Thursday, March 21, 2024

Gentle homemaking, the mind, and little pies...


Considering the soon farewell of another month, my thoughts have drifted to how things have been simplified around home, in my mind, and around the garden, through these days of March. At first, I focused on these past weeks, full of family, garden and medical needs that seemed to take up large portions of each week, but then I considered the lovely peace and calm which has come to be the normal daily atmosphere of home no matter what a day holds.  I am learning that the more I can let go of, in order to simplify my life - things, emotions, dreams, plans and unforgiveness for example - the more peace and calm and JOY is filling my life.

As I reflected on these things it occurred to me that more than dropping away things or plans, the most beneficial path to simplifying has been changing the way I think, feel, and how I see my life as a homemaker. 

Having a heart which chooses to be at home, experiencing joy in the care I am able to give our humble abode, a feeling of satisfaction borne from the fruit of my labours, filling my heart with gratitude for all the small things - for there are far more of those than big things in life - these are evidences of a simple life being lived well...and yet, I don't think I have looked at it from that perspective before. 

In my homemaker heart it's clear that there's a sweet and gentle rest offered by living this way, and as I grow older, I find more of the gentle domestic life is what I desire most, for it draws me back to what I knew as a toddler, child and teenager growing up with Nana. 

Experiences of the past, the ones we remember most vividly, are the ones I believe to have had the greatest impact on our lives as we age. In the midst of wonderful memories, there may be difficult ones as well, and I admit to having both. However with the passing of years, the easier it has become to let go of the ones which serve me no good, for those memories cannot be changed, and if I did give them power again they could harm my otherwise healthy mind. So I choose to release myself from their grip, and instead, gather all the wonderful memories built around Nana and Pop, who cared for me with selfless love, and taught me to love God.

I've not heard of mental simplicity, but it's the only way I can describe to you what has had the greatest impact on me recently. When I sought the Lord over the areas of my life to simplify, one that surprised me was a particular situation from thirty years ago which every so often comes to mind and continues to upset me, and even cause me to feel anger. In a moment, He disassembled the tower of self-pity and self-righteousness I had built in my mind, and left every stone shattered...ladies, talk about simplifying, this was a burden gone, done and dusted, slate wiped clean, chains unshackled, in a moment. I am free, and it is so very life-changing to forgive, and to be forgiven. Simply.

If you have been burdened with the past, let me pray for you...

Heavenly Father,  this is but a short and simple prayer, because You are not complicated, and do not bury your children in long and wrenching psychological tortures. You are a kind and compassionate Father, Who, at the right time, leads us from darkness into Light, and  today I am asking You to do this for anyone reading this who needs to be set free from the shackles and burdens of the past. Lord, in Your deliverance, shine Light on the best things for them to remember, stir up the good experiences and memories, bringing them to the surface, and in doing so, please bury forever the harmful ones. Guide those who need to forgive, impart wisdom to those who have held a grudge or misunderstood an incident so they can repent and let it go. Simplify their lives, Lord, and simplify their minds, that they may look with  JOY at the days yet before them, given as a gift by Your perfect grace. In the precious name of our Saviour Jesus, Amen. 

Here's the steps and recipe to make those lovely little pies my grandchildren and son in law gobble up with glee!

I have these lovely little pie tins which were purchased for a couple of dollars at the local op-shop, and they make the perfect size pies for children, lunches, or picnics.

The base is a little disc which is removable, making it easy to lift the baked pies from the tin. 

Whatever size your pie tins are, you will need to cut a circle for the base that is about 1/2 to 3/4 inch larger than the tin. Try making a circle with scrap fabric or tissue paper first, to work out the correct size, and then look for a plate or dish which has the same dimensions. 

I use puff pastry sheets from the freezer section of the supermarket. Using a circular plate the right size, I cut the bases and press them into the greased pie holes. Then I fill the cases with an egg, bacon and cheese mixture.


Grill or bake rashers of bacon to remove a lot of the fat. Once cooked, chop them into small pieces. When cool, scatter them across the bottom of the pie cases. 

Make a mix of 6 eggs, 1/2 cup of cream, some salt and pepper. Pour this into eight small pie cases. Scatter some grated cheese over the top. Cut circles of puff pastry 1/2 inch wider than the top of the pie cases and place on top. Press the sides of the base and top together.

Make roses and leaves from the excess pieces of puff pastry. Cut your rose strips first - they only need to be about one inch wide, and 4 inches long. Then cut the leaves from the remaining odd shaped scraps of pastry. 

For the roses, just roll the 4 inch strip of pastry (not too tight), and then using your fingers, turn some of the rolls down to form a flower. 

Place them on top of your pies, pressing very gently to attach them. Now make a egg wash (just beat a whole egg until the yolk and white only takes about ten seconds), and then using a pastry brush, paint the top of the pies with it. 

Bake in an oven of 200C (400F) for about 20 minutes, depending on your oven. The pies will puff right up and be golden brown when done. 

You could make the same pies with any filling of your choice, but my tribe do not want me to change anything! ;-)

Now I must sign off as I need to see my optometrist again today, do some grocery shopping, and find a decent dish drainer for the kitchen sink as my old one has lately been the cause of a few broken cups and glasses due to a section breaking away. I knew this time was coming but had put if off, but then a favourite mug broke earlier in the week and it can't be replaced. The dish draining rack can! 

God BLESS you dear ones, and may the March days still ahead of us be days of joyful simplicity in the ways that matter most. 


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Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for that beautiful prayer!! Thank you for just being you and sharing your life and love of Jesus.

Lin said...

Thank you Jennifer.
Goodness, those pies look good! xx

Diana said...

Thank you for your prayer. I love to stay home but currently we leave around 7:00 in the morning to pickup our littlest grandson and then we leave again around 3:00 to take him home. Not a long distance but crazy traffic. Time with him is worth it though and as we know those times pass quickly.

Anonymous said...

I just love reading your blog every month and seeing your beautiful works. Thank you for the prayer I really needed to read and pray on that as well. And those pies thank you .🙏

Sandi said...

Thank you for this, Jennifer! Thank you.

Joanne said...

Hi Jennifer,
The opening picture and quote is often seen out and about seeing people work. Some do it for the love or joy it brings them while others do it just for the money.
" Don't let yesterday affect today" a quote I read somewhere.
Thanks for this today :)
Those pies look great ! I'll have to try them in the airfryer.
hugs, take care,

Tammy said...

Thank you for the wonderful post today Dear. I have been praying over a situation for several years now. And the other day. God spoke to me to let it go and give forgiveness to the person who hurt me so and others . as well. SO I can finally let it go and move forward. It feels like 100 lbs. fell off my shoulders.. Your pies look delicious

Patty McDonald said...

Jennifer, thank you for another lovely post. We are never to old to learn and change. Thank you for the beautiful, simple prayer too.
Oh, I'm excited to try your muffins. I'm sure they'll taste delicious but I'm taken with the lovely rose that tops them. It's so nice to serve good tasting and beautiful meals.

Julie said...

Thank you dear Jennifer - for this post & your prayer. I am trying to simplify my mental & my physical health lately too. Our bodies reach a stage where we just cannot keep doing all that we used to & I think listening to that is very important. Gosh those pies look so delicious - I wish I could reach into my screen & try one!!! Wishing you a peace filled weekend dear friend x0x

kiwimeskreations said...

How lovely to visit today Jennifer, and hear your words - I agree that unforgiveness is toxic, and because of that I forgive quickly, and have learnt to leave any unresolved situations in God's hands - they are way bigger than mine!
Life here is busy for me, as I live with family and this Grandma helps a lot at the moment with the general running of the household, because of several current situations. I am responsible for the gardens (all vegetables at this point, my flowers are in pots) as well as some household tasks - it keeps me busy, on top of my hobbies, but I love being part of the family.

MY MUSINGS said...

This blog was Simply Beautiful! All so true! I worked out of the home for many years, and even though I enjoyed my jobs, I was not at true peace until I stayed home. My husband saw that I was so much more at peace and lived more satisfied and in joy when I was home. He agreed I needed to stay home, and we worked that out.

I also agree with you about letting go, and forgiving. Recently I realized that after the LORD's Pray in Matt 6:14-15, the next two verses were about forgiving if you want to be forgiven. It was a powerful revelation to me. So, I've decided to forgive someone that hurt me, and I don't understand. I don't have to be their best friend, but I need to forgive them from my heart.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the little pies recipe. Lovely and easy to make. Evelyn.

Winifred said...

Those little pies look delicious & so sweet no wonder the grandbairns love them. The pie tin looks a really good idea, never seen that type before so I'll look out for one.

It's so hard to believe that a quarter of the year is almost over Jennifer. Talk about time flying!

Mary-Louise Parker said...


Rajani Rehana said...

Beautiful blog