Saturday, 15 September 2018

15/09/18











It’s Friday morning, not Saturday, but it seems prudent to make a start on this week’s post since tomorrow is the Praise & Thanksgiving Gathering, which means Ill be out for most of the afternoon. At the moment the plan is to take some photos at the Gathering and then publish this post when I get home sometime tomorrow evening. But first let’s do a brief recap of the week πŸ˜Š
I’ve had 2 “early start mornings” this week with the Brady kiddos, Monday and yesterday, that means I do get a long and productive morning, even if I need to crawl into bed early at night JI have already been delving into the Creative Connection section of the 2019 “Luke Street” Program Manual. Many years ago I was asked to write the “crafts” Chapter nut after becoming director, I guess I was truly able to put my own stamp on creativity by reworking this Chapter to focus more on creativity in Worship than just making “Bible story crafts”. It has been a gradual shift but I hope that the emphasis on helping all types of c host communities to value a child’s potential contribution to liturgy, whether it be through Liturgical Dance or composing Intercessory prayers or helping to craft a cloth for the Lord’s Table or a stole for the Clergy.
It can be challenging to find activities that will both grab the attention of the Campers and also meet those requirements. In recent years as my passion for Ecological awareness has grown I have also tried to look at using sustainable materials and having the campers make things that will not end up in the garbage a few days after Day Camp ends. All of the above can be quite a tall order which is why I’m launching into is far ahead of publishing deadlines πŸ˜Š
This Tuesday afternoon was the first meeting since our June Synod of Diocesan Council. Mercifully the rain held off so I was able to bike downtown    and home in the early evening without getting wet. Since I am Lay Secretary   and co-responsible with the Clerical Secretary for producing the minutes of these meeting I had to squeeze typing up the draft minutes into my Wednesday afternoon. Despite lots on the schedule I also managed to complete 4 sets of coasters for Christmas gifts. These were made by empolying the art of quilling using upcycled magazine pages. I still need to give each one a thin coat of waterproof varnish and then to sew a small “bucket” in which they can be stored. But at least there is some progress on my Christmas list!
All week I have also been completing the PowerPoint that will be used at tomorrow’s Gathering. The last piece of content arrived this morning in the shape of the 2018 Day Camps Slideshow, which Jessica has assembled from a selection of the MANY photos taken over the 6 weeks of Day Camps. I’m going to see if it is possible to embed it in this post since I think it is so lovely (of course I am just a weensy bit biased πŸ˜Š)…

After mowing the lawns first thing this morning and then spending several hours on office work I just took a “break” to mix up a batch of granola, 20 pear and hazelnut muffins, an apple pie, a large pan of caramel popcorn and finally some Greek oven fries for tonight’s dinner.
As the fries are soon to come out of the oven I must head off to make a Greek Salad to go with them. 
Here is the recipe for the fries, super easy and good at anytime of the year although at present I’m enjoying using some delicious fingerling potatoes from my CAS Farm Share!

Greek Oven Fries
1 lb. potatoes 
2 Tbps. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. dried oregano
2 Tbps. lemon juice
1 large clove of garlic, minced

Scrub the potatoes but do not peel. Cut them into long wedges and place in a large bowl with all the other ingredients. Toss well and spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30-45 minutes in a preheated 425ΒΊ oven.
Serves 3-4 as a side, 2 as a main course with Greek Salad.

Praise & Thanksgiving Wrap-up

Not many photos, and not very inspiring but below is a glimpse from this afternoon






Saturday, 8 September 2018

08/09/18














Yes, it is a clichΓ©, but this week has truly sped by so quickly I just don’t know where the time has gone! Of course part of that is due to having a 4-day workweek because of last Monday’s Labour Day holiday. So I guess I’ve really been playing catch up since then πŸ˜Š
Day Camp work is entering into a season with a more steady and deliberate pace. There is now time to collect ideas and thoughts for the coming year with the added benefit of still being sufficiently connected to the summer just past not to miss important details that need to be remembered and stored away.
   Early in the week we experienced yet another nasty heat wave, which peaked on Wednesday with temperatures of 35ΒΊ and humidex readings in the 40’s. But Labour Day was a bit cooler and I was able to work in the garden and read and also do some sewing of another baby gift, this time a “peanut sling”.
    Tuesday I launched back into office work still dealing with invoicing from Day Camps, correspondence, typing up agendas and minutes and continuing to prepare for the Praise & Thanksgiving Gathering, happening next Saturday.
    Wednesday, I switched my office time to the afternoon and spent the morning cycling down to old Montreal (yes that was the hottest day!!) to visit the gardens adjacent to Notre Dame Basilica where Jessica has been working all summer as part of Innovations Jeune’s “Urban Agriculture” program. These gardens are in the grounds of one of the oldest buildings in Montreal, built in the 1600’s and which now houses a small museum plus a residence for retired Sulpician Brothers. Over the summer months Jessica was responsible for a Team of young interns from Innovations Jeune who worked to weed the many overgrown beds and learned about planting, pruning and dividing of all sorts of perennials. The interns have now returned to school but Jessica is continuing there until October. The summer was so manically busy and HOT it proved impossible for me to visit before this week and of course the day turned out to be just as hot as it was in July. Sigh. But I made it down there early in the morning ahead of the worst heat. Unfortunately coming home was not as pleasant as there is always a ton of construction going on downtown and getting back to the bike path from Old Montreal proved difficult especially in the broiling noonday heat.
While down there I was able to give Jessica some advice on dividing Day Lilies and she gave me a tour of the whole property after which we sat in a shaded and shared home-baked snacks that each of us had brought. πŸ˜Š
Thursday morning I was washing my breakfast dishes when the power suddenly went off. It was a lovely sunny morning and there were no workers on the street so I texted a friend in the neighbourhood and their power was off too. No electricity meant no WiFi so I decided to switch my day around again and headed outside to mow the lawns (thank goodness I use a manual push-mower πŸ˜Š), thinking that by 10am or so I could begin my usual work. As I was mowing my CTM “boss” Nick Brotherwood called and said he had gone over to use the internet at the library and that the power would not be on again until mid-afternoon.!! This was a bit of a problem as Jillian was coming for lunch and I was thawing some nice corn chowder for our meal. A hurried check of my pantry produced a tin of salmon so I was able to make a salmon salad instead. Whew! Fortunately the power did come back on around3pm and so I did get a bit of correspondence done before dinnertime.
Yesterday was my first morning back on my school year job of overseeing their breakfast and walking the Brady children to school. Since that task is over by 9am I was finally able to spend a full morning on CTM work but right after lunch switched over to baking since this afternoon is my Spanish Inquisition with Rebecca and Luke at 5pm.
I made a jellyroll with raspberry jam filling, Scottish oatcakes to go with chees or a salmon spread, Brown Sugar Shortbread fingers and a pan of Ground Cherry Squares. The last item was for dessert last even when Jenna came for dinner. Jenna has been away for a large chink of the summer at two different work-related conferences, one in South Africa and the other in Buenos Aires so I hadn’t seen her since July. She brought me a lovely gift of a beautiful bicycle bell, which she had got for me in Amsterdam. I’ve just finished installing it, Woo hoo!!! 
So this morning, after a weekend cat-feeding assignment and a trip to the bank to make a deposit for CTM, I have been continuing preparations for the upcoming Inquisition. My guests will be arriving at 5pm, since as is usual on such occasions; I will be serving High Tea.
Soon I have to dash over and (hopefully) retrieve the outdoor cat, put her in my friend’s house for the nigh and hurry home again to put the kettle on for tea. But before I go I’ll close off with my Mum’s traditional Jellyroll recipe. Do try it; it is well worth the effort πŸ˜Š
 
Jellyroll
 3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cold water
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
2 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Approx. 1 cup raspberry jam (preferably homemade!)

Line a 10x15” baking pan with parchment paper, grease and then flour it.
Place the eggs in a largo bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 5minutes or until pale and thick. Slowly beat in the sugar, water and vanilla. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low speed beat the dry ingredients into the mixture.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake in a 325ΒΊ preheated over for 12-15 minutes. 
While the cake is baking lay a tea towel on your work surface and dust it with icing sugar.  As soon as the cake comes out of the oven flip it carefully onto the towel and peel off the parchment. With a sharp bread knife trim the edges to remove the crusty edges then, working from the shorter end, roll the cake in the towel and place on a rack to cool.
Once cool unroll the cake and spread thickly with jam. Reroll and place on a serving dish. Dust with icing sugar just before serving.    

Saturday, 1 September 2018

01/09/18




























       Wow September 1stand here in North America most people are outside somewhere celebrating the last official holiday weekend of summer- Labour Day.
      I guess I’ve already done my “celebrating” over the last couple of days in the form of stripping the house and decks of all the summer decorations followed by a big house cleaning and finally the arranging of the Pentecost/Harvest decorations.
With all the Feedback packages safely sent out to the host communities my Day Camps work has mostly shifted to initial planning for summer 2019 πŸ˜Š
Of course some final payments and evaluations are still trickling in but we actually received our first 2019 Community application this week. Woo hoo!!
We are also gearing up for the Praise & Thanksgiving Gathering on Saturday September 15th   It is happening at 3pm that day and will be followed by a Spaghetti Supper fundraiser. My main task for that is assembling the PowerPoint and also badgering the Day Camp Team Members, reminding them to come to the Gathering!
The following day is our CTM Board meeting and the evening after that the Day Camp committee has invited some guests to join us at our monthly planning meeting in the hopes of picking their brains as we strategize around new ides for recruiting Team Members. Unfortunately at least two of those invited have already said they cannot come, hopefully some others will be available. Normally at our September meeting we start to allocate parts of the Program to those who have special skills in certain fields and we also make up a chart so we know who will be leading devotions and acting as secretary for each of our monthly meetings. I’m not sure we can wait until October to do all that work so maybe we will need to end the larger meeting a bit early and just do committee stuff for half an hour or so at the end. We’ll see. πŸ˜Š
Outside of “office time” I spent Monday afternoon baking with 11-year-old Malachi (brother of Seren who came for a sewing tutorial last Saturday). It was unfortunate that we were again experiencing a high heat and humidity warning that day making baking a rather sticky occupation but he still had a good time mixing up a batch of Lemon Raisin Chocolate Chip cookies and a Rhubarb Coffee cake made with fresh rhubarb picked from my garden that afternoon.
Tuesday afternoon Jessica and I spent a couple of hours unpacking all the Day Camp Teams supplies and shelving them back in all the bins where they spend 10 months of the year! We were delighted that no Teams had left mouldy grass (for Lamb πŸ˜Š) or mildewed sponges (it happens!!) in their bags nor had any bottles of glue or paint exploded on any airline flights (yes, that happens quite often too)
It feels good to have all the supplies put away, another final task checked off my list!
Wednesday and Thursday afternoons were devoted to the “Changing of the Decorations” which just left space yesterday to mow the lawns in my “spare time” Ha!
This weekend I’m once again looking after a friend’s cat and I’m hoping to get some extra garden chores done today since rain is forecast for tomorrow and the holiday on Monday.
But before I head out to edge the flowerbeds let’s close off with a recipe.
The aforementioned cookies that Malachi and I baked are a family fave around here and since I already typed up the recipe for Pippa (Malachi’s Mum)
I thought you might like to try them…

Lemon Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 large eggs
1 cup margarine
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cups flour mixed with1 tsp. each baking soda and salt
1 cup chocolate chips
2 cups brown sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1 cup raisins

Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer until mixture ribbons. Gradually beat in margarine, a bit at a time, lemon rind &juice, flour mixture, oats, raisins and chocolate chips. Drop by heaping tsps. onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in 350ΒΊ oven for 15 minutes.