Tuesday, April 27, 2010

French toast and freedom

Last night we had the most beautiful sky...

and this morning we had a moist batch of French Toast.
It is such a simple and hearty breakfast (a break-away from our usual weekday Oats or Bran) and it doesn't use a drop of oil or butter (just a good non-stick pan). I used left-over homemade bread and the eggs are a great source of protein and vitamins. I served it sprinkled with a little sugar and lots of cinnamon (cinnamon has so many health benefits - boosts brain function, aids in controlling blood sugar, has dietary fibre, iron, calcium etc).

Remember to reflect on today's great achievement - the first democratic election held in 1994 and the real heroes that fought for true freedom. A friend of ours was stuck at an airport overseas (due to the volcanic activity) and bumped into Bishop Desmond Tutu. He told Bishop Tutu that he admired him for his efforts (freedom and unity) and Tutu's reply was "We did it together."

Have a great day!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Supper strategy

I plan to make Chili Fish Burritos for supper, but I have to plan it well. My 'I-like-what-I-like' husband eats fish but rather sparingly (and he better not know beforehand, otherwise he might pull a steak out the freezer). These Burritos are so delicious but I will have to bring them to the table very casually. Then give him an innocent look, "Oh I thought you knew it was fish... you didn't?"
His response might be something like King Edward (in King Henry the Sixth) "But now, you partly may perceive my mind... (you can imagine the rest)"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The bare necessities

Ruby and I arrived home this afternoon after Ballet and were swept indoors by a blustery wind and there was still no plumber in sight. It necessitated a little baking. We required (not wanted) a pot of hot tea and a slice of something to cuddle up to.

Banana Bread

1 cup of regular flour (I like stone-ground flour)
1 cup of wholemeal flour/nuttywheat flour (can use regular)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 - 1 cup brown sugar
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
50 ml olive oil
100 ml buttermilk

Preheat oven to 180 deg Cel. Sift dry. Mix wet. Mix all together gently (don't over mix). Today I added 2 tablespoons of wheatgerm (for a little extra health). Sometimes I add a handful of choc chunks (for a little extra treat), but today I didn't. Bake for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 minutes. Test. Cool for 5 minutes in baking tin.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The irony

I did the lovely egg cup decoration idea and it looked so cute with the little flowers (the idea from my previous blog) and then served Rebecca her favourite 'Tomato Spaghetti'. So there we were... enjoying our meal... when she suddenly half-choked, freaked out and spat out her spaghetti. So after dragging out a 'half-a-metre' (not quite) length of spaghetti from her throat, I thought... this played differently in my head when I planned supper. My daughter didn't end up in tears, red-faced and full of tomato.

To add to the injury our thermostat went a.w.o.l sometime during the day so we all had cold baths thereafter. Not happy campers.

The irony is that things don't always go according to the text book but we still made a memory!

I'm off to bed - cold. I'll dream about hot water.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A flower in an egg cup

'Children growing up in an atmosphere where beauty is considered an important part of daily life cannot help being inspired to develop their own original ideas in these areas, nor can they help being prepared to live aesthetically themselves. There is a togetherness in sharing a prepared table that even very small children feel. Instead of saying, "Oh it doesn't matter, its only the children" when you are alone with a child for a meal, it is important to say to the opposite to yourself. "I wonder what the children would enjoy the most?"

When bringing someone a tray (when they are unwell), a candle on the tray brings light, warmth and aliveness of movement into the drabness of being shut away. A flower in an egg cup or tiny vase, or a piece of ivy, will lift the meal.

If you never have time to enhance moments together by making some preparation for beauty as well as for meeting necessities you are apt to miss altogether the spontaneous response and opening up of the personality which this would bring... I feel that the 'caring' for others in the family, can be expressed over and over again in ways which bring a very warm chain of memories, through transforming an ordinary meal table into a place of surprise and beauty.'

The hidden art of homemaking by Edith Schaeffer

Monday, April 19, 2010

Kids Stuff - A clean heart

This blog is going to be written by my daughter who seems to find blog-land fascinating and wanted to say "Hi y'all" - this is going out of her heart unedited (she even stationed the camera on a chair and took the picture herself). She said she wanted to write something for the kids...

Children should be happy. Their hearts should be pure. I try to do it.

Why must your heart be ugly? Your heart must have confidence in the Lord.

Written by Rebecca Sella Batty


Yesterday was perfect weather... and we spent most of the day outside enjoying it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Cream cheese Log

I made this cheese log for a dinner party and my husband declared that it was one of the top five things I had ever made. It quite an honour to get into his 'shortlist of favourites' for something that you don't really need to follow a recipe to make!

Cream Cheese Log

In a bowl add lots of cream cheese (not cottage cheese, you want a lovely creaminess, +- 3/4 tub) and add about 2 preserved figs (finely chopped) and mix.

Then comes the tricky bit... shape this into a log shape (your hands will get full of cream cheese but its quite easy otherwise you can shape it by placing on the cream cheese onto cling wrap, roll closed and shape into a log shape, but I like to use my hands - real quick). It doesn't have to look perfect, once it's rolled in the nuts it will look great.

Place a generous amount of flaked almonds on a plate and roll log in the nuts (or use chopped pecan nuts). Re-shape as best you can, after nuts are added. Place the log on a cute platter and serve with french bread / wholewheat biscuits or as part of a cheese board. Delicious!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Take joy

These are some of my favourite moments in the day... I keep that in mind as I move upstairs in the dark. I clutch my teacup and my blanket and I begin my conversation. He tells me repeatedly to trust and entrust while I read His Word. Peace comes.

Later while driving I feel peace slipping... I feel rotten about a comment that I made during the day. I am reminded that who I am and what I do are not the same thing. I am always accepted in the Beloved but I do make mistakes (bummer, this is where Who you are must fix What you do... I've got some apologising to do). So I took JOY and gave thanks again for the wonderful exchange, I get Him (boundless) and He gets me - and I apologised (and giggled) that He got the short end of the stick.

May you too take joy and expect His goodness in your life.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3.5+6

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Being led

"Faith is led confidently to expect
what reason would never suggest."

Charles Spurgeon

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Memories and melancholy

Some days are bright, you are filled with purpose and delight while other days are glum and you hold your melancholy a little too closely. Such is life and on those days you have to not be tossed to and fro, but confess what is true until it chips through your fortress of disquiet. Out loud. I'm a firm believer that the conquest begins with your ears and ends in your heart.

While I was taking my own advice I came across this old photograph of my brother and I. Well, the tears turned to laughter... check out his mo-hawk! He was cool... like always, and the pose, I look like I'm trying to get up - probably to grab another snack (my chubby cheeks say it all).

Everyday brings something to smile about. Look for it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

A little rest

Today was back to school, after a full and blessed holiday and time of rest... easter, a wedding, three birthdays, family visit from England, sleep-overs, books, reading the paper quietly over lovely breakfasts outside (enjoying the remains of summer), trips to the beach, pool, movie theatre and lots & lots of games.

Rebecca spend a lots of time with her cousins (whom she hasn't seen for about two years)... a brunette, a blonde and a red-head, all fabulously different. She loved it.

Now its back to schedules, study and socks. Autumn has arrived.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Armchair warmth

"In times of storm and tempest, of indecision and desolation, a book already known and loved makes better reading than something new and untried... nothing is so warming and companionable."
Elizabeth Goudge

I agree with Elizabeth, I am currently reading 'A light in the window', the second book in the Mitford Series, and its like returning to your deepest, warmest armchair and covering yourself with a thick quilt.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Risoni and the Polka, sort of

We were away during the Easter weekend for a family wedding. Aren't wedding's wonderful. The ceremony and reception were on a beautiful farm (with a little chapel). The girls danced all night.

I had to add this to my blog as it was delicious! Ignore everything else on my plate - the thing to try is this Risoni... so very very tasty!! This picture does not do it justice so you will have to trust me (I couldn't take another picture because by the time I downloaded my pic's I had already gobbled up the leftover Risoni - below is a slightly closer shot)

Spinach Risoni

175g risoni, 250-300g spinach, olive oil, splash of cream, salt and pepper

Cook risoni (rice-shaped pasta) in salted water until al dente. Drain. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Wilt spinach by giving it a quick boil (you don't need much water) and drain. Add salt and pepper to taste and a good splash of cream. I creamed half of it with hand-held blender and coarsely chopped rest. Mix well with risoni.

Lavish Love

"Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered,
blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin"
Romans 4. 7-8

This is amazing love... take time out and reflect on this lavish statement, go for a walk and ponder the man that walked this earth as fully God and fully man in order to make that possible. Hope you had a blessed Easter!