Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The First Ten Days of the Year

The new year is beginning with a flurry of book-buying for my former elementary school.  I will have donated about six hundred books by the end of this month so am very much on-track with my goal of donating a thousand by my fortieth birthday in May.  "Did you know that all media's now half-off on Sundays?" the thrift shop cashier asked me last week as she rang up my stack of books.  I did not, and the new prices will make my goal even easier to reach this spring.  'Fifteen like-new hardcover books last week for practically nothing--like a wink from the universe.    I also did not know that Mary Poppins dolls existed--!--and lo and behold, this one, complete with carpetbag and umbrella, will soon be flying off to the school with the related books. 

Mom's January 4th birthday proved tricky to get a package out in time for since there was no mail here January 2nd for the New Year's postal holiday and I didn't want to mail it the Saturday before and have it--with cookies inside--sit in a post office or postal truck over the three-day weekend.  With a few little wrapped gifts nestling them inside the box, gluten-free nut roll cookies ended up being Mom's birthday treat this year.  I used a bag of Bob's Red Mill-brand gluten-free pie crust mix and was completely charmed by the packaging.  This would make a darling print.  And it's pink! 
My original plan had been to make rugelach, but the dough was too sticky to roll properly and I hadn't remembered to leave myself enough of the flour for that purpose, so after a messy attempt at the rugelach, I ended up making a dozen nut roll cookies for Mom instead.  Had I put a bit more thought into my Plan B, I'd have made a tidier thumbprint cookie with the nut filling so they would have looked prettier.  Next time.  These turned out, though, with the nut-mixture mixed right into and around the dough, and they tasted good.  
The nut-mixture was about 7 oz. of walnut-meal, maybe 3/4 cup whole milk, a cup or so of sugar, an egg, and most of a stick of butter--cooked until boiling, then just kind of rolled into the pie crust-cookie dough.  Next time I make these, I'll add some of the walnut-meal to the flour so there will be more nut-flavor throughout. 
I baked them early in the morning on January 3rd--the day before Mom's birthday, so. . .cutting it close--practically ran to the post office with the package as soon as I'd finished wrapping it all, and was told that it likely wouldn't reach her until the day after her birthday.  Bah! to postal holidays!  And no, it did not arrive in my parents' morning mail delivery on Mom's birthday, which made me sad.  (She did not care--"Getting mail tomorrow will just extend my birthday, Vally!"--but I very much did.)  We talked just a few minutes that afternoon since she and Dad were on their way out dinner and a movie.  She called me before I left for work the next night to let me know that just as they'd been leaving for dinner, a postal van had pulled up to drop off her package--an unprecedented second mail delivery in a single day for them--so she had received it on her birthday, after all.  ♥  And yes, she loved the cookies.  :)
As the temperature outside has bounced from a painful 8° one day to now-raining-and-near-40° a few days later, I have mostly been a homebody, contentedly sorting books and puttering around the apartment, save for walks to and from work, the thrift shop, and the post office.  'A peaceful and most satisfying first ten days of the year. 


Anonymous said...

Yup, an oil drip heart!!! You again have encouraged me to get off my duff and send a birthday card to a very dear friend so it will get there by Friday...her birthday...thank you Val!!! I love your goal for donating a thousand books to your old elementary school....I have to do something similar...imagine if we were all thinking like you...what a wonderful world it would be....;-)....have a delicious rest of January!!!diana

La Table De Nana said...

You are such a sweet daughter,friend ,philanthropist.
I am wondering if you have Facebook ?
It is not unusual to ask for donations..and many are received..

even help..recommendations..

I bet..you could amass the rest..w/ help ..even with not knowing you..from Facebook.
That is what I like about FB..granted.. I do not have an account..and visit through my daughters..but I think it could work.

Think about it:)

Lovely daughter you are..
Our baby turns 40 in Feb.

Val said...

Thank you both--I have so much with the books and character toys, it is my pleasure.

I've never joined Facebook, Monique, no--am not interested. I know the schools in my district often post projects needing fundraising-help on donorschoose.org, and a number of people in the community usually donate that way.

(And yes, it seems like a number of my readers have daughters turning forty this year. How funny. :) )

Blondie's Journal said...

You are so very generous! Now if you could have some pleasant weather!

Jane x

Jenny Pesavento said...

how wonderful of you to be donating so many books to your old school Val! what a great thing to do. the cookies for your mom look yummy, and i love how you included the birthday candle! you are a wonderful daughter and person. i so enjoy your posts :)

Val said...

Thank you, Jane and Jenny. :)

Jenny, the candle idea was originally Mom's. She taped one to a Tastycake in a package for me one year. Ha! It is a cute idea. :)