Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday (P-day) April 18th

Our Blantyre missionaries (minus the Zone leaders)
We had a good weekend watching conference and there was a good turnout here in Blantyre.  They had all four branches meet together and Sunday morning was the best attended with 186.
Today we headed off early to Immigration to get an Elder's visa extended for another 30 days.  It was no problem and there was no one in line so we made a quick trip of it.  It seems that it pays to go early.   After that we made the rounds to each of the Elders and Sisters flats to check and see if they are clean and when they are, then they get their allotment for two weeks.  They were in pretty good shape, for the most part. However in one of  the Elder's flats Jim (Elder Bullock) pulled out the fridge and WHOA - cockroaches ran in every direction!!!!  The look on the young missionary's face was priceless. He got the message pretty fast.  He got out the pest spray and then got the floor swept and scrubbed - sprayed some more and put the fridge back.   The Elders are from Africa and one told me that he only had sisters and they always did the cleaning and he had never learned, until now.   The other thought it was all pretty funny and said that when he gets married he will do what Elder Bullock did and pull out the fridge and stove and tell his wife if it needs to be cleaned.  I told him that he then has to help her clean it and he said he would. 
The Zone leaders are off to Lilongwe for a couple of days so they weren't around to take the group grocery shopping.  They rode the combies (mini buses that are public transport) and we ran into them at Shoprite and gave them all a ride home with their purchases.  It was a tight squeeze with some riding in the back.   They then came to our place to watch a movie for the P-day activity.  We didn't get all the way through it so will finish another time.  We looked for hotdogs but couldn't find any so bought some beef sausages (that cooked down to almost nothing) and some sort of a chicken dog that was mostly okay.  I had lots of bread (they love their bread) and some potato chips that didn't really seem like potato chips.  They were happy with it and that is what counts. Mostly they are just happy to get fed.   We had 7 Elders and 2 sisters here.    They have all gone back to work in their areas now (except the sisters who are not to be out after dark).
We got our financial reports sent off to South Africa this morning and am glad to have that done.  I will see if I did it all right soon enough.  The petty cash balanced so that is a good thing! :)  We go through about $20,000 USD or more a month here so I have to keep close track. We can write cheques for some things so that helps.   That doesn't even compare with the amount that the mission financial person goes through in Harare in a month and it used to all be done in cash. 
We did survive our first week alone and things haven't fallen apart yet. 
We don't have a housekeeper here so we do that ourselves, as well as our laundry.  With only us we don't make much mess.  I guess if we end up with extra company etc. I can get someone to come and help if needs be. 
Davey, our gardener, went to a funeral for a couple of days and told us that when he came back his ladder had been moved.  We did some looking around and we did notice that the attic hatch in the carport was open (it was open before too) and thought we should check it out.  Jim got up and looked in there and saw a pile towards the back.  We sent Davey up to check it out and he threw down some old rags/clothes and an old blanket -- SO, at some point someone must have been sleeping up there (perhaps when the house was being buil)t.  It is a new house.   When he went up there I said that I was not going to stand underneath in case he fell through -- I should never have said that because he did put his foot through but luckily never fell.  He broke the "drywall" -- not really drywall as we know it!  As we were surveying the damage the District President, President Chinyamba, drove in and we sort of patched things up.  We left to go somewhere and when we returned President Chinyamba had gone and got a new board and brought someone with him to help put it up.  With Jim and Davey's help they got it nailed into place and then even painted it so now it looks good again.  We did pay for the board and a little labor.  Needless to say, President Chinyamba is a good man!!!!
Someone is just here with a contract to sign to have our guard dog and dog handler for another month.   We are still trying to get prices on a security system -- we have one so far.   
Tomorrow we are going with Pres. Chinyamba to compare some prices on office furniture for the new branches.   
Oh, I have a question for anyone who can help me.  On the 28th I am doing the dinner for Zone conference (about 22 people).  I am thinking that I will do enchaladas.  I can make my own tortillas using Cindy's recipe.  I can do ground beef ones but I think I would prefer to do chicken but if I do chicken my dilema will be the sauce.  There is no such thing here as "Cream of chicken soup" and the sour cream is not the same (if it can even be found).   There is a canned mushroom sauce but it is about $3.50 a can.   So -- how can I make a sauce??????  Any suggestions??    I could do a white sauce and use some chicken broth or????????  I can get nice cheap avocados here to make some guacamole to go with them.    We are having SLC visitors at Zone conference (Elder Pearson and his wife).  He is a 'Seventy'.
Well it is time to go read my book (my Kindle, which I am loving!)   Thanks Mike and Janeal for the cover for it - I am enjoying having that too.  It works great!!!
Love to all,  Elder & Sister Bullock

1 comment:

Lynn said...

How to make your own Cream of condensed soups -- any flavor:


2T butter
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup stock(low sodium broth can probably be used)--veggie or chicken is usually best, I think
1/2 cup milk (lowfat is okay)
salt and pepper
***1/4 cup of whatever your "of" is needed to be...(ie mushroom, celery, chicken, onion, potato, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) finely chopped***

How to make it:

In small saucepan, put butter and the "of" ingredient and cook until soft, not just tender. (if using chicken, just make sure it's cooked through)
Add flour and stir together. It will be thick and gooey, and that's okay.
Slowly add stock while stirring or whisking to avoid lumps.
Bring to a boil and cook a few minutes until thickened. (if seems too thick, you can add a tsp or so more broth, just don't forget, you've still got milk to add :)
Add milk and salt and pepper and stir until combined and thick. Taste to know your seasonings prior to using it in a recipe so you can adjust salt and pepper as needed.

***remember, you can combine ingredients to make blend, or add garlic, etc, to make a cream of mushroom with garlic, etc. Just play around and make it to suit your needs and taste!**

PS Please note, this is a CONDENSED version of the's meant to be thick and not intended to eat straight! ;) Great for casseroles or whatever recipe calls for condensed soups. Hope this helps!