I haven't posted in awhile and there are a few updates and a short announcement.
Today was overcast and it rained a bit late in the day. It is supposed to rain a bit for several days this week. Not much rain but I hope it all adds up to enough to give the garden a good watering.
Sunday late evenings after dinner seem to be baking days for me, at least when it isn't hot outside.
I made date squares for the very first time as I had a small package of dates I've been wanting to use. I never used to like date squares but these days I don't mind them. I also made a batch of bannock bread to use up some milk which had passed it best by date. I should have warmed the milk a bit first because it made the dough very cold. In the end though it tasted quite fine and took the edge off the hunger I was feeling despite having eaten dinner (marinated chicken, steamed rice and green salad).
The photo of the date squares isn't very good but oh my the square I had was very delicious. It must be all that sugar and butter. I know I won't be making these on a regular basis due to these two ingredients. I'll be wrapping some up in wrapping paper and tin foil to take to a friend for her family. If I have another one or two that will be plenty and I will have saved myself from spending so much money on buying date squares.
I calculated that this small pan of squares would have cost at least $18 Canadian if purchased in the supermarket here which usually sells 3-4 squares to a package. If purchased in individual squares at the cafe, the 12 squares would have cost 2 or 3x that.
I didn't calculate the cost of making the squares since I didn't go out and purchase anything to bake them so I'm guesstimating the approximate cost of ingredients (only the amounts used and not the amount for the package of each item): flour ($1), sugar (25 cents), butter (60 cents), dates ($3), oatmeal (75 cents and shredded coconut (40 cents) for a grand total of $6.00 (Canadian). I used a recipe called Newfoundland Date Squares which you can find here.
I also made bannock bread. Once it is baked and cooled, I pack it away otherwise it gets dried out. Bannock bread like this must be eaten within a day or two. It's best with butter, jam or cheese (Cheese Whiz is good too). I don't really follow a recipe. I make it often so it is by "feel" but here is a recipe to something similar. I make it in the slab but once I put the slab on a baking sheet I cut the dough into squares with a sharp knife and prick it. When it comes out of the oven it is already portioned out. I remember some ladies used to make a huge slab every day for their families rather than baked loaves. They didn't bother to cut it before baking. Everyone just tore pieces off at the dining room table or they would slice it into squares after baked and cooled.
The root canal on one tooth was finished and I completed the antibiotics. It seemed like the tooth was quite badly infected and I know when they cleaned out the temporary cotton before finalizing the root canal there was still a lot of pain. They gave me extra freezing and they put some liquid antibacterial medicine which went down my throat and was burning. Right now there doesn't seem to be any real pain which is a relief as there had been slight pain for several days. I guess the tooth and gums needed time to heal. Anyway long story short is that I had to pay out of pocket due to the work needing to be done on emergency basis. Now I am hoping the insurance will reimburse me for most of the work. In the meantime I'm waiting for pre-approval for another major bit of tooth work. Even if they approve it I already know they won't cover much of it because my annual limit is almost exceeded with a bit of cleaning and the root canal.
Believe it or not I know some ladies that want to get dentures just to avoid pain and problems and future expense but I'm not at that point. My late mom had so many problems with partial dentures and if that were to happen to me it really isn't avoiding any future issues at all.
In Kenya, Ernest is slowly recovering at home. He will be in recovery mode for quite some time yet. I am still trying to raise the last $60 Canadian dollars or so to clear the hospital bill. I thank anyone reading this who has prayed for this need to be met, shared it on social media or given directly. You are all much appreciated and you know who you are. May God bless you also in your time of need.
Another friend is still in hospital about 3 hours from her home. She has been there for going on 3 months. I honestly don't know if she will improve as she has been in and out of ICU a few times but we continue to pray for her and I continue to try and meet the medical costs and to encourage her family as best I can.
I am letting one of my sponsored boys go. He is my most recently sponsored boy who lives in Uganda. His name is Kevin and I'm delighted to learn that his community will be graduating. I sponsor him through Food for the Hungry and the organization works intensively with communities for a10 year period during which time the community learns to be self sufficient. It will be an awesome time of celebration soon not just for Kevin and his family but also for the rest of the community they live in.
The other boys I sponsor in Kenya and Ethiopia are doing well. John will turn 16 years old this month and is getting very close to graduating from the program. He will be finished in 2 years and then he will be out of the program and I will be unable to communicate with him further but I pray for and have hope and trust in his future. The other two boys, Ian from Kenya and Wondimu from Ethiopia are still several years away from finishing the program. I sponsor these three boys through Compassion International's Canadian office and have very much enjoyed working through this organization to help them.