The Fall Coffee House AND Sunday Reflections!!

     It seems hard to believe that an event whose date we chose in August (when it seemed Sooo far away) is happening tonight.Ala most CTM occasions, it seems as if we are all ready but who knows what will unfold this evening?? My pack basket is filling up rapidly as I keep thinking of more items I should be taking with me and, at the moment, the brown sugar jar and a box of cinnamon sticks are sitting on the counter to remind me I need to check quantities for the Wassail and add those ingredients to the basket.

      We are all meeting at Isaiah 40 just after 5pm. It is a gross, wet, chilly day but, thank the Lord, the winds that caused havoc in the city yesterday have now died down and we are Blessed that the power is not off here as it has been on many streets. Branches are down everywhere as are gazillions of wet leaves but nothing much can be done to improve matters until it really stops raining so I’m busying myself indoors except for several soggy “Wil walks”. We need to set off for the afternoon one soon but I thought I would get this Post up ahead ofsaid event and then add some photos along with tomorrow’s Sunday Reflections. There will be official photos made into a fresh slide show and I plan to badger my photographers to get it on the Blog ASAP!    

      Much of this week has been spent fielding last minute calls and visits relative to the Coffee House although some tome has been spent sending out invitations to our proposed 2014 Guest Bloggers and a great slate is now lined up for columns from January to June.
    Monday evenings until Christmas are “Matthew Art” nights, when our Pastor’s son comes over and we do arts and crafts together, this past Monday was Oil Pastels and next week will be Watercolours. When his Mum recently asked if he had a good time, he replied that he enjoyed “the tea and cookies”, so much for my art teaching skills!    
Then on Tuesday Jessica visited and we discussed both  the progress of her Chef’s Course and the world of Day Camps. She informed me there is a possibility her “stage” will be in Paris. I simply could not understand why she would choose to spend her summer in Paris when she could be here in Montreal helping with Day Camps (just kidding, a summer in Paris? who could pass up that opportunity!!)If she does go she has already agreed to be super helpful with advance work up until her departure, which promise I know she will keep.
     Thursday Jillian asked if she could drop by with her baking for the Coffee House since she is coming, this evening, directly from a Youth Retreat to which she obviously did not want to take her cookies (I doubt they would have made it to the Coffee House if they were found at the Retreat!) So she came for lunch (Brimfield Popcorn- recipe here) and then nobly agreed to help me buy all the hot drink supplies and haul them to Isaiah 40 before she headed back to McGill; which errand we accomplished, with Wil, in the POURING rain, yuck!!!
Has there been time for much else? Why, yes! I painted the other 2 wicker chairs and table, cleaned the pantry shelves, completed knitting a darling baby hat, pattern here, made 3 more types of Christmas cookies, cleared 3 of 5 garden beds and raked, raked, raked.
    So I think we are ready to roll for this evening. Hopefully the gloomy weather will encourage lots of people to attend a cozy indoor event!
What recipe should I leave you with today?
Well it is still very much Apple Season and last evening I made an Apple Galette for dinner, so that seems like a pretty good choice.
    Apple Galette
  • Basic Pie Crust (see below)
  • 6 Apples- Cortland or Crispin are good“bakers”
  • 4 Tbsps. cornstarch
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp each cinnamon and ginger
  • ¼ tsp each salt and allspice
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 Tbsp cold water
Line a large, round, flat pizza pan with parchment paper. Roll chilled dough into a 12” circle and place on pan. Chill while preparing filling. Peel and core apples. Cut into thick slices and place in a large bowl. Add cornstarch,sugar, spices,salt and lemon juice. Toss well using a wide spatula. Mound apples on pie crust, leaving a 2” pastry border. Carefully fold pastry edges up and over filling. Brush well with egg yolk glaze. Bake for 35mins. in a preheated 375F. oven.
Cool for 30 mins. before serving.

For pie crust:-

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 tsps. salt
  • 16 Tbsps. cold margarine
  • 3/4 cup ice water
Place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor,pulse a few times. Add margarine and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the motor running, gradually add ice water (you may not need it all!) JUST until dough comes together. Remove from bowl and divide into 2 discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill or freeze until needed. 
And the Sunday Reflection!
      A combination of factors (Bluetooth technical problems and the need to get over to Isaiah 40 on time), resulted in my inability to get the Post up yesterday afternoon so here  is a bit of a Coffee House wrap-up report(no photos yet) and a short reflection on my unexpectedly different Sabbath.
     Well the Coffee House went VERY nicely. We had a turnout of somewhere around 40 people,amazingly good entertainment, an enormous quantity of delicious home-baked refreshments, tasty hot drinks and a warm feeling of fellowship. People were extremely generous in donating to Day Camps so we also raised an excellent amount which is very encouraging at the close of a somewhat wonky financial year.Miraculously I was home by 930pm, as everyone really pitched in on clean-up, which was also fabulous. It was a blessing toget an extra hour’s sleep last night too!
    And just as well since my morning plans took a quick turn in another direction with an 845am call from Pastor Nick. He asked if I was planning on attending church this morning? “Yes”, I said. “Well”, said he, ”do you think you could pull together a Children’s Ministry program as we know there will be several children”.
   EEK! I am a real “planner” and do not easily embrace last minute requests, especially when it involves Children’s Ministry which I believe should ALWAYS be of the best possible quality (sigh), so I said I would do it. I was just about to walk Wil, and knew I would then have approx. 15 minutes, upon my return, to pull together a plan before leaping on my bicycle and dashing to church to lay things out.It was a Blessing that we were celebrating All Saints Sunday so I had quite a lot of resources to draw on (see last week’s Sunday Reflections!)
 Wil and I flew around the neighbourhood, THAT is never a problem, and by the time I returned to the house I knew what I needed to gather up. I grabbed a large bag, dashed to my studio and collected up some gold sparkles (never plan Children’s Ministry without a generous
sprinkling of sparkles!!) and my dogeared copy of “Saints,Signs and Symbols”. Then rushed to the basement and filled a container with ginger crinkle cookies, grabbed a few apples, jotted down 2 relevant Scripture references and fled the house, ready for action!
 There were 4 children-ages 4,6,8 and 12 (I think!), myself and John who offered to be my Helper. Considering that dear Pippa called this afternoon to report that her two (the younger pair) had had a good time and had told her all about what they learned, I think the plan worked out well. We prayed, discussed the meaning of Hallowe’en and All Saints Day, worked on a definition of the word “Saint”, read the Scriptures, marched around the room singing “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God” (with actions!)  ate our snack, and looked at Symbols of the 12 Apostles and the 4 Evangelists.Then each child chose a Saint and made a shield with that Saint’s Symbols (yes we used sparkles). We closed by sharing the Grace.As always, I was sucked into their world. I love the candour and innocence of children and really just enjoy hanging out with them. What a bonus to hang out with them AND God!. And I realised, not for the first time, how much I miss my classroom at St. Matthew’s and the many many children with whom I shared such a lot of happy and challenging Sundays and other special activities, over a span of more than 30 years.
  An unexpected Sunday morning, but good, very good!
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