Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Vacation Days

My daughter has taken three vacation days off from work, this week (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) because Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday are holidays.   With the two weekends at either end, she will have nine days to rest and relax.  We are not planning to go anywhere; we will relax at home and enjoy a week of relaxing, crafting, and cooking, of course!

This is how the tea cup candles looked, on Sunday, after the wax had hardened, overnight:  

Tea Cup Candles

As you can see, there were deep wells near the middles of the tea cups.  But, that is just how the wax hardens.  Today (Monday), we melted another leftover pillar candle and poured another layer of melted wax over the hardened wax in the tea cups to fill in the gaps and left them to set:

Tea Cup Candles
This time, there were a few bumps on the surface (they are not air bubbles; it's just how the wax hardened), but, we are OK with that.  Daughter cut off the excess wicks (we will try to use them for some shallower candles).  The tea cup candles will be set aside until they are needed around Christmas or New Year.

Daughter harvested the first leaves from the winter garden, today:

Purple Mizuna and Purple Japanese Mustard Greens

She used some of them in this noodle dish she made for our lunch:

Tofu Shirataki Noodles with Shrimp and Greens

The rest was sauteed with spices to make a Korean side dish called namul, but, she didn't take a photo of that.

I spent Sunday afternoon working on a Christmas gifts project of my own (no photos to show, yet).  I had made more tuna salad for brunch and daughter heated some frozen burritos around tea time.  We weren't that hungry for dinner, but, I made a light snack, with the last of the wonton wrappers and some leftover ground beef curry:

Baked Wonton Cups with Ground Beef Curry  and Chutney

It was a bit of an experiment.  But, I lined mini muffin cups with the wonton wrappers, added a spoonful of the ground beef curry to them, and baked them at 350F for about 12 minutes.  I think the oven was probably too high; 325F or, even 300F would have been better.  But, the tops of the wonton wrappers turned out nice and crisp.  Daughter had hers topped with a bit of zucchini chutney (top photo).  I preferred mine with a squirt of tomato ketchup:

Baked Wonton Cups with Ground Beef Curry and Ketchup

Today, I worked a bit more on the Christmas gifts I'm making, took the trash cans to the curb to be picked up tomorrow, chatted with neighbor T and friend R, and cooked dinner:

Roast Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Salad

Yes, I roasted the Thanksgiving turkey, today, instead of waiting until Thursday!  I didn't have room for the uncooked turkey in the freezer, so I had kept it in the fridge, intending to cook it once it had thawed.  I thought it might have thawed by the weekend, but, when I checked it on  the weekend, it was still quite frozen!  It had thawed nicely by Monday afternoon, although there was still a bit of ice around the cavity.  This turkey came with its own gravy packet in a pouch, inserted in its cavity!  How convenient!  The instructions said to mix the contents of the packet with 1 1/4 cups of water, but, I used the broth from boiling the neck and giblets, instead.  I don't like stuffing, so, I didn't stuff the turkey.  Instead, I seasoned it lightly, inserted a cut up lemon in the cavity, and roasted it, at 325F for almost 3 hours.  I made mashed potatoes and the gravy, and served it with pre-mixed salad.

I kept some of the cooked turkey in the fridge for meals this week.  The rest is packaged and frozen, for future meals, along with the bones and pan drippings to be made into broth, later.  

So, what are you going to have for Thanksgiving, Bless, if you've already cooked the turkey?  Daughter would like salmon, so that's what we'll make for Thanksgiving.  I have a package of salmon in the freezer.  

Today, I am grateful for:
- Time spent crafting
- Garden harvests
- A working oven and other appliances
- A full freezer
- The warm weather (in the low 80sF, Sunday and Monday)

Today's joyful activity was making holiday gifts.

How was your day?  What are your plans for the week?


  1. I feel very hungry after reading this post ... you've had a lovely selection of foods. I do like the look of the noodle dish so will be attempting something similar once I've been shopping.

    I'm focusing on piano practice today, before my lesson tomorrow. I'm trying to increase the tempo without ruining accuracy of notes - at the moment they both sound like funeral marches instead of dances! In between bouts of practice I plan to cuddle up under a blanket and read. It's only 4C at the moment and I'm feeling really chilled after my walk.

    1. Oops! Sorry, Eileen! Didn't mean to make you feel hungry! :D According to my daughter, shirataki noodles, which are made with a type of non-wheat flour, are very low calorie. :)

      Sounds like you have your day nicely planned. I had to smile at your "funeral marches instead of dances"! That's how I play, too! :D 4C is very cold! We are at 73F, today (22C?). Wish I could send you some of that warmth. :)

  2. I like your Wonton.cup experiment, I'm sure you will make them again. I love stuffing but I am thinking to cook it separately and do as you did with a cut up lemon inside the turkey. But it won't be this week, we had our Thanksgiving back in October and our son cooked the dinner. Our next turkey will be at Christmas!

    1. They turned out well. Daughter and I both thought they'd make great appetizers/snacks for parties, too. I think I stuffed a turkey only once - it was a cornbread stuffing that I made from scratch, baking my own cornbread and making my own stock, etc. Afterwards, I wished I had just kept the cornbread to go as a side dish! :D Maybe I'd like a rice stuffing, better. :) I remember you saying your son prepared the Thanksgiving turkey, but, Christmas is not that far away!

  3. My brother-in-law is serving salmon instead of turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner, too. :)

    1. Salmon is a treat at our house! My daughter loves it and these days, it has become so expensive, that it is really reserved for special occasions. :)

  4. The tea cup candles look really good now. I hope you and your daughter enjoy your time spent together on her vacation days. Your turkey meal looks nice. We will be eating out tomorrow and I have already decided I will have the turkey mains with pavlova for dessert.

    1. Thank you, Eileen; time spent together is very precious. I'm going to miss her when she goes back up north (she lives in Berkeley, near San Francisco, which is about 400 miles from where I am) once her office opens for staff to work in person. Enjoy your meal out, tomorrow; that pavlova for dessert sounds delicious! :)

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  6. When I first saw your little curry bites, they looked as if they were sweet with the ketchup being cherries. lol
    That was a good idea to use up the wrappers.

    The tea cup candles came out very pretty and will be a nice gift to have on hand for the holidays.

    Your daughter has managed a nice block of vacation time using just a few of her vacation days.

    1. LOL, I do think the wonton wrappers will make a nice cup for something sweet, too, with a little powdered sugar dusted on the top! A friend of mine said she would fill the wrappers with vegetables. :)

      The tea cup candles turned out nicely, didn't they?

      Yes; Thanksgiving week is one of the few times when one can take 3 days of time off and get the whole week! :) I used to do the same when I was working! I'd book that week off, months in advance!


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