this morning i packaged up frances' latest norwegian shipment. i went in the basement to find a large enough cardboard box but they were all too small. i finally found one big enough in the guest bedroom closet. for some reason i thought it'd be cool to send them some marshmallow peeps as well (i don't think they have those in norway) so i went to rite aid to get some before continuing to market basket to buy some chicken pot pie making ingredients.

after taping up the box, weighing it, and printing out the mail label, i biked in the opposite direction to the porter square post office. the place was filled with boxes with labels like "clothes," "books," and "kitchen." apparently they all belonged to the tall and attractive tufts coed waiting in line with a handtruck pushing 2 additional boxes. fortunately there were 2 clerks working today because just to service the young woman was going to take a long time. i wonder what her story was? moving back home but in the middle of the semester? or maybe she graduated already? i felt sorry for her because at one point one of her heavy boxes was splitting apart and the clerk sort of yelled at her and told her to "mummify" the rest of her boxes with packaging tape. having a second clerk didn't making the line move any faster though; this other woman took more than 10 minutes to mail her 2 letters. i was already at the front but the line behind me got progressively longer. i overheard the murmurs of people behind me, saying how the coed should've gone to the UPS store instead, where at least the customer service was much nicer.

when it finally came to my turn, i simply just had to drop off the box since i already did the paperwork and paid for the postage. but when the clerk went to weigh the box, it was actually an ounce heavier. normally i add 2 ounces just to be safe, but i didn't this time. the clerk didn't say anything and accepted the package without any problems.

i went to true value to look for hyacinth bean seeds. i was up late last night trying to find a place online that sold them. a few seed companies carried them, but the cost of shipping was more than the price of the seeds. i looked on ebay, and there were some bargains, but the quality seemed suspect. then i searched on amazon, and saw a seed package that looked familiar, like maybe i'd seen it before. i searched the seed racks and was pretty much ready to give up when i saw the packets of hyacinth beans ($2.99). i also didn't know this, but there are no taxes on seeds (at least not at true value), maybe because they're considered food items.

i finally had time to do some self learning. i was checking out "python for beginners" on udemy.com. i didn't realize the instructors would be non-american speakers and the lecturer in the video presentation had a thick british accent that was a bit hard to follow. i'm treating this course more like a springboard; once i get the gist of the language, i'll probably jump around to topics i'm more interested in.

around 7:00 i stopped what i was doing to go make dinner. tonight was going to be chicken pot pie:


1 lb. shredded chicken breast (approx. 2 breasts, 2-1/2 cups)
1/3 cup butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 potato, cubed
1 can chicken broth
1/3 cup of flour
1/2 cup half & half
1/2 tsp salt
ground pepper
2 ready made pie crusts

i boiled the potato cubes in one pot (about 10 minutes) and the chicken breasts in another (10 minutes as well, checking to see that the insides were no longer pink). last time i added way too many ingredients and the pot pie was nearly bursting. i used just half a potato since it corresponded to a cup, but i really could've used the whole potato, there was enough room. besides, after boiling for so long, the potato sort of crumbled. after i took out the potato, i added the frozen vegetables into the pot to simmer a bit. i don't know if that's even necessary, considering the pot pie will bake in the 425° oven for 40 minutes. i made sure i added enough salt this time, and tasted the filling before pouring it into the pie crust. recipe called for milk but used half & half simply because i had some available.

the finished pot pie was okay, not as bland as last time. i didn't put tin foil around the edges, the crust never got scorched anyway. there was a gap in one of my crimps and some filling leaked out. the filling was a bit on the runny side, i should've reduced it some more before adding to the pie. but i think fresh pot pies are all like that; only when they become leftovers do they get that thick dense consistency.

i tried a jazz apple. sweet, tart, and has a distinct fragrance that lingers in the mouth.

so i'm still getting used to my new living room arrangement. one thing i don't like is now that the HDTV as moved, i can't see the TV from the kitchen like i used to. a centered television makes for better viewing from the relocated sofa though.