Friday 4 November 2011

Service . . .

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a faraway place . . . there was a king, who had a great highway built for the members of his kingdom. Once completed, but before it was opened to the public, the king decided to have a contest, inviting as many who desired to participate. Their challenge would be to see who could travel the highway best.

On the day of the contest the people came from miles away. Some of them were dressed in their finest clothing and were driving fine chariots. Still others had the most beautiful hairdos and brought with them the finest food. Younger men came and ran along side of the highway in their track clothes. People from all walks of life and all kinds of places traveled the highway all the day through, but . . . each one, when he had arrived at the end . . . complained to the king that there was a huge pile of rocks and debris left on the road at one spot, which had gotten in their way and hindered their journey.

At the end of the day . . . a lone traveler crossed the finish line and wearily walked over to the king. He was tired and very, very dirty . . . but he addressed the king with the utmost respect, and handed him a bag of gold.

"I am sorry I took so long, but . . . I stopped along the way to clear away a pile of rocks and debris that was blocking the roadway." he explained. "This bag of gold was laying underneath it all, and I want you to return it to it's rightful owner."

The king looked at him and replied, "You are the rightful owner."

"Oh no," said the traveller, "This is not mine. I have never known such money."

The king looked at him with pride and grace in his eyes . . . "Oh yes," he said, "you've earned this gold, for you won my contest. He who travels the road best is he who makes the road smoother for those who will follow."

A patient hand,
A steadfast heart . . .
The worth of these we see.
Work is fun
Together done.
The hours pass in sweet remembrance.
This work we do
In love and sisterhood.

And you thought your reward
Awaited you in Heaven!
How little we understood,
For our reward
Was with us all the while
In contentment
For service given.
~Don Stevens

I thank you all so very much for your happy thoughts and prayers this week through. I just know that you will be upholding me today as I go to my Doctors appointment. I am being cautiously optomistic. I had a Priesthood blessing yesterday and I feel more at peace about what will be. What can a person do but what he has to do. One foot in front of the other . . . it's the only way to go forward, but how much easier it is to do, knowing you are loved and cared for and upheld in prayer. Y'all are pretty special to me . . . praying friends are the best of friends. You do me a valuable service in this . . . and I thank you for it.

Source: via Marie on Pinterest

I did a completely French meal the other night. We started off with a lovely salad of Endive with celery, walnuts and Roquefort cheese, then the main course was Bouef aux Carottes with all the trimmings, and for dessert a lovely yoghurt cake with berries and cream. My, but it was all very delicious if I don’t say so myself! (When the going gets tough, the tough get cooking!)

*Boeuf aux Carottes*
(Braised Beef Brisket with Carrots)
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This is a lovely meal that requires very little effort. You end up with meltingly tender beef with a rich broth, sweet and buttery in flavour from the carrots. I served it with a celeriac/potato mash and some lightly steamed haricots verts. (green beans)

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1.5 kg of rolled beef brisket (about 3 pounds)
1.5 kg of carrots, peeled and trimmed (about 3 pounds)
150g bacon lardoons (about 1/2 cup)
1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 fresh bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 small leafy celery stalk
500ml dry white wine, or unsweetened apple juice (2 cups)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat 1 TBS of the olive oil in a large roaster on top of the stove. (Use one with a fitted lid) Add the brisket and brown it slowly on all sides. Once browned, remove it to a plate, salt it generously and then set it aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the roaster and add the carrots, 1 tsp of salt and cook, stirring them occasionally, until they are browned. This will take from 3 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Put the lardoons and onions into the roaster and then cook them over high heat until nicely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, celery, beef and carrots. Pour in the wine or juice, and add water almost to cover. Bring to the boil. Skim off any foam that may surface, then top with the lid and roast in a pre-heated oven at 150*C/300*F. Roast for 3 hours, turning the meat over at least once during the cooking time.

Remove from the oven and take the meat out of the liquid. Let rest for about 15 minutes before cutting in thin slices to serve, accompanied with the carrots and lovely juices spooned over top. Delicious!

Cooking in The English Kitchen today, a deliciously creamy Leek and Potato Soup.

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