Thursday, May 31, 2012

A page or two

Rebecca and I agree that it's a good day when there has been some good reading. 
All the better with my mother's day bookmark and my 'Afternoon Tea' cup... 

'I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library'
~ J L Borges

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

So funny, so true

We haven't laughed like this in a while... and with such truth.  More this evening!

Monday, May 28, 2012

A flower to remember

I received these lovely roses to remember him by - back home from Italy tomorrow. Yeah!

A welcome time of play between study sessions.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Easiest Roast Chicken Breasts

Juicy and perfect!

Drizzle the breasts (with bone for better flavour) with olive oil, then just add a generous amount of salt and pepper and roast them uncovered for about 40 minutes in a 180 deg Cel oven.  Don't overcook them.  Lovely.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lady's Slipper

The Paphiopedilum Actaeus blooms.  The flowers startle me... spectacular, prehistoric, bold, elegant, but is it beautiful?  I can't decide.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Just the word gives me a chill.  But I said nothing of the sort to my girl.  Exams begin today.  Instead I told her that she was going to have the happiest of days and that she would walk in the grace zone with love and a sound mind.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breakfast Pizza for supper

Oddly... yes, its true.  Bacon & Egg Pizza and greens for supper.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Potato and Leek soup

She looks so cute doing her laps... and after a good swim, you need sustenance. 
This is a pure and warming classic soup.

5 leeks
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
about 600g potatoes, peeled and cubed
1.5 L vegetable stock
splash of milk or cream

Wash the leeks thoroughly, trim and slice.  Sweat the leeks with the onion and garlic in a little butter but don't do it on a high heat (you don't want it to darken at all).  Add the stock and potatoes and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer for about 40-45 minutes.  If the soup gets too thick while cooking just add some boiling water as needed.  Once cooked, stir in your milk or cream.  I left if chunky but Rebecca prefers it blended to smooth.

A very kiddie friendly meal in my home... Rebecca a-d-o-r-e-s potatoes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The first fire

Today's weather was chilly, with the odd shower - a perfect Sunday... we had a lovely long lunch, Roast Lamb and Dauphinoise Potatoes and... coffee by the first fire of the season.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dwelling richly

I have been reminded this week that its not my words but His words that have overcoming power, that's why we are told in Colossians that the Word should dwell in us richly with all wisdom, because its THAT Word that cuts sharper than a double-edged sword between soul and spirit, joint and marrow.  That's deep surgery of the heart! Have a blessed weekend!

Monday, May 14, 2012

The autumn garden

From my father's veg patch.  Beautiful reddy purple organic things!   I love sweet potatoes... any time, roasted with dukkha, curried sweet potato soup, sweet potato pie... all good! A great winter veg, when you need a lil more 'sweet' in your potato.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!!

Motherhood is a high calling... whether you are a physical mother or a spiritual mother, we all are leaving a legacy behind and nothing we do is in a vacuum, it affects the lives of those around us especially our children.

I like this quote... "A mother's heart is the child's schoolroom" - H. Beecher
So true.  Those eyes and ears are always attentive.

The famous scripture in Proverbs 31 begins like this "The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him..."  Wisdom is not just knowing a truth but also how to apply it, which he learnt from his wise mother.

May we continue from strength to strength in this beautiful task.

We had a communal gathering at my mother's home this morning for Brunch - my father, sister and others still, all cooked and laughed their way through the morning.  We began with fruit and pastries.

Then we had a full English and more, with my sister-in-law's amazing bread. And lest we forget, there was Chocolate cake and coffee to finish (no one could have even a bite of that except the children who always eat like sparrows and hence have space for cake).  In my family you spell love like this... FEAST.  God Bless.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fresh Cherry Loaf

Baking is a stress release valve... love it.  We still had the last of our summer cherries, which were not plump enough to eat as is and would do better in a compote or cake... we went with cake.

2 1/4c of bran rich self raising flour
210g butter, room temp
180-200g (I only use 180) caster sugar
3 XL eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of milk
large handful of cherries, tossed in flour (I had about 1 1/2 cups so that's what I used)

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy.  Add the vanilla extract and alternate adding the flour, milk and eggs until incorporated.  Fold in the cherries and pour into a greased and lined loaf pan.  Bake in a preheated 180 deg cel oven for about 50 - 55 minutes.  Cool for 5-8 minutes and then remove from pan and cool further.

A perfect teatime treat.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A little 'messy' life

It's been a busy week with quite a few hiccups... basically life,right? A little fever here, a long meeting there - actually too many appointments, running late with one too many accidents... and lots of waiting in the traffic, a husband on deadline, spills on school books, broken washing machine, a school morning concert that I prayed (literally with every step) that I would make in time and landed in my seat as Rebecca sat at the piano to start.

Fortunately my great kid didn't seem to notice, and even managed a romp in the garden, with the good weather we have had this week.

As the week draws to a close, I draw a deep breath and think 'It's okay, it's all gonna be alright.'

Friday, May 4, 2012

The virtue of a quiet life

Lyda and I have loved each other for a long time, from the time when she looked up to me as an older woman and teacher to the time when I look up to her as my main prop, my help and comfort.  We have done so much sewing together, curtains and clothes and slipcovers and such, that she says we have sewed ourselves together.  We have cooked and canned and butchered together and helped our men together. 
The number of Lyda's children and children-in-law and grandchildren has grown past her ability to remember birthdays, and she has to keep a list, but she remembers everything else.  She knows the history and the goodnesses and the weaknesses of every one of them.

~ Hannah Coulter by W Berry

I've finally finished 'Hannah Coulter', a beautifully told tale of community living, values, change and the seasons of life, it rang so true that I had to re-read sections.

My mother made this needlework when she was a young woman.  She often recounts stories of all the ladies, (sisters, cousins & neighbours) together sewing and chatting their way through an afternoon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


 Yeah!! Our favourite guy is back in town.  Thanks to Skype, his time away wasn't totally awful.

We could see him and talk to him everyday - here is Becca having a chat!  Plus... I got to catch up with all my girlfriends while he was in Lyon... but would still have been better with him at home.