Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Tuesday: More Almsgiving Preparations

My daughter had been unable to sleep, last night, after waking up from what turned out to be a nap!  She had gone to sleep around 10:30 p.m., but, woke up a couple of hours later and couldn't fall asleep.  So, she tidied the dining area and the family room; everything was nice and tidy when I woke up!  Later, in the afternoon, she took another nap and afterwards, she cooked the rest of the almsgiving food that could be prepared ahead of time and helped me tidy my bedroom!  She is such a help to me!  

In the meantime, I accomplished all the items that I had on my to do list for today:

- Confirm the date with the monks - DONE
- Clean the rest of the house (daughter will help) - DONE
- Take down the dishes used only for almsgivings and wash them - DONE
- Take out serving dishes, basins used for washing hands, serving spoons, etc. - DONE
- Set out items needed for the transfer of merit: teapot, cup, and basin; fill teapot with water - DONE
- Set out new bottle of water for blessing; bowl to catch drips when blessed water is poured out - DONE
- Set out items for washing hands: fresh cake of soap, hand towels, jugs & basins - DONE

I vacuumed the house (except the bed rooms), brought the trash cans in, washed the front door, the front door steps, and the walkway, and rinsed all the plates and dishes, etc. that will be used, tomorrow.  In addition to the usual soap, etc., that I keep ready for handwashing before and after the meal, I also kept out a new container of hand sanitizer, along with a stack of new disposable masks, at the entrance!  Definitely a sign of the times!  

In the evening, I called friend R to check on her.  I also texted M, since he will be coming to tend to the garden around the same time as the almsgiving will start, to let him know that I'll be occupied when he arrives; then, I wrote out the check for his payment and kept it ready to leave it for him, in the morning.

Daughter wrote out the almsgiving menu and posted it on the fridge door so we won't forget anything:

Beverages: water, fruit juice

Soup (she made a vegetable cream soup)

Rice (red rice and white rice) with assorted curries 
- Dhal (lentil) curry
- Kadala (sauteed spicy garbanzo beans)
- Bonchi thel dala (sauteed spicy green beans)
- Kale mallung (shredded kale cooked with grated coconut, turmeric, and spices)
- Sauteed purple mustard greens
- Zucchini chutney
- Cucumber/tomato/red onion salad with hard boiled eggs, halved

It's a mostly vegetarian meal, although we serve eggs.

Followed by:
- A variety of sweets (love cake, blueberry yogurt mini muffins, butter cookies, and meringue kisses - all made by daughter, and peppermint chocolates) 
- A variety of fruits (grapes, tangerines, berries - raspberries and black berries - apple slices, and pear slices)
- A compote of peaches from the garden and cranberries
- Yogurt with palm treacle

Today, I am grateful for:
- Daughter's help with the almsgiving preparations
- Sunny weather for washing the door and walkway, etc.
- Working appliances
- Getting the house cleaned and tidied
- Hand sanitizers, masks, and being vaccinated!

Today's joyful activity was preparing for the almsgiving.

How was your Tuesday?  What are your plans for Wednesday?


  1. What a beautiful menu, and such thoughtful preparation for your visitors. And how lovely to wake in the morning to find your daughter had cleared up the room, while you were asleep

    1. Thank you, Angela. The almsgiving went well and we were able to share plates of foods with friends, too. Waking up in the morning to find that the tidying fairy had visited was lovely! :D She hates to clean, but, she will put away and tidy up the place!

  2. Your menu sounds delicious and you are well organised for the almsgiving. Your daughter is a real treasure helping you so much.
    I have to catch up with the housework so nothing else planned for the next couple of days.

    1. Thank you, Eileen; the almsgiving went very smoothly and the monks (who have known my daughter from the day she was born) were very happy when I told them that she prepared the meal and helped me with everything.
      Housework is never ending, is it? I am now in the process of cleaning up afterwards! Laundry and dishes, etc. But, it is so satisfying when the housework is done!

  3. That food sounds amazing. I'm glad that your daughter is helping you. Hope it all goes well.

    1. Thank you, Lyssa. It went very well and the monks were pleased to see my daughter stepping up to prepare the food, etc. :)

  4. Sounds like the preparations are coming along well. I'm sure the monks will appreciate all of the work you and your daughter have done. I'm glad that you are able to keep up with the tradition this year.

    1. All the preparations paid off and the almsgiving went very smoothly. The monks were very pleased to hear that my daughter did most of the cooking - they've known her since the day she was born and mentioned how they've watched her grown and become the adult she is, today. They also noted that this year, the almsgiving was taking place at the beginning of the year, instead of at the end, and I said that maybe it is a new tradition. They seemed to approve! :)

  5. Wednesday is nutrition class and piano lesson, which thankfully went well. I felt I hadn't practiced enough but on the other hand I am making good progress on the Les Mis music so it's not all bad 😂

    I hope your almsgiving goes well. You've both definitely put the work in to prepare for it ... I feel tired just reading your preparations!

    1. Glad to hear that the piano lesson went well. I start mine, next Thursday! I will need to practice - a lot - before then!

      The almsgiving went very well, thank you. :) We are both rather tired, now, but, I get to rest, tomorrow. My daughter, on the other hand, has to work!

  6. How nice that the monks get to sample your Love Cake!
    I'm taking a break after lunch and staying too long on the laptop and I realize that I have a couple of tasks that have shifted on the list from one day to the next and really need to be done!

    1. The monks were more impressed by daughter's soup than with the love cake, I think! She made a vegetable soup adapting a recipe for Japanese cream stew and the monks were very intrigued by the taste and asked what kind of vegetables she used (Onions, carrots, potatoes, and Brussels sprouts which was the secret ingredient in it; the original recipe called for broccoli, I believe). They told her that she should open a restaurant and serve this soup! LOL.
      Oh, don't I have a whole bunch of those tasks that get shifted to another day and another! LOL. Right now, however, I'm concentrating my efforts on "erasing the evidence"! :)

  7. I hope your daughter gets a better night's sleep tonight though it was good of her to get up and be productive. Usually I just toss and turn. It sounds as though you've got a lot done today! Well done. It sounds like a lovely menu. Is there a recipe for the vegetable cream soup? It sounds delicious!

    1. Thank you, Sharon; her sleep schedule has turned topsy-turvy! It has been a couple of productive days. Too bad I can't sustain it! My daughter adapted a recipe she found online for Japanese Cream Stew to make the soup. The original recipe called for chicken and chicken broth; she omitted the chicken, used vegetable broth, and used vegetables that we had on hand (original recipe called for mushrooms, etc.) Basically, you simmer vegetables of your choice in the broth, make and add a bechamel sauce to it (she made hers with a white flour roux and milk; some recipes call for cream) and season to taste. If you do a search for Japanese Cream Stew (or White stew), you'll find more detailed recipes.

  8. What a nice surprise to wake up to a stealth tidying session from your daughter.
    She has been such a help. Reading through your responses to comments, I see the almsgiving went very well and her soup was the star!

    1. Tidying fairies do exist! They don't always clean, but, they do tidy and put things away! :) I couldn't have done without her help!


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