we start indulging in those however.

I am pondering...
We have something in our church that each member is entitled to receive which is called a Patriarchal Blessing.
They are modeled after the blessing given by Jacob to each of his sons prior to his death. They are gifts of knowledge and strength of one's coming challenges and blessings. A man called the patriarch (there is one in each church stake) lays his hands upon the heads of worthy members and pronounces a blessing according to revelation which he receives at that time. Each blessing is unique and pertinent to the person receiving it. At some point afterwards you receive a paper print out of what has been said and that you can refer to off and on through the years. I keep mine in my bedside table and I read it every night. It is amazing to me and a great comfort to me. Just last night I was reading it and something struck me that I had not noticed before. I will share it with you . . . in one part it said that as long as I lived a life that was pleasing to my Heavenly Father that I would receive many blessings, even blessings in disguise, and it struck me that that was exactly what I had received last year when I got made redundant. At the time, as you know, we were left reeling and it was a very difficult time for us. We couldn't understand why this was happening to us. It is amazing now that we can look back at that really difficult time and see that it was truly a blessing . . . a blessing in disguise.

One of my favourite things...
I have a set of journals I have kept through the years, prayer journals. It is interesting to read through them from time to time and see the answers I have been given to my prayers. God always answers our prayers. It may not be in the time line we wish for, and the answers given may not always be the ones we want to receive, but we always get an answer no matter what.

A few plans for the rest of the week...
There are the daily reading lessons, my meeting tomorrow night, and that is all. Quiet weeks are nice every now and then.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

(A painting of Christ by Liz Lemon Swindle,
one of my favourite artists)

I have a happy life, a blessed life, a full life. It is largely because I chose to follow the Saviour's plea . . . to come follow Him. Contrary to what the world might want us to believe, it is a rich and abundant life, filled to overflowing with comfort, peace and joy. It is a life that is filled with promise and hope. I wish that everyone could live such a life. The truth is that every one can have such a life if they should choose to do so, and it is a choice . . . there is no arm twisting, nor forcing. It costs nothing but the laying down of your pride . . . the reward being joy beyond belief.

As a closing thought I would like to leave you with the following beautiful song:

And there you have it . . . my day book for this week. Don't forget to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself! It's not that hard and I am betting you would enjoy it!

Here's another recipe from my archives, which I am slowing switching over to printable recipes. This is a rare indulgence in this house, and quite, quite delicious!

*Heavenly Eggs Benedict*
Serves 3
Printable recipe

Eggs Benedict is really a delicious breakfast or light lunch. History has it that it was created at the Waldorf Hotel in 1894 for a customer hoping to find a cure for a morning after the night before hangover. It turned out to be a blessing for all of us, because we now can enjoy the results of his agony. What better way could you start your day than with a lightly toasted English muffin topped with a perfectly poached egg, napped in butterly gorgeous hollandaise . . . this is heaven.

6 large free range organic eggs (if you are going to have an egg as the star of the meal, it only makes sense to use the best eggs possible)
12 slices of pancetta, grilled until crisp
6 slices of baked ham
3 english muffins, split in half
1 quantity of Hollandaise sauce

Have all your eggs at room temperature and break each into a small bowl before you start. Bring a pot of water, to which you have added 1 tsp of vinegar, to a slow simmer over gentle heat. Once you can see tiny bubbles on the bottom of the pan, carefully add the eggs, one at a time. Simmer, without covering for exactly 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and let the eggs sit in the hot water for exactly ten minutes. (a timer is incredibly useful here) At the end of the time you should have a perfect poached egg, with a beautifully translucent and pefectly set white and a soft and creamy yolk. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, one at a time onto some paper kitchen toweling to drain.

Lightly toast the english muffin haves and butter them. Place them on a baking tray. Top each half with two slices of pancetta and 1 slice of the ham. Put a poached egg on top of each and spoon over an equal amount of the hollandaise, covering the egg. Place the eggs under a hot grill for about 30 seconds. (This shouldn't take long, you don't want them to brown. The surface of the Hollandaise should just be glazed) Remove to hot plates and serve.

*Blender Hollandaise Sauce*
Makes about 1 cup
Printable Recipe

Mmmm... deliciously buttery hollandaise sauce, made in just a few minutes, with all the ease of pushing a few buttons. Turns out perfect every time.

2 large free range organic egg yolks (Save the whites to make some meringues at a later date. They freeze very well)
2 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
4 ounces butter
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the vinegar and the lemon juice in a small measuring cup in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so, just until the mixture starts to bubble and simmer. In the meantime, place the egg yolks into your blender and season with a smidge of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Blend for one minute. Turning the blender on, add the lemon juice/vinegar mixture to the egg yolks in a thin stream, very slowly. (You can do this through the hole left in the lid after you remove the little plastic cap) Turn the blender off and melt the butter in the same measuring cup you used to heat the vinegar and lemon juice in until it is slightly foaming. Turn the blender back on and very slowly add the hot butter in a thin stream to the beaten egg yolks, once again through the little hole in the top of the lid. The slower you add it, the better. Turn the blender off and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, then put the lid on and blend again for a few seconds. Set aside.

There's another breakfast brewing over in The English Kitchen this morning, a delicious Re-purposed Biscuit Breakfast Casserole!

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