The Spring Coffee House

Yesterday was our first “Spring Coffee House.” 
   We have been holding a Day Camps Fundraiser Coffee House for 6 or 7 years now, but we have always confined ourselves to one event per year, usually in November, so this was a departure from the norm.
It was most successful. We had billed it as a “Mother’s Day” event and several people did, actually bring their mothers, which made it even more special  Tom had organised a wide variety of “sets”-everything from spoken word to classical violin, from a trumpet solo to some fetching vocal duets, accompanied by banjo and guitar! 
  People were generous in baking for the refreshment table, I concocted 3 cold beverages-Iced Chocochino, Raspberry-Lime Infusion and Fruited Iced Tea and a goodly number of the little
bags I made were purchased, some even as last-minute Mother’s Day Gifts! 
Watch for a YouTube Video of the evening coming soon to the Blog!

Prior to the Coffee House, I met at 4pm with 7 young people, taught them the 2013 Day Camps Liturgical Dance and  AJ recorded the video for the Instructional DVD we send out with each Team. 
Those who came to participate in the dance had a lovely home-cooked meal, prepared by Jill, with the “extras” provided by Alexander, who acted as our MC for the evening.
It was quite a roller coaster of a day for me as; in the early afternoon I had  attended a Memorial Service for Greg Gregory, a man who, along with his wife and children had been central to the Church Family of St. Matthew’s.


   As I look around my house this evening I am blessed to see his handiwork in two lovely stained glass pieces which I commissioned from him as Anniversary gifts for my parents. 
     I look at our teak wall unit pieces, which he came and helped glue together when the pegs started to wear loose. Greg sang in the choir with my dad for many years, his wife Margaret, was Sunday School Superintendent and later a Warden, and their 4 children (and now 12!! grandchildren) are all special to me in different ways.
  I’m not too keen on funeral eulogies but,along with a very old friend of Greg’s, who spoke movingly about their 59 years of comradeship, all 4 of his offspring spoke eloquently about their Dad. There was standing room only in the church a testimony to the number of people who hold this good Christian man and his family in high esteem. It was very hard to go to the Service and see so many of the St. Matthew’s people, most of whom I haven’t seen for 2 years and yet all of whom used to be such a vital part of the fabric of my daily life. 

But back to Day Camps…
   Earlier in the week I met with Sarah and we began the work of assembling the  folders which are given to each Team Member, at the start of our Retreat week and which contain a bunch of key-documents for that time. We counted everything out and now it is up to me to get copies made, update some of the documents and to purchase a few items before we can meet again to complete the task.
And tomorrow is our May Committee meeting. There are several pressing issues to tackle, the biggest being the need to find 7 more host churches for the Teams to visit.
  It can be terribly discouraging to receive so many negative responses to my enquiries, sent out to a wide variety of possible locations. If you click on the “Churches and Communities” tab of the Blog, you can see our “Church Schedule” which shows exactly where all the gaps lie.
Please leave a comment if your church might be interested or if you have a suggestion for a venue. 
Of course we also still need Team Leaders (the second biggest issue!) AND 2 Training Day Camp Team Leaders, another pretty serious need.
This time of year is full of small victories, like getting that recording done yesterday, and also full of big worries which sneak up on me and against which I just have to keep on fighting, through prayer.
  On the home front, the bricklayers arrive tomorrow to re brick the South Wall and to demolish and rebuild the driveway retaining walls (I am fervently praying that do not also demolish large sections of my garden during their zealous “attack”!)
I’m  very much hoping that the dinner for the Day Camp Committee (an Indian feast, as a small nod to Greg’s heritage) does not taste of brick dust!!!
   I managed to prepare and serve lunch at church today. I had baked and frozen the bagels last Wednesday and made the soup (Riboletta- similar to Minestrone but made with Cannellini Beans instead of pasta). 
   We had another of our “Creative” Services, with a group preparing a video of a Pentecost shadow-puppet play, to be viewed next Sunday, another group painting Pentecost banners and a third group sharing a reflection on today’s Gospel reading. Being just a bit worn down I opted to stay in the kitchen, watch the soup, knit & pray for several friends who I know are going through some tough times right now, including of course the Gregory family.
     It is quite chilly this evening, but we have been enjoying some really warm weather this week and since more is no doubt on the way I thought I would share this recipe for Breakfast Custard. Accompanied by fruit it makes a refreshing meal on a hot day and a lovely dinnertime dessert!
                                             Breakfast Custard
  • 1/3-cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. water
  • 3 whole eggs, plus 3 egg yolks
  • 2 ½ cups low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3-cup maple syrup
Preheat oven to 325F. In a small saucepan
caramelize the sugar and water, by bringing to a boil and swirling the liquid
until the mixture is golden. Pour the hot caramel into a shallow 1-litre glass
casserole, set aside.
Heat the milk, but do not boil. Meanwhile,
in a large bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolks and maple syrup until mixture is thick and light. Slowly pour in the hot milk while continuing to beat. Add. vanilla and combine. 
Pour mixture, through a strainer into the glass dish. Place the dish in a pan of hot (not boiling) water, using just enough water to come halfway up the sides of the dish.
Bake for 45-50mins. or until a knife comes
out clean. Cool cover and refrigerate for several hours.
To serve, invert over a large shallow serving dish and surround the custard with berries or sliced fresh fruits.
Serves 4-6.
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