Advent 2-2013

            Whoosh! It is a well-known fact that the days in December must certainly contain fewer hours than those in other months, else why do they pass by so very quickly? Here we are already at the Eve of the second Sunday in Advent. Amazing!
            The past week has been quite a jumbley mixture of activities, events and a large dollop of stress! Early in the week “office” time was occupied with prep for Tuesday’s Board meeting and trying to pull together a Plan B (or is it C?) for the Epiphany Team Gathering.
           There have been a fair number of emails from former Team Members who will be returning to, or passing through Montreal in the next couple of weeks so a number of lunch, tea or supper visits have been arranged and I look forward to hearing about all their adventures since we were last together.
           On the home front- Monday evening crafts with Matthew were quite eventful as we tackled Plaster of Paris candle holders! And Thursday evening a friend from church came for a “knitting” visit at which we also had little show-and-tell of gifts we had been making.
           Yesterday Tom and Jillian came to sort more CTM Music Files. There is still a fond hope we can condense a bit from the current 4 binders and 2 file boxes.They also enjoyed multiple cups of chai along with slices of Stöllen.
            In between other activities I have stencilled wrapping paper,wrapped nearly all my gifts, and painted and sent-off a Christmas Card to my only living relative (a dear old cousin of my Dad’s who lives in Kent, U.K.).
           The “dollop of stress” for the week was regarding the upcoming furnace conversion which has sadly morphed into a furnace replacement. The snag being that the plumbers are too busy to deal with this until January or February. In September I cancelled automatic fuel oil deliveries as I thought the conversion would take place before the heating season and as I had a full tank of oil. Well the heating season started and I have gradually been watching the gauge descend, waiting for the work to begin. Finally it seemed wise to call and ask for an oil delivery but the plumber said it might be possible for me to receive some oil being pumped out of tanks where other furnace conversions are happening; so I held off phoning. With the gauge right at the bottom, Thursday I called the plumber who suggested maybe I should contact the oil company. Of course two minutes after I did that the plumber called back to say some oil could be delivered yesterday!!! It was not a happy experience calling back and cancelling the order. Yesterday came and went and STILL no oil! I called the plumber again who informed me the oil would come today. WHEW! They delivered it at noon. I happily gave them large slices of buttered Stöllen, thanked them profusely and rushed to look at the oil tank gauge, which is now registering a full tank Hallelujah!
      As all of this has been happening I have obviously been praying that the Lord would protect the house and the oil would not run out, which could cause damage. I thought of the various passages in Scripture where oil held out for those who prayed so, even though it was pretty stressful it was really beautiful to link with those people of past generations and to feel the Lord’s hand on this little household crisis knowing He cares for my oil tank too. Miracles still do happen but we so easily ignore them, preferring to offer what we consider plausible
explanations instead of rejoicing in God’s provision and acts of Grace.
     There has also been a flurry of emails and phone calls about tomorrow’s Jesse Tree Service. I know it will happen but am not exactly sure how it will happen! Shall we say that there has been rather a lot of last minute re-organising? Much prayer is still needed, more tomorrow on the outcome!!
      And today has been “Bake and Blog” again, as this evening Steven, from MCF, is coming for dinner, before he flies home for Christmas in Edmonton.  The menu includes: – Tex-Mex Chicken Wings with fresh coriander dip, potato salad and for dessert a pineapple upside-down cake with cream. Of course I’m also baking oatcakes, baguettes and apple-raspberry turnovers.
 This cake is really tasty so I’ll close off with the recipe!
 Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into
    approx. 6 thick slices
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 Tbsps. orange juice
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour     
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. baking powder
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup orange juice
Place the brown sugar, butter and 2Tbsps. orange juice in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Stir until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and arrange the pineapple slices, decoratively, in the skillet. Place the granulated sugar, egg yolks, 2 Tbsps. orange juice and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Gently fold into the egg yolk mixture, alternating with remaining orange juice. In a separate bowl with clean beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into batter. Pour evenly over the prepared pineapple slices. Bake in a preheated 350F. oven for 50-60minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes then
carefully invert on a serving platter. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.
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