|Rain Drops on a Double Colored Rose|
It rained all Monday morning! According to what I read about the bacterial leaf spots on the peach tree, it apparently spreads from leaf to leaf on drops of water and is prevalent during wet winters and springs! My daughter suggested I rigged up an umbrella over the peach tree to protect it from the rain, but, I wasn't able to do so! LOL! Now that would have been a picture worth a thousand words, would it? The rain ceased in the afternoon and we had nice sunshine; hopefully, the peach tree leaves dried up nicely without too much spreading of the leaf spot bacteria!
I slept in on Monday morning and finally got a good 8 hours of sleep after a long time! As a result, I didn't get a headache or an eye ache all day (lately, I've been experiencing some eye strain towards the end of the day - too much screen time on the computer, no doubt!)
I found a lovely surprise in the mail, yesterday:
|Three No. 3 Knitting Needles!|
A friend had read in one of the responses to comments on my blog that I had knitted the socks with three #3 needles and one #4 needle because I only had three of the #3 needles. She sent me these three #3 needles that she had, which she received free with the purchase of some yarn (apparently, she, too, had lost the fourth one!). They are about four inches in length and are the cutest little needles I've ever seen! The shortest needles I've had in my collection, prior to this, are 7 inches long! These needles will be a pleasure to use when I am working on the heel and the foot part of the socks. The longer needles I currently use make it awkward to knit when there are only a few stitches to work on. Thank you! (You know who you are!)
Later in the afternoon/early evening, I did some baking:
|Curry Puffs with Chicken and Potato Filling|
I had shredded and cooked the rest of the roast chicken breast, the other night, with onions, curry powder and a little chili powder and turned it into a curried version of shredded chicken. On Monday, I boiled and mashed three potatoes and added them to the curried shredded chicken, with a few more spices, salt, minced green chilies, and lemon juice to make a tasty filling for frozen puff pastry triangles. The puff pastry came in four inch squares; I cut each in half, diagonally, to make two triangles. I placed a heaping table spoon of filling on each triangle which was then folded over and sealed by pressing along the edges with the tines of a fork. I brushed the tops of the pastry with some milk and baked them at 350F for about 20 minutes or so. I didn't time the duration of the baking, but, checked on them every now and then and took them out when they were puffed and golden. I had enough filling for 32 curry puffs! As I mentioned to one of my friends, no one will believe just how far I was able to extend that one chicken breast half! LOL!
Then, it was my turn to spread some blessings! I took six of the curry puffs to neighbor S. I called her, first, and asked if her daughter could come to their gate and I handed over the dish to her daughter. We both had our fabric face masks on and I think it was safe enough. S stood on the door step and thanked me. She was very pleased with the pastries and called me back, later, to say her husband and daughters enjoyed them. They make a similar pastry known as borek (or byorek), which has a salty cheese filling, so she told me that I made borek with a chicken and potato filling! LOL.
I took another six of the pastries over to cousin P, who lives across the street, a couple of doors down from me. Again, I called her and asked her to meet me near the gate. She didn't have a mask on, but, I had my mask on. I left the container on top of the wall and stepped back while she took them from the wall. She thanked me for the pastries and I hurried back home.
After that, I took six more pastries and part of the soup that S had given me (I told S that I was sharing the soup with a friend), along with a few sprigs of curry leaves, over to friend R. Friend R had told me, the previous evening, that she doesn't have much of an appetite, she's eating only because she knows she needs to, etc. That sort of concerned me, but, I thought it was probably because she was tired of eating what she cooked (we all know that she does not like to cook!). I had placed the food in a bag in the trunk of my car and R took them from the trunk, so we didn't have any physical contact. She called me later in the evening to say she immediately ate one of the pastries (they were still warm from the oven) and was heating up the soup for her dinner! I'm glad she enjoyed them.
I, too, ate some of the pastries for my dinner, last night, and some for my brunch, today! There are enough left for another couple of meals during this week.
Later in the night, it started to get cold and, instead of turning on the heater, I decided to do a little more baking! There was one last banana that had got a little too ripe for my liking and I was determined not to let it go to waste!
|Banana Nut Muffins|
I baked a batch of banana nut muffins, with the one banana and a handful of walnuts from the freezer. My recipe said to bake them at 400F for 20-25 minutes. They were done in 15 minutes, however, but, I turned off the oven and left them in the oven for another 5 minutes and that was a mistake, as the bottoms got a bit burned! I had been planning to take some of these to friend S, but, I can't give her burned muffins! I will keep these for myself (I just cut the burned bottoms off and they are fine) and bake something else for friend S.
Yesterday, daughter found out that her salary will be frozen, next fiscal year. But, we have a lot to be grateful for - at least she still has a job, she doesn't have to go on furlough, and it is not a pay cut. Her rent will increase as of July while her salary remains stagnant, but, she is careful with her spending and will still be able to manage.
I remember back in 2008, when I had to go on furlough and had a 20% cut in pay! I reworked my budget and slashed discretionary spending down to a minimum. Not that easy to do when one was already fairly frugal and there weren't any extras like eating out, hair cuts and manicures, etc., to cut out of the budget! There were also talks of layoffs and we all had to fill out a survey about our years of service to determine seniority, etc. As result, I also made two other budgets, based on state minimum wage and federal minimum wage (lower than state minimum wage and our governor at the time was talking about doing away with the state minimum wage and adopted the federal minimum wage, instead) to prepare for being laid off and having to accept a minimum wage job. I remember realizing that, even if I were to slash all my spending to the absolute bare minimum, given that I still had a mortgage to pay, I would have had to have two full time minimum wage jobs to make ends meet! Even if I gave up my house and rented an apartment, my rent would have been higher than what my mortgage was at the time, so that was not a good option. Thank goodness that they were only exercises on paper!
On Monday, I was grateful for:
- Rain to water the garden
- The gift of knitting needles from a friend
- Being able to make the curry puffs and share them with family and friends
- Daughter still has a job and doesn't have a pay cut
- The car started without any problems
My joyful activities on Monday included receiving a gift in the mail, baking, and sharing the baked goods!
I didn't do anything on Monday's To Do List, other than taking the trash cans to the curb and making the curry puffs! I also washed what felt like a mountain of dishes, both before and after I baked! LOL.
|Dancer is ready for a nap!|