Saturday, 17 November 2018

17/11/18















Winter has arrived a bit early in these parts! Over Thursday night and yesterday we received about 15cms of snow and suddenly the “late autumn” appearance of the city has been transformed to “mid-winter”. This morning I was out again shovelling, as it is at least quite mild, although a deep freeze is expected tonight.
It was such a blessing that, last Sunday afternoon, I got the last of the leaves cleared out of my perennial beds and herb garden so that on Monday I was able to empty the composter and spread the compost over the beds JUST before the snow came. Whew!! a narrow escape J
But enough of gardening news-
 This week also saw great progress on the clearing out of the Supply room.
Jessica and I worked for about 3 hours on Thursday so that now all the shelves have been emptied and everything arranged in neat piles or packed in tubs ready for transport.
Last Sunday afternoon the JYC and SYC crew worked there and were able to take away all their supplies so now only our Day Camp supplies plus the shelving and the beloved “blue table” are all that is left.
Somehow in the next two weeks we need to make a last huge push and then the task will be completed.
Good progress has also been made on the Day Camp guides. Our new provisional titles for them are –“Community Guide” and “Travelling Team Guide” but there is now some talk about changing “Guide” to “Handbook” I’m not sure how I feel about that but since the November day Camp committee meeting is happening this coming Tuesday I think a consensus will be reached then.
Yesterday we received our second 2019 Day Camp Application from a host community woo hoo!!! Which means that despite the HUGE amount of work ahead of us (not the least of which will be the complete reconfiguring of the Team Training Retreat) another Day Camps summer is already underway. J
 On top of everything else this week I managed to finish Malachi’s birthday gift, and another pair of fingerless gloves (Christmas gift), pick up a giant CSA winter vegetable box from the farm stand, fill a large catering order for Jenna and feed cats in the homes of two different friends. 
So today is back to the winter routine of “Bake & Blog” (with a side order of shovelling and cat-feeding J)
Right now a Pear Crumble is baking in the oven and when it comes out I need to dash over to Barb’s house for the final cat run of the day. The Hendersons are just away for the weekend visiting family in Toronto but the Taylors (friends NOT relatives!!) have gone to Florida for 12 days and only left this morning so there will be many more ”cat-visits” at that house.
But before I head out we’ll close off with a recipe.
One of the dishes I made for Jenna’s catering order was an Israeli Couscous “Salade Niçoise”. It is very yummy and I actually made a double batch so that Steven and I were able to have it for dinner last evening. Israeli Couscous is very different from regular couscous, so do try and find it as it makes the dish really special.

Salade Niçoise with Israeli Couscous

4 1 lb. small tomatoes
½ tsp. each fennel and cumin seeds
½ cup olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. thyme
4 Tbsps.  apple cider vinegar
salt & pepper
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup haricots vert
1 tin organic wild tuna
½ cup pitted black olives
4 cups mixed Spring Greens
Preheat the oven to 275º. Halve the tomatoes horizontally and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with the fennel and cumin seeds and drizzle with 2 Tbsps. of the olive oil. Roast for 2 hours, set aside.
Meanwhile, heat another 2 Tbsps. of oil in a large saucepan and fry the couscous for 10 minutes over medium heat until golden. Add 3 cups of water, the bay leaf and thyme. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes, until soft but not mushy. Drain, place in a large bowl and toss with 2 Tbsps. oil, 2 Tbsps. cider vinegar and salt & pepper to taste. Drain the tuna and break it into chunks, toss with the couscous.
When ready to serve, spread a think layer of Spring Greens in the bottom of a large, shallow salad bowl. Layer on the couscous mixture, haricots vert, sliced onion, roasted tomatoes and olives.
Combine the rest of the oil and vinegar, season with salt & pepper and serve on the side in a small jug.
Serves 4

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