Advent 4

So here we are on the eve of the last Sunday in Advent, only 5 days until Christmas!
      Are you ready? Oh, yes, is the shopping done, gifts wrapped, cookies baked, tree trimmed etc.? But also are you ready for the joyous birth of our Lord, and for the slightly scarier possibility of His second coming?
      Those of us who follow the Liturgical Year get to experience a sort of “mini-Lent” in Advent, and this time before Christmas becomes far richer for practicing that discipline. Just as one cannot conceive of celebrating the Resurrection, without spending time at the Cross, so the “walk” through Advent, brings us to the stable, hopefully better people for having made the journey!
     This past week began with Monday’s Day Camp Committee meeting. Once again, quite a small group but keen to discuss all the matters at hand, thus the evening proved productive and, as a result, had me spending Tuesday and Wednesday mornings busily emailing people with various reminders and requests.
    Recent mail has brought a number of lovely cards from former Team Members, which I find especially touching. We also received a very welcome donation from an Alberta Church, covering the cost of one of the First Nations Day Camps, which took place in a community unable to raise the fees, but where there was an amazing response to the Program by the Campers. This welcome gift certainly affirmed the fact that our Team had been meant to be in that special place.
     And yesterday it was a great blessing to spend a couple of hours with the Rev. Brett Cane founder of Day Camps, mentor, colleague and friend. Brett is in Montreal for a few days having travelled from Bristol UK on his way to spend Christmas in BC.
      Of course this was also the week when both of my big catering orders were to be ready for pick-up.  The report on Wednesday night’s dinner was very positive. Last evening was the “Cocktail” so I’m anxiously awaiting news regarding the appetisers made for that event!

There has also been more sewing of gift bags, frantic completion of knitted presents (still one to finish, AGH!) and the production of another successful batch of hand cream.
It is beautiful and sunny today, but cold and I am grateful that there is not much snow in the forecast since there are now 4 houses to look after for friends and neighbours who have already left or are soon to depart for the Holidays. AGH! That is a lot of shovelling, if we do get any blizzards. 
      This morning, as well as my doing some more sewing and the hemming of a Christmas dress, Mandu, had her semi-annual bath. I now have a fluffy, sweet-smelling and highly disgruntled cat, but actually the procedure went quite smoothly, whew!!
      Wil is now anxious to head out on our afternoon walk but first my backpack needs to be filled up for church tomorrow. We are going to watch a great video, the link for which was sent to me by a friend, last Christmas. In checking to see that it was still on YouTube, I came upon this video, produced by the same church in New Zealand. I found it very moving, so do check it out.

One of the main courses for the dinner catered this week was White Chilli my friend has asked for the recipe, since several of her guests requested a copy, so it seems like a good idea to post it here too!
 White Chilli

  • 2 cups Great Northern or Navy beans, cooked (or use canned)
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium celery root, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsps. butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsps. Flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, diced
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ tsp. each thyme and savoury
  • 1 tsp. each ground cumin and chilli powder
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, fry the onion, garlic, celery root and green pepper in the olive oil until tender. Remove vegetables to a bowl. In the same pot, melt the butter and whisk in the flour, cook briefly then whisk in the broth and milk. Cook, stirring, over medium-high, until thickened. Return the sautéed vegetables to the pot along with all the other ingredients, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently until thoroughly heated. Served with various toppings such as shredded cheese, chopped cilantro, sour cream and taco chips. Serves 4.
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