Epiphany 5- 2014

      It is amazing to think that we are already nearing the end of Epiphany with less than a month to Ash Wednesday. The other day, someone on the radio referred to February as “the longest, shortest month”, which is true in many ways but it seems to be flying by pretty quickly around here!

To follow up on the “Day Camps Train” analogy, we can now safely say that the train has already visited its first station of “Program Manual” and has picked up a full cargo of “content”.  Of course there are many many more stops along the line but God willing, we will eventually arrive at the terminus of “Summer 2014”, on time!

    With Arnee now settled in Oxford each day brings a flurry of email questions about everything from the type of scissors required for a craft, to the correct Scripture reference for a quiz answer! It’s just great to know that the Manual, the core piece of our Program, is starting to take shape. The mail has also brought another Church Application Form and email correspondence has been flying back and forth with interesting enquiries from prospective churches AND Team Members! Woot wooT! In the coming week I intend to begin assembling the 2 Supply Lists (Team and Host Church). This is not as easy a job as it, perhaps, sounds since it is essential not to forget even one item on either list as a Team could find itself far from the sort of store which might stock say, brass paper fasteners, or, conversely the local Coordinator might be justifiably annoyed when asked to produce a large bag of sand when it was not “on the Supply List”! so one needs to make very sure that everything is there before posting that list on the Web.

  Throughout the week there has been quite the stream of visitors. Monday I enjoyed dinner and discussions with Steven from MCF. He has been asked to
Speak at our April Team Gathering so we talked about a Theme and got that all settled.
Tuesday, Sarah, from St. Stephen’s came for another “knitting evening”. She is currently working a blanket for her, soon to be born, baby and I was finishing up a pair of legwarmers from the very last of the gorgeous Alpaca yarn I was given for Christmas 2012!
       Thursday there was a quick little Tea-time visit with Pippa, Seren and Tighe, so that I could present her with the Monk’s bag I had made for her birthday. In her own words she “LOVED” it! It is so nice when somebody is genuinely pleased with a gift.Then Thursday evening Jessica joined me for dinner and I got to read her collection of charming dinner menus for an imaginary restaurant which focuses on Seasonal, Organic, Locally-sourced foods (could there be a better type of restaurant??)
These menus were for a presentation she is to give at the Cooking School where she is studying this year. Knowing that most of their food work is with European Cuisines, I chose to prepare a Chinese meal of Tea-steamed Chicken and Vegetables, Rice, Lapsang Soochong Tea, Chocolate-covered Candied Ginger and Fresh Oranges.We ate in front of the fire and talked
about “Foodie” matters, as well as Day Camps!
       No sewing this week, but I did finish the legwarmers and started another pair in a gorgeous chunky, local yarn, which I plan to wear in early Spring.

For Christmas my friend Barb gave me a fascinating booking on patchwork fabric folding and a package of 5 “fat-quarters” to go with it. My plan is to make a pieced section using these lovely fabrics and then make a Japanese Monk’s Bag for myself. I’ve been playing around with the colours and hope to make a start this week.

Tomorrow looks like being a pretty chaotic day so do not be surprised if “Sunday Reflections” ends up being posted on Monday! For now I’m immersed in Baking and Blogging (Gluten-free Bread, Chocolate-Raisin Biscotti, Cranberry Orange Scones and Tomato, Pesto, Haloumi Pizza for dinner).
AND all day I’ve been arranging the dining and living rooms for the long anticipated Chinese New Year High Tea, which will be happening tomorrow afternoon and for which I’ve been storing up food for several weeks! Pastor Nick will be picking me up early in the morning as we are having an All Ages Service, so there is a lot to prepare before Church. Then, after Church  it’s our Annual Vestry Meeting, followed by dashing home, walking Wil and setting out all the food for the High Tea!! Whew.
Chocolate-Raisin Biscotti are not on that menu but they are pretty yummy so I’ll close off today with the recipe!
 Chocolate and Raisin Biscotti
  • 2 Tbsps. margarine or butter
  • 1/3-cup sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. Baking powder
  • ¾ cup raisins
In a large mixer bowl, cream together the sugar and margarine at high speed, until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder. Beat into egg mixture at low speed. Stir in the raisins by hand. Gather the dough into a ball and divide in half. Form each portion into a log 8” long and approx. 1½” wide. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. Cool, and then slice diagonally, into ½ “ slices. Return slices to the baking sheet and toast in a 250F oven for approx. 20 minutes, or until dry to the touch. Makes approx. 3 dozen biscotti.
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