Sticky Toffee Pudding

We really enjoyed this dessert while traveling in Great Britain so duplicating it for special meals here on the other side of the Pond was a fun adventure for me. It’s a warm dense cake with a caramelized sauce. There are many versions of Sticky Toffee Pudding and this is one that has been successful and good. Don’t let the pudding confuse you. It’s not like our creamy soft pudding. This “pudding” is cake like.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13 inch pan

Pudding:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 8 ounces dates (pitted and chopped into pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups boiling water

Sauce:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 – 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream

You will need extra whipping cream to top off the cake with when ready to serve.

Directions:

For the pudding:

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Beat in eggs one at a time and incorporate completely.
  3. Fold in flour.
  4. Put the chopped dates in a separate bowl.
  5. Pour the boiling water over the dates and add the soda to this mixture.
  6. Give the water time to be absorbed into the dates.
  7. When water is mostly absorbed add the flour mixture and blend well.
  8. Pour the mixture into prepared pan.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes. Time may vary slightly depending on your oven.

Sauce:

  1. Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. When cake comes out of the oven poke the top of the cake evenly with many holes.
  3. Pour half of the sauce over the top of the cake evenly.
  4. Allow Sauce to soak into cake.
  5. When ready to serve cut cake into squares and place the squares on your dessert plates.
  6. Top with remaining sauce that is hot onto the warm cake.
  7. Top each serving with a dollop of whipped cream.

 

We’ve been dreaming about going to England again so this is a recipe that came to mind.

All Good Things

What fun it was to open up these gifts to me from our kids. It will be fun to add our family favorite in this new recipe journal.

It’s hard to see but there is a line to write down the speaker, the date, the message title and then lines at the bottom to add scripture verses that were referenced in the sermon. I’m looking forward to using this. Our DIL bought it from Target online.

I love the theme of these next gifts and am excited to hear England is totally open to international travelers without any restrictions!

I’ve been enjoying my morning cuppa in this beauty!

The snow has mostly disappeared with our warming temperatures this week. We have even been able to get out and do some clean-up in most of our planters. It feels good to look out the windows and see that job accomplished. Speaking of windows our window cleaner guy called and we are booked for clean windows on this coming Tuesday.  We have a quiet weekend coming up before we move into busy weekends in April.

Thankful to God for the love shown to me and for the ability to do yardwork.

It’s been so good to be in a study of the book of Isaiah as we approach Easter.

Hope all is well in your corner!

To Be Or Not to Be Hodgepodge

Alton to Cotswolds 084This is Shakespeare’s birthplace right in the middle of town on Henley Street in Stratford Upon Avon. This photo was taken in September of 2013.

It’s time for another Hodgepodge hosted by Joyce From This Side of the Pond!

1. It’s March 15th and as the saying goes-“Beware the Ides of March”. Have you read or studied much Shakespeare? Do you have a favorite Shakespeare play? How do you feel about a Caesar salad? 

I’m aware of that term. Haven’t read much or studied much of Shakespeare and don’t really have a favorite play. We all know about Romeo and Juliet, don’t we? In the early 70’s before Dear and I were married we attended a Shakespeare play in Stratford Upon Avon with our singing group. King John was the name of the play. We really weren’t impressed with the performances.

The ominous warning, “Beware the Ides of March,” originated with the Roman ruler, Julius Caesar, who was assassinated on the Ides of March – March 15, 44 B.C. If you’ve heard the ominous warning, then it’s most likely due to William Shakespeare and his play, Julius Caesar.

The warning itself was made famous in Shakespeare’s play on Julius Caesar, when an unidentified soothsayer tells Caesar, who is on his way to the Senate (and his death), “Beware the ides of March.” Caesar replies, “He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.”

2. Have you ever been to Rome? If so what do you love about the city? If not, any desire to go?

Haven’t been to Rome. I have been to Italy once with Dear on a Business Trip to Milan. I’m sure there are places in Rome I would be impressed with and love but I do not have a desire to travel to Italy again.

3. What’s your favorite place to ‘roam’? 

My, our favorite place to roam is anywhere in Great Britain. I’m a comfort traveler so I appreciate being able to communicate with the locals and for the most part understand what they are saying.

4. Do you like pizza? Thick or thin crust? Red sauce-white sauce-other? Your favorite toppings? How do you feel about pineapple on a pizza? 

We do like pizza, thick or thin but mostly thick and usually read sauce. We enjoy sausage, bell pepper, pepperoni, onions, mushrooms. We do not do pineapple on pizza…ever.

5.  ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’…tell us how this expression applies to something in your home-life-job currently (or recently)? 

The latest ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ project at our country bungalow is a redo of our master shower stall. It’s taken weeks just to come up with a plan. It will take more weeks to first decide on the pan and then the tile. Right now the glass doors came off and we are living with a curtain. We do not plan to put glass doors on the finished product because of our well water deposits that are impossible to clean.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

This beautiful bouquet of flowers was on the porch on Monday from our oldest and his lovely bride. We returned home from celebrating an overnight in Spokane and Idaho for my 71st birthday. We enjoyed Indian food, 2 lamb dishes, jasmine rice and naan at India House in Post Falls on Sunday. We spent the night in Spokane Valley and on Monday, my birthday, we shopped at all the places we don’t have in Colville. On the way back home on Monday we stopped for Mexican at our favorite spot and Hector treated us well as usual with a very small bill left at our table.

Four more days until our oldest and only granddaughter turns 5. Celebration plans are afoot!

Addy and JJ are holding a bag of Brussels Sprouts. Our DIL told Addy she could pick any vegetable she wanted in the produce section of the store and her choice was Brussels Sprouts! Well done Mommy and Addy!

Who You Calling Old Hodgepodge

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We had to have the “we were here” photo taken! This door is in Stow on the Wold in the greater Cotswold area of England. This door is at the back of the Parish Church of St. Edward built within the 11th and 15th century.

Jo From This Side of the Pond has some ‘old’ questions for us this week. Click over to join in.

1. How would you define ‘old’? At what age is someone old? 

I define old as ten years older than me. The older I get the older ‘old’ becomes. I only feel old when I look in the mirror or try to stand up off the couch. 🙂

2. A place you’ve been that’s old? Tell us something about your visit there. 

Jolly Old England. Oh how I hope to be able to enjoy that land at least once more in my lifetime. There is something old around every corner…really old. Ancient doors and hall ways. Old majestic cathedrals. Cobblestones and thatched roofs. The oldest pub or Inn in all of England. Many pubs and Inns claim that fame. Old church yards and graveyards and churches.

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3. Something you miss about the ‘good old days’? When were they anyway? 

I’ll pick the ‘good ole days’ before computers and cell phones. The days where you had to catch up with a letter or have a long catch up conversation after church or on the phone. When you got information by reading the newspaper. The days when you actually got news during the news hour and not just opinions and made up stuff.

4. In what way are you a ‘chip off the old block’? Or if you’d rather, in what way is your child a ‘chip off the old block’? 

I have some chips off both blocks. Our dear mom would get inspirations to do things and have to scramble to gather up the materials and get er done. I do the same. Our dear old pop had to be on time or early to events and made sure to leave the house in plenty of time to get there. My Dear always makes the comment to me when I say ‘time to go’; “okay Moisi”.

photo credit: Jeremy Leffel

5. Old fashioned, Old Testament, old timer, same old same old, old glory, good old boy, old wives tale…choose an ‘old’ phrase that relates to something in your life or the wider world currently and explain. 

“Don’t guilt trip me.” It’s the way of some leaders and media and general population right now. It’s divisive and I don’t like it. When my head hits the pillow each night I want to have a clear conscience. It’s most important for me to have a clear conscience before God. That’s the best way for me not to suffer from someone trying to impose a guilt trip upon me.

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Speaking of England let’s not forget about the delightful world of Beatrix Potter.

gloucester cathedral 029-001We knew about this shop in Gloucester and were determined to visit it while we were in Gloucester 41 years after I started my collection. We were there in 2014.

gloucester cathedral 030There are lots of shops relating to Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit in England.

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Happy middle of September everyone. Next week…Glorious Fall begins!

A Mighty Fortress is Our God ~ Hymn

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A Mighty Fortress is Our God

A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.

Words and Music: Martin Luther, 1529.

This song has been called the great­est hymn of the great­est man of the great­est per­i­od of Ger­man his­to­ry, and the Bat­tle Hymn of the Re­for­ma­tion. It was sung at the fun­er­al of Am­er­i­can pre­si­dent Dwight Ei­sen­how­er at the Na­tion­al Ca­thed­ral in Wash­ing­ton, DC, March 1969.

Time to Party Hodgepodge

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It’s Wednesday so it’s time to answer the Hodgepodge questions from our gracious hostess Jo From This Side of the Pond

1. What advice would you give yourself as we begin this new year?

I’ll borrow this paragraph from our Christmas letter and say continue doing this!

“We are digging deep in our Bibles and some trusted commentaries, soaking up the Truth of the Gospel and asking God to increase our faith and our love for God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son who is our Lord and Savior, and the Holy Spirit who is our Comforter. We don’t want the ‘oil in our lamps’ to be nonexistent when the “Bridegroom” returns.

2. If you could throw a themed party for yourself what would the theme be?

Oh how I love a themed party! I’ll choose a British Pub Party with all the trimmings and don’t forget the bunting!

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Way back in November of 2013 we put on a British Pub dinner party as a thank you to our friends who let us use their parents home in Cornwall for a few nights on our trip to England in September of 2013. We traveled with our son Josh and DIL Laura.  It was so much fun to try to turn our home into a British Pub. We called it The Three Birds Pub and I added the link to my post if you’d like to see our old house converted to a pub.

3. Tell us where you were and something about what life was like when you were 20- 21.

I was living in my parents’ home in La Mirada, California. I was commuting to college at Cal-State L.A. completing my degree in Home Economics with a fifth year program of student teaching to earn my Elementary (K-8) Teaching credential. I was working part-time for Montgomery Ward at their appliance servicing center. In late Spring of 1972 when I was 21, I met Dear who was part of a Christian Band that my best friend auditioned for. The band toured England that summer. When they returned they needed to replace an alto and I auditioned for the group and became part of the band. Something sparked between Dear and me and we went on our first of many dates in October of 1972.

4. What’s on the menu at your house this week?

What menu? We fly by the seat of our pants.  It might be high time I planned for a week. I know that part of our meal on Tuesday will be artichokes and a Caesar salad with leftover chicken. On Wednesday I think I’ll pick up a couple curry dishes from ‘Thai to Go’ since I’ll be in town for a portion of the day. Red Curry for Dear and Yellow Curry for me. We do have a birthday dinner party planned for Sunday evening in honor of Dan and Jamie who both have birthdays soon. I’ll let them choose the entre they would like.

5. What should you do more of this year?

Walk

Less of?

Wasting time…

6. Insert your own random thought here.

21 and in love…

Thank you Lord for creating us as man and woman and loving us and sustaining our love all these years!

A Nostalgic Hodgepodge

It’s time for Wednesday Hodgepodge. Jo From This Side of the Pond publishes the questions on Tuesdays for us to answer and then we post our answers on Wednesdays to share with other Hodgepodgers.
1. When is the last time you experienced nostalgia?
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I was putting together all the photos of my little Babushka for a post and it got me thinking of her life and all she endured and her perseverance. She died in March of 1980. So many conversations that I couldn’t have with her because of our language barrier. When we were young and she would come over to stay with us I’d hope to be the one who would be able to sleep with her on the fold down couch in the living room. Her left arm was amputated at her elbow in her youth but she learned to do more than a lot of people with two hands can do. She taught me to embroider or I should say she persevered with me as I tried to embroider. One thing she told me as a teenager that I still quote from time to time is something like this, “Nothing good happens in the dark”. She was cautioning us as young adults not to be out at night. She prayed for the salvation of all her grandchildren and their spouses. It would have been fun for our children to know her…
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 2. September 29th is National Coffee Day.
Do we need this? Ha!
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Seems like everyday is a National day of something. Reminds me of handing out trophies to everyone regardless of their talent.
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So are you a coffee drinker?
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I am a coffee drinker. The mug on the left is my current every morning choice of coffee vessel. I bought that mug at TDMaxx (not TJ) in Windsor, England.
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If so how many cups per day, and tell us how you like it.
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One large cup in the morning, strong and black.
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Is there a recipe you enjoy that calls for coffee as one of the ingredients?
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I have had some things that have coffee as an ingredient but nothing that is in my recipe wheelhouse.
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 3. Do you find praise or criticism to be more motivating? Explain.
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My pride gets in the way of accepting criticism. I find it easier to accept when the Holy Spirit convicts me of something that needs correcting.  I’m definitely spurred on by genuine praise but not flattery.
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 4.  What’s a television series you keep coming back to and re-watching?
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Vera, Midsomer Murders, Detective Lewis, Endeavor…there’s a theme going here. British murder mysteries.
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 5. As the month of September draws to a close give us three words to describe your mood.
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Smiling With Anticipation…
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 6. Insert your own random thought here.
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The reason I’m smiling with anticipation is because the month of October will be family filled. We are meeting up with my youngest brother’s family this Thursday in Idaho and then they will be parking their 5th wheel at our place for a bit. My oldest sister’s family is traveling to Washington state next week and we will gather together on the west side of the Cascades for a few days together. Four of our eight siblings will be together along with their families and our “Coast” kids. Then more family time in Colville with all of our kids together for our annual hunting weekend. All the rooms will be full at all the Family Inns for many days in October.
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We are traveling for a few days and I will be late in visiting everyone this week. Cheers!

Maundy Thursday ~ The Last Supper

 

I took this photo a few years ago at the Monumentale Cemetery in Milan, Italy. Today and this whole week Christians around the world remember the events that led up to the crucifixion of Christ and Christ’s resurrection over 2000 years ago. I always look forward to Easter week which is also called Holy week. Celebrating our risen Savior and what he accomplished for us tops my list!

The Last Supper and the Washing of the Disciples Feet are both remarkable events. While in Milan I was also able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s mural of the Last Supper. The original mural is on a wall of the refectory (dining hall) in the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. No photos allowed.

While in England in 2014 year we saw two amazing paintings of the last supper, one in the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Windsor and one in the chapel of Magdalen College.

The Thames 104 - Copy - CopyFrom the Lectern, look down the centre aisle and observe in the West Gallery a painting of The Last Supper. This is a national treasure. The picture was originally presented to the Royal Chapel c. 1660 by Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winchester, Prelate of the Order of the Garter. It was “bought by him beyond the sea”. Another tradition ascribes it to Franz de Cleyn (1588-1658), Rostock, Mecklenburg, Court painter to James I. It was rolled up and buried “in the plumery” (plumbers workshop?) in the Great Rebellion. It hung over the altar at St George’s, Windsor in 1702, and can be seen there in Sandby’s drawing dated 1786.

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Oxford Day 6 141Above the stalls in the chapel hangs Giampetrino’s remarkable 15th copy of Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper, on permanent loan from the Royal Academy. In view of the bad condition of the original fresco in Milan, Magdalen’s copy on canvas is a piece of increasing historic and artistic significance.

Oxford Day 6 144This next sculpture of Jesus washing Peter’s feet is at the Gardens of the World in Thousand Oaks, California.

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Excerpts from John chapter 13…

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;  so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them.  “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am.  Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.  I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The Walls of York…

After we spent time in Derbyshire we traveled northeast to the city of York and dropped off our rental car for the remaining days of our literary tour. For York we had a walking guidebook that Katie was in charge of and we saw many things we would have missed otherwise.

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We weren’t looking for any of our literary favorites here but just enjoying the walls and history surrounding this city.

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We attended our first evensong at Yorkminster and were so blessed by that hour of singing and readings. Katie and Dear also climbed to the top of the minster and Dear took this great photo above.

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We went to a history museum and donned these heavy helmets for a photo op.

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And…of course we had to take a photo of the Pharmacist in front of the Apothecary.

From York we boarded a train to Edinburgh where we would enjoy the city and take a bus to Stirling for some fun with Monty Python. Two more posts to go to wrap up our 2004 Literary Tour of Great Britain.

Back to the present…I’ve been very busy with my sisters the last few days. On Monday my sister Kathy flew home and on Tuesday my sister Vera will be flying home. I’ll share our Saturday road trip when I have some time to create the post.

Blenheim in April, 2004

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Before we left Oxfordshire on our daughter’s literary graduation gift tour in April of 2004 we stopped by Blenheim Palace.

Blenheim Palace is home to the 12th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough and birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. I’m sharing a few photos with quotes from Churchill and one from the Bible.

Winston Churchill was born here in 1874. “At Blenheim I took two very important decisions; to be born and to marry. I am content with the decision I made on both occasions…”

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“Never was so much owed by so many to so few…”

We were really taken aback by the grandeur of these Cedars of Lebanon that were planted on the grounds. We had Katie stand beside it to give some perspective…

img404The Lebanon cedar (Cedrus libani) is a conifer that originates from, as its name might suggest, Lebanon and surrounding areas in the Middle East. Original old growth groves of this tree, that is mentioned in the Bible, are now very rare. This tree can live for thousands of years and became a popular exotic specimen tree in European landscape gardens in the 18th, 19th century.

Psalm 92: 12-15 (ESV)

12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
    and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the Lord;
    they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bear fruit in old age;
    they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to declare that the Lord is upright;
    he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

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“You have enemies? Good. It means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

We enjoyed our time at Blenheim and toured the grand home with all the amazing artwork and furniture and walked about a small part of the 2100 acres landscaped by Capability Brown!

Now…back to the present. We are thinking about quarantines at this old house as Dear’s ick seems to be spreading to the rest of us here. Oye and Ugh! Hope you are sore throat free and living in a non-coughing zone!!