Monday, February 20, 2017

Not So Sunny Sunday

Well, I finally went to sleep at 5:00 a.m., on Sunday morning and slept till 10:00 a.m.  I woke up once around 8:30 a.m., but went back to sleep.  It had rained earlier in the morning, before I woke up.  The ground was all wet.  It remained cloudy and grey although the rain had ceased and the sun tried to shine through the clouds.

I had a quiet, relaxed morning, reading blogs, commenting, responding to comments left on mine, etc.  Brunch was some of the leftovers that were sent home with me from last night's memorial dinner:  it is a type of homemade rice flour noodles, we call "indiappa" which is also known as "string hoppers" in English.

Indiappa/String Hoppers with Shrimp Curry and Sambols

To make the string hoppers, rice flour is mixed with warm water and salt to make a soft dough which is then pressed through a wooden mold (although there are metal ones, as well, now) that has a disc with holes at the bottom.  As the mold is pressed down, the dough comes out in strands and are mounded on small round woven wicker mats, about 3-inches in diameter (although, these days, there are plastic mats, as well).  Once the mounds of dough strands are about 1/2 inch high, the strands of dough are cut off and another string hopper is made on a different mat.  The mats with the strands of dough are then steamed until cooked (no longer sticky and pasty); it takes about 5* minutes or so for them to steam.  They are then removed from the mats and served with curries and spicy relishes we call "sambols".  On the plate above, I have some coconut sambol (light orange to the left) and onion sambol (dark brown on the top right).  A gravy made with coconut milk, turmeric, onions, and spices, called "kiri hodi" or milk gravy, has been poured over the string hoppers to moisten them.  String hoppers are often eaten for breakfast and as dinner; but rarely as lunch.  I, however, will eat them at any time, because I like them.

In the late afternoon/early evening, I attended the memorial mass for my friend.  I was able to meet one of my friends at the church, that I hadn't seen since before Christmas.  She is my late friend's niece and her daughters are friends with my daughter; it was nice to see her and one of her daughters, today.

After the service was over, I offered a ride home to another one of my friends who was there.  Her husband had dropped her and their daughter off at church and gone back home; my offer of a ride home meant she didn't have to call him to come and pick her up.  She invited me in and gave me soup and a plate of dinner to bring home with me!

It started to rain just as I left my friend's home and has been raining ever since.  But not as strongly as it did on Friday.

After I came home, I had a cup of tea, washed the dishes, scrubbed the kitchen sink and dish drainer, and watered the indoor plants.  I had planned to tidy my bedroom today, but I didn't; I will do it tomorrow.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being able to attend my friend's memorial mass
- Meeting up with more friends
- My friend giving me dinner to bring home
- More rain for the garden (but not too much!)
- Video chatting with my daughter and having a really nice discussion about various things.

Sunday's To Do List:
- Sleep in!  (It is 4:20 a.m. as I type this; prednisone keeps me awake!) - DONE; till 10:00 a.m.
- Paperwork/Filing - DID SOME
- Tidy my bedroom - Monday
- Attend Memorial Mass (look up directions to church) - DONE
- Water the indoor plants - DONE
- Do the dishes - DONE; Scrubbed the sink and dish drainer, too
- Clean the litter box - Will do after I post this
- Do a load of laundry - Monday
 - Rest! - DONE

Monday is a holiday, so I have the day off from work.  I am not planning to do too much - just a bit of grocery shopping and some housework.  However, I might go to the fabric store for more elastic!  I can't adjust any more waist bands until I buy some wide elastic.

Monday's To Do List:
- Tidy the bedroom
- Do a load of laundry
- Try to finish the paperwork and filing
- Grocery shopping
- Shop for elastic?
- Clean out the fridge
- Empty the trash bins
- Take the trash cans to the curb

Today's spending was a donation to the church.  

How was your Sunday?  What have you planned for Monday?  Are you having a holiday and a day off from work, too, or is it a regular work day for you?

* edited to change string hopper steaming time to 5 minutes, not 15!


  1. Is is easy to buy indiappa in the stores or do you usually just make them? They sound simple but like a tasty base for things.

    1. One can buy frozen indiappa in the Sri Lankan stores (a box of 8 cost about $3.99 the last time I bought some) and there are some people who will make them for you for a fee (the going price these days seems to be about $.25-$.35 each). Some others will make them at home. My mother used to make them at home and I have all her equipment, but I have a difficult time pressing the mixture through the mold! Just don't have the hand strength to squeeze it! I think, those who make it for sale use a different type of mold with a lever to press out the dough.

      String hoppers are rather bland in and of themselves. But they are lovely with curries and, sometimes, one adds a sweet filling of grated coconut cooked with palm treacle before steaming. They are served for breakfast or afternoon tea.

  2. Glad you got to have a relaxing day and were able to attend the memorial for your friend

    1. Thank you, Sharon. It was a good way to spend a Sunday. :)

  3. I'm sorry that one of your friends has passed, Bless, but I'm glad that you were able to connect with some friends at her memorial. And I'm glad your rain is at least slowing down. Been hearing news reports about the rains out your way and it sounds kind of scary. The only difference the holiday will make here, is that we won't get our mail, which is usually just junk mail anyhow. Hope today will be a sunny one for you!


    1. Thank you, Jane. She was one of those true friends who stood by me when times were rough. Yes, the rain seems to be slowing down; it's a bit hard to cope when we get more than a year's worth of rain in a couple of months! Hope you enjoy your junk mail free holiday! :D

  4. My goodness that prednisone has some terrible side effects. Will you be off it soon? What does your doctor say about a substitute for prednisone?

    You are truly blessed by a kind and loving circle of friends.

    Monday is just a normal day for me but it is a glorious day and once again I have laundry on the line.


    1. Hi Sandy, yes, the prednisone can have some awful side effects, insomnia, increased appetite, and raised blood sugar being just some of the milder ones! It's a case of the good outweighing the bad, I guess. I finished this particular course, yesterday (I've been on it a couple of times before this, too, for the same inflammation). The doctor will determine if I need further treatment when I go for my follow-up appointment on the 27th.

      I am, indeed, blessed when it comes to friends. So grateful for each and every one of them. Some of them are closer than family, when it comes to being there for me.

      Sounds like you are having a lovely day. I am glad you are having nice weather and able to hang your laundry on the line. :) A bit too cloudy for that, here, still with a chance of rain according to the forecast.

      Have a blessed day and a good start to your week, Sandy.

  5. The string hoppers look and sound really interesting and yummy.

    I'm impressed with all you got done after being awake so long the previous night. When I have a similar night, I struggle for days to get back on track with my schedule and motivation.

    Sadly, we are not off work or school today. Its the first time in years that I've not had this weekend off. Although, I don't especially feel like dwelling on the American presidency today, so...I guess it all works out. ;)

    1. Thank you, Laura. I am used to functioning on very little sleep (in general, 5 hrs. is plenty for me), but I really do need to get back to a more regular schedule!

      I'm sorry you have work, classes, and tests, too, today. Hope you'll do well in your tests.

      I try to focus on the positives of the situation, although, sometimes, it takes the form of "gallows humor". ;)

  6. Glad you had a nice Sunday and hope today is a fun off day for you. Monday is just another regular day for me, but Tuesday we leave for a trip to see Son3. So I guess Monday is a regular get ready for a trip kind of day here!

    1. Thank you, Anne. I hope you have a good "trip preparation" day and a safe journey to see your son. Have a lovely visit and safe travels back home, afterwards.

  7. I love that you share so much about your culture and the foods that are such a special part of it. I'm enjoying learning about it.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. I left the country of my birth when I was 17 and have been back only for a few infrequent visits; the last time was 27 years ago. But my roots are very much in that culture. :)

  8. Ah! Now I see the string hoppers! I remember you mentioned these in connection with the mould you showed as part of Eileen's "Tools" challenge!

    1. Yes! These are the string hoppers one would make with that mould. :) You've a good memory!


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