Monthly Archives: May 2015

Curried Chicken Salad . . . . and Joy!

There’s a robin outside my sunroom window, who for the last two weeks has been trying to build a nest.  In the corner of our vaulted ceiling to the right there’s an overhang that protects the window.  Underneath the overhang is a small ledge that’s 2 inches deep at best.  My feathered friend want’s desperately to place her nest in this corner and she’s persistent.

Every morning I come down the stairs for coffee and find her busy at work.  She gathers brush clippings from the bushes and flies them to the ledge.  She puts them down in just the right spot and walks all over them.  When she leaves to get more clippings they all fall to the ground.  Sometimes she picks the clippings back up and sometimes she gathers new, but the ledge is too small to hold them.  This went on for TWO WEEKS . . . . she just didn’t get it.

Now some of you may think what I’m about to tell you is crazy, but yes, I had PK build a larger ledge for her.  She so needed a break!  By the end of the next day the nest was done.  Completely finished . . . .  her perseverance paid off (sort of)!  I’m looking forward to flying lessons!

Mick had a violin recital Sunday . . . . always a bit of a “jittery” day.  There’s so much excitement to perform the song you’ve worked so hard to learn . . .  and then there’s those nerves that flutter up inside because you want to get it right!

Mick set his sites on Minuet by Boccherini over a year ago.  It’s a joyful piece, and one of his favorite songs.  As we neared the end of Book 2 a few months ago Mick realized he was getting closer to the song he’d been waiting to learn . . . . song # 12 of Book 2.  It lay before him for what seemed like forever as he worked his way through the book.  We listened to the song over and over and over again.

It’s always exciting to start a new piece.  I remember clearly the day he and Miss Karen turned the page to begin.  Mick’s face was glowing, and then Karen showed him the first few stanza’s which Mick tackled with the same fierceness our robin displayed in trying to build her nest!  For the next two months Mick practiced Boccherini, section by section, with repeats, crescendo’s and slurs . . . more practice and more listening.

So Sunday, as he approached the stage I could feel my heart racing, fast, like the derby horses Saturday afternoon.  I could only imagine how Mick was feeling.  He placed his bow on the strings, and began.  A little nervous at first and then, without much hesitation, he stepped into the zone . . . and it was magical, well for mom anyway!  I could see him lean into everything he learned in practice, mostly, trusting that he had practiced.

He finished the last two notes of the song and lifted his bow with a gesture as if to say, Ta Da . . . . and my heart was filled with absolute joy as my smiling 7th grader accomplished his goal.   “I want him to remember this feeling”, I remember thinking.  This feeling of accomplishment!  It’s good to remember . . .

We made this chicken salad in cooking class a few weeks back and everyone loved it.  The curry was calling to me!  We substituted apple for what was originally pear in the recipe though we’re certainly at the very very end of apple season.  I would imagine mango might also add a fresh flavor (without the crunch).  I will definitely be enjoying this salad during the Spring/Summer months!  I show it here stuffed into whole wheat pita’s and next week I’m thinking it will be great over a bowl of fresh spinach greens . . . . from the local Farmer’s Market!  Joy!!  xo


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Curried Chicken Salad
1 (5 oz) plain non-fat Greek-style yogurt
1/4 c Olive Oil – based mayonnaise (or low fat)
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 c chicken breast, cooked and cubed
1 apple, diced (we used Fugi)
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c almonds, slivered
whole wheat pita bread for stuffing OR mixed salad greens

1.   Combine yogurt, mayonnaise and curry powder in a bowl.
2.   Add chicken, apple, celery, cranberries and almonds and toss to combine.
3.   Fill pita halves with chicken salad OR top mixed greens with a scoop.

 Recipe Gently Adapted From:, Curried Chicken Pitas