Saturday, 23 January 2021

Epiphany 3

  















 

Hello from snowy Montreal! 

We may have had a green Christmas but January has certainly made up for it. Last weekend we had about 30cms of snow and over that past few days another 20cms, I’m getting plenty of shovelling exercise for sure!

It has also been a week filled with meetings, all of which, of course, take place virtually on Skype, Zoom, Google Meet or FaceTime.  Last Sunday's CTM Board meeting was another marathon but we have finally wrestled the By-Laws into submission and a draft is now being prepared to send to a legal advisor for review .Yay 😊!!!! Monday morning I tackled the minutes of that meeting and by Tuesday was able to circulate them to the other Board members.

Monday evening we held the monthly Day Camp Committee meeting. I am so thankful to have such a great committee. Everyone is enthusiastic, full of creativity and best of all- hard workers!!  We discussed plans for online cooking lessons for small children and their families from our Day Camp host communities and a Lenten Day Retreat for Team Alumnae. We also set a date for a one-off special meeting to formulate details of the Virtual Day Camp Experience we will be offering for summer 2021 and discussed setting deadlines for a group of alumnae who have volunteered to make samples of the crafts that will be part of this summer’s program.

One committee member will be “meeting “ me on FaceTime next week to work together on the schedule and content of the Lenten Retreat. She has also offered to write a “blurb” advertising the cooking lessons so I shall be reaching out to our list of contacts next week updating them on all these events. 

In the long term we are also building a list of former Retreat Week workshop leaders who we will approach to see if we can assemble a small library of instructional videos on various aspects of Children’s Ministry that we can offer to churches and communities. 

Finally we compiled a list of prayer concerns around all these topics, which Mae Anne will be sending soon to the Day Camp Prayer Support Group.

Tuesday I had a Diocesan meeting to attend. A staff worker usually takes the minutes at the monthly meetings but she is currently on medical leave so I felt, as Lay Secretary of Synod I should offer to take over for this time. I ended up with several pages of handwritten notes and Wednesday evening managed to finish typing them up and sent them off to the Chair of the committee. 

Tuesday evening The Pod met and we shared a Bible Study for the second Sunday of Epiphany, listened to an Epiphany song from "The Loft Sessions" by Steve Bell, and watched 2 short films from The Work of the People based on the Psalms set for this week in the lectionary.

Thursday afternoon Jillian was finally able to stop in for a short visit. Current government restrictions allow for those living alone to have one visitor at a time so even though we had to wear masks and stay 2 meters apart at least I was able to welcome a dear friend into my home.

At odd moments throughout the week I made 4 litres of yoghurt, a month’s batch of cat food and also big batch of food for Thomason. My winter masks got completed and since Sue has leant me a spare sewing machine she had up at their cabin I was able to mend a dress that Thomason had, in his enthusiasm, accidentally torn 😊. I’m hoping, next week to get to some of the sewing projects that have been waiting for attention since my machine broke down.

This afternoon there is baking to attend to so I had better wrap this up with a recipe.


Over the past few weeks I have really been enjoying experimenting with the small waffle iron Mikaela gifted to me last winter. These cornbread waffles are super easy and versatile. Do give them a try!

 

Cornbread Waffles

1 cup cornmeal

1 egg

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

1/2 cup frozen corn, uncooked 

1 Tbsp. bacon drippings or cooking oil

Mix all ingredients together with a spoon. Lightly grease the waffle iron. Cook 1 ½ -2 mins. or until they get as brown as you like them, using approx.. ¼ cup of batter per waffle. Makes 6 waffles.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Epiphany 2

  


















 

It has been full week around here. Despite being quite confined due to the current lockdown and curfew there has  been lots of work to keep me busy.

Monday Mae Anne and I had a productive Face Time meeting looking at all the documents that will need to go into the Team Leader’s Folder for Day Camps 2021. As mentioned previously we feel it necessary to continue preparing for both in-person Programs and a Virtual Experience plus transitioning away from a “Travelling Team” model means revising many of our documents to reflect the changes and to hopefully meet the needs of those in host communities who will be taking on leadership roles.

Tuesday Christopher and I also Face Timed and talked both about Day Camps programming as well as about his work teaching in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba. That afternoon the monthly Diocesan Council Meeting took place (on Zoom of course 😊) and that resulted in 9 pages of handwritten notes, which needed to be transcribed, over the next few days, into intelligible minutes.

Meanwhile during morning office time I set up the Minutes template for the Board Meeting, happening tomorrow and sent out the meeting documents to the members.

Since the Day Camp Committee meets on Monday that agenda and documents also needed to be distributed. There are always other work related issues to deal with, like sending E-Transfer payments for the CTM Insurance Policy and other invoices.

Thursday evening Jessica and I ate dinner “together” over Skype and discussed everything from snow shovelling and knitting to Theology and (of course) Day Camps. Jessica has completed the final version of the 2021 Program Manual “Follow the Leader” as we had to go back into the already completed document, originally intended to roll out in summer 2020, and do some adjustments to reflect the shift from Travelling Teams. Sigh.

All week I have continued to spend a bit of time in the late afternoons doing hand sewing as the issue of my broken sewing machine remains unresolved. There are always bits and pieces of mending to do and with changing the decorations Thomason needed some new seasonal bandanas! The seasonal masks I’m sewing for myself are coming along and I’m trying not to think about the fact that I could have made 4 of them in one afternoon on the machine and that I’m now into the 6th afternoon hand sewing them. I really do enjoy hand sewing but it is sort of like enjoying being alone-it is one thing when one has chosen to do it and another when imposed upon one.

Lastly, on the handwork list, I have almost completed the winter slipper socks I desperately need. In the autumn I regretfully had to dispose of some cosy slippers Victoria sent me about 8 years ago as they were truly worn out and it is way too cold in the house in January to go around in stocking feet so I’ll be super happy when this pair is completed!

As we are now in the middle of a nasty snowstorm I had better close of this post and tackle some more shovelling. The neighbour who rents my driveway is a TV news announcer and so needs to go into the television studio despite lockdown so I must keep the drive as clear as possible so she can easily get in and out.

This week I made a tasty Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, VERY suitable for January in northern climes. Here is the recipe: -

 

1 lb. each parsnips, carrots and pumpkin, peel and coarsely diced

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsps. olive oil

1 tsp. each turmeric, ground ginger, coarse salt & Herbes de Province

½ tsp. black pepper

1 bay leaf

7 cups vegetable stock

2/3 cup whole milk

 

Arrange all the vegetables on a large parchment lined baking sheet and roast in a 400º oven for 30-40 minutes until just tender. Transfer to a soup pot, add the spices, herbs and stock and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Cool slightly then purée in a blender or food processor.

Return to a clean pot and stir in the milk. Heat gently until ready to serve.

Makes 4-6 generous servings. Freezes well.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Epiphany

  

























 

As you can see if you scroll through the above photos, I have been rather busy this weekend with “The Changing of the Decorations”, hence I’m publishing this post later than usual 😊

 After listening to last Sunday’s sermon podcast from St. Benedict’s Table I was sorely tempted to leave at least some decorations up until Candlemas  (there is a history of leaving up one’s Crêche at least until then) but I do have a separate African Crêche that is a part of the Epiphany /Winter décor plus there is quite a bit of “star”-theme going on so I went ahead and made the great “Change” !

 After all, dried out pine needles falling from a Christmas Tree are not very festive anyway and my Epiphany/Winter décor is big on continuing a very Hygge vibe, so here we are into a fresh season 😊. It will be a great challenge to remain positive and to “hold onto the light” since Wednesday evening our Premier announced that we are going into a severe lockdown mode until February 8th. This will even include a daily curfew from 8pm-5am and churches are once again shut down completely with the exception of funerals at which no more than 10 people may be in attendance. Inexplicably primary schools are to open next Monday for in-person learning, this is most upsetting to teachers, the medical profession, parents and caregivers  and there has been an immediate negative reaction from all these parties. 

Of course compared with the virtual state of anarchy currently unfolding across our southern border we can hardly complain. The situation in the USA is quite terrifying to behold and we have been asked by our Bishop to pray for our American neighbours.

The past week I returned to office hours albeit flexing between morning and afternoon sessions. As of Wednesday I started steadily fitting in some of the decorations work.

 That day, being the Feast of Epiphany, I dismantled the Tree. The city picks up Christmas trees on the first 2 Wednesdays of January and turns them into mulch for city gardens so it is important not to miss one of these pick up dates.

Thursday I was looking forward to having two visitors and so turned my attention to office work in the morning. Committee member Jillian had planned to come in the early afternoon and I had a list of Day Camp related questions and problems  with which I hoped she would be able to help but since she is a primary school teacher she was called into an emergency staff meeting that day. Then Jenna had been going to come after work but felt it best to avoid extra time on public transportation and thus regretfully did not come.

Fortunately, at least our weather has been decent. The first week of January is often one of the coldest but we have had warmer temperatures and sunshine, which does help with one’s morale.

I was not able to do any baking today as I was still in the throes of decorating but will do some essential baking tomorrow afternoon. We have decided not to hold The Pod in person since some of the members who have been attending need to use public transportation so the risk of infection is heightened. Much of our content is online so we will use Zoom to meet tomorrow and probably for the rest of January until we see if the lockdown continues. All of which means that I need to close off this post and pull together the links to various sites so I can finalise our Liturgy for tomorrow morning.

One evening this week I enjoyed a yummy Portobello Mushroom Burger. Mushrooms are in season, here in winter, if they are available wherever you are do try this tasty recipe 😊

 

Spicy Portobello Mushroom Burgers

4 large Portobello Mushrooms, stems removed

2 Tbsps.  olive oil

1 avocado

¼  cup mayonnaise or vegannaise

1 Tbsp. Sriracha

1 large tomato, sliced

4 large rolls or buns, split

 

Clean the mushrooms and place stem side down in a large skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour ½ cup water around the mushrooms. Cover the pan loosely with aluminium foil and braise the mushrooms over low heat for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile mash the avocado and combine with the mayonnaise or vegannaise and Sriracha. When the mushrooms are almost ready, toast the buns and spread each generously with the spicy avocado sauce. Place a mushroom and a slice of tomato on each bun and serve immediately. These are extra good with a side of homefries! Serves 4