Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scotch Broth, homemade

If you are middle-aged, you may remember this:

We sometimes had it when I was a kid - my mother always liked lamb. She was quite a good cook but when it came to lunches, it was often Campbell's to the rescue.

When I was looking for lamb chops at the supermarket before Easter there wasn't lots of it, so I picked up some shoulder"stew" meat, just in case. Well, we didn't need it for the holiday but I've got lots of barley and I suddenly thought of Scotch Broth yesterday. I found an old Gourmet recipe on the Epicurious website - basically the lamb, the barley, a bay leaf, some chicken broth - I could see what I had to do. I par-cooked the meat to avoid so much grease in the soup. Then cut it up, along with a chopped onion, several stalks of celery and some carrots, a bay leaf, some other herbs, lots of water and some beef and chicken cubes - whatever seemed good. Later, I poured in some of the now degreased lamb cooking juices and simmered it a good long while.
A bit of salt, and - so good!!

Made some rolls, too.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014


She didn't know what she was laying her little head on, but there could be no better caption for our Dolly.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

small patches

While I think about whether I'm going to use buttons or ties to finish my button quilt, I've picked up this other one which I pieced about a year ago.

I'm quilting a line down the middle of each row of squares with floss. It'll take a little while, I'm sure.

Monday, April 21, 2014

two vegetables and a starch

Making sure you serve an extra vegetable plus a starch does make a difference, doesn't it?

During the week I often serve our main dish with just one veg, and maybe bread, rice, whatever. But on special occasions and for company I am reminded of how helpful it is to stretch the meal with more sides. Yesterday, any worries that there might not be enough of the lamb came to naught. I sent our guest away with some and we will have leftovers for after-work tomorrow.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

a Happy Easter!

for dinner -

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Henry's tail

the fur is different on different parts of his body.

Holy Saturday

"Holy Saturday is the day of the 'death of God', the day which expresses the unparalleled experience of our age, anticipating the fact that God is simply absent, that the grave hides him, that he no longer awakes, no longer speaks, so that one no longer needs to gainsay him but can simply overlook him...Christ strode through the gate of our final loneliness; in his Passion he went down into the abyss of our abandonment. Where no voice can reach us any longer, there is he. Hell is thereby overcome, or, to be more accurate, death, which was previously hell, is hell no longer. Neither is the same any longer because there is life in the midst of death, because love dwells in it."

                                         -   Pope Benedict XVI

     It is over now, O Lord, as with your sufferings, so with our humiliations. We have followed you from your fasting in the wilderness till your death on the cross. For forty days we have professed to do penance. The time has been long and it has been short; but whether long or short, it is now over. It is over, and we feel a pleasure that it is over; it is a relief and a release. We thank you that it is over. We thank you for the time of sorrow, but we thank you more as we look forward to the time of festival. Pardon our shortcomings in Lent and reward us in Easter.

     We have, indeed, done very little for you, O Lord. We recollect well our listlessness and weariness; our indisposition to mortify ourselves when we had no plea of health to stand in the way; our indisposition to pray and to meditate - our disorder of mind - our discontent, our peevishness. Yet some of us, perhaps, have done something for you. Look on us as a whole, O Lord, look on us as a community, and let what some have done well plead for us all.

     O Lord, the end is come. We are conscious of our languor and lukewarmness; we do not deserve to rejoice in Easter, yet we cannot help doing so. We feel more of pleasure, we rejoice in you more than our past humiliation warrants us in doing; yet may that very joy be its own warrant. O be indulgent to us, for the merits of your saints. Accept us as your little flock, in the day of small things, in a fallen country, in an age when faith and love are scarce. Pity us and spare us and give us peace.

                                 - prayer of  Blessed John Henry Newman

Friday, April 18, 2014


     "We often feel oppressed, exhausted, frustrated by something vague about our trials. The Lord urges us to give our troubles a name, list them, and then learn how to face them with him. For it is a basic element in human and Christian wisdom that we should understand the usefulness of trials and weather them faithfully.
      In addition, the more we love, and the more we serve and make ourselves available, the greater these trials are.
      If, on the other hand, we lock ourselves up in our own little world, if we become misanthropes, if we do not emerge from our self-centeredness, we shall experience only the trial of personal frustration."

                              -    Perseverance in Trials: Reflections on Job   by Carlo Maria Martini

Thursday, April 17, 2014

something unusual

A ring-necked pheasant came through our yard the other morning -

he was all dressed up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

like spring rain

Come, let us return to the Lord, it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds. He will revive us after two days; on the third day he will raise us up, to live in his presence. Let us know, let us strive to know the Lord; as certain as the dawn is his coming, and his judgment shines forth like the light of day. He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth.

                                             -   Hosea 6: 1-3

poor daffodils

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

our defense

Jesus defends Mary from Judas and her other detractors, as he defends the lowly, the brokenhearted, the captives of every kind. For their sake, he will not defend himself.

                                           -  Magnificat,  Holy Week ed. 2014

(French School)

I love the Lord for he has heard
the cry of my appeal;
for he turned his ear to me
in the day when I called him.

They surrounded me, the snares of death,
with the anguish of the tomb;
they caught me, sorrow and distress.
I called on the Lord's name.

O Lord my God, deliver me!

How gracious is the Lord, and just;
our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple hearts;
I was helpless so he saved me.

How gracious is the Lord, and just;
our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple hearts;
I was helpless so he saved me.

Turn back, my soul, to your rest
for the Lord has been good;
he has kept my soul from death,
my eyes from tears
and my feet from stumbling.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord
in the land of the living.

               -   Psalm 116

Monday, April 14, 2014

a brief mildness

It was an open window for me all last night in the mild air!

By Wednesday we'll be back down in the forties.

the support of those who fall

Jesus falls beneath the weight of the cross, so that he may support all who fall and raise up all who are bowed down.

                              -  Magnificat, Holy Week ed. 2014

( from St. Antoine church in Brussels)

The Lord is faithful in all his words
and loving in all his deeds.
The Lord supports all who fall
and raises all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures look to you
and you give them their food in due time.
You open wide your hand,
grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all his ways
and loving in all his deeds.
He is close to all who call him,
who call on him from their hearts.

He grants the desires of those who fear him,
he hears their cry and he saves them.
The Lord protects all who love him;
but the wicked he will utterly destroy.

Let me speak the praise of the Lord,
let all mankind bless his holy name
for ever, for ages unending.

           - Psalm 145

Sunday, April 13, 2014

prelude to Easter

"Thus says the Lord,   Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth... No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there..."

                                                      -  from Isaiah 65

Saturday, April 12, 2014

the whole thing

Well, you wanted to see the whole thing -

it's quite messy.

I'd seen a Cath Kidston pillowcase where she'd applied circles on it with Steam-a-Seam or something and it gave me an idea. So I cut out lots of circles and placed them on a white fabric in a pleasing way, but then realized that if I ironed them on it would be stiff in those parts, so - I just left the edges raw and zigzagged them on. It really is a messy look. I then got the idea for a button in the center of each from something Jane Brocket did, and I can't even remember what that was now.  More quilting was needed, though, so I've been quilting around the inside and outside of each circle and now I have two left. But some of the empty space requires something and that's where I'm hung up. I first wrote about it here.

If I do lots of quilting all over it, that might end up looking interesting, except for three things:
one - I have never done any quilting as involved as that before,
two - it would surely take me the rest of my life to finish, and
three - frankly, I don't remember what the third reason was, but I did have one. The other two are bad enough anyway.

Kimmie wanted to know if it is for my bed. The red, white and blue (and yellow) fits in with the living room, so I think I had a throw in mind, but it's kind of a twin size.

Lynda asked if the circles were place randomly or in a pattern. Yes. A random pattern.  :D

Oh, and this is the backing - sailboats,

and I'm imagining a yellow border - whenever.

Friday, April 11, 2014

a mighty champion

"...the Lord is with me, like a mighty champion: my persecutors will stumble, they will not triumph. ..they will be put to shame, to everlasting confusion. O Lord of hosts, you who test the just, who probe mind and heart...to you I have entrusted my cause. Sing to the Lord, praise the Lord, for he has rescued the life of the poor from the power of the wicked!"

                                          -      from Jeremiah chapter 20

Thursday, April 10, 2014

the final three

The Lenten season has given me an impetus to look at my unfinished projects and one of them is this circle/button quilt from - three years ago!  I've been picking away at it and there are only three more circles to quilt around. 

What to do between the circles is what's hung me up for all this time - what do I do with it?  I have contemplated stitching blue eddies all around the circles as in a pool of water but now I think that's too ambitious for this funky piece. Lately, a series of (blue again) "waves" going across some areas was an idea. I don't know. But the in betweens have to be filled in with some kind of quilting. Maybe, like Scarlet O'Hara, I should just think about it tomorrow. Or when the last three circles are done. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

lentil burgers

Two co-workers gave up meat for a month with much talk of bean burgers, and it all sounded so good! I must be behind the times for not having tried this yet, but no more. Meanwhile I had some lentils hanging around so the other day I made up a burger of sorts with them.

Using this recipe as a starting point, I soaked my lentils (half a bag) in water for an hour then cooked them for a half hour with some garlic powder, salt and rosemary added. Meanwhile I microwaved a sweet potato and when everything was cooled I mixed up the s.p. with some lentils, two tablespoons of flavored bread crumbs and some other herbs, then browned the patties in olive oil.  I guess they weren't really burgers - honestly, I didn't want to eat a starchy patty with a bun (another starch).  But it was a nice change and I'm going to try them again, with different vegetables and flavorings.