Lent 1

         So we have arrived in Lent and next weekend will come the “Changing of the Decorations”. Hard to believe, it seems as if I was only just arranging the Winter/Epiphany things! Of course this has been a short season as, combined with Advent/Christmas the two together equal approximately the same number of months as one of the other Seasons.
     The week began with the Day Camp Committee meeting on Monday evening. We had a most productive time and, as usual, a goodly portion of the rest of the week was spent following up on the wide variety of suggestions made at that meeting.
  Monday morning I also had my Skype chat with our prospective British Team Member, Maddie, and found her to be a delightful young woman whom we are all hoping will, in fact, come and join us on Team for 2015!
  Tuesday morning Jillian and I had arranged a visit, since she had been unable to be at the meeting, so she caught up on all the news and added more suggestions to my growing list. She also kindly took a number of excellent photos for my potential venture into an Etsy shop (still not sure if I can figure out how to set it up. AGH!!).
  Another Church Application form has arrived this one from the third Armed Forces Base to sign up! We are so glad to have the opportunity to offer the Program to children living on the Bases along with a number of First Nations Reserves as well as “regular” Church communities.
     And the FINAL Chapters of the Program Manual were submitted so, after a brief read through, they immediately were sent on to Arnee. Maybe we will be able to pull the Manual together before she is sidelined for a few weeks.
      All in all it feels as if things are really moving forward. The only really troubling area being (as usual) a complete lack of Team Applications. It is just so difficult to stay upbeat about Teams when NO Applications have yet arrived. Sigh.

However, several committee members took some of the new bookmarks with them after our meeting, in the hopes of handing them out when and wherever possible.

Afternoons this week there has, of course, been the ongoing need to shovel, ugh! But I have also had time to piece together a Winter quilt top. Unfortunately it comes too late to have it completed in time to use it this Winter but it will be really exciting to begin the season next year with a lovely new quilt. At present I do not have any batting for it but the top is all pieced, so I shall finish it and put it away once some batting has been successfully sourced.

Over the evenings I also completed a crocheted “Pang” hat. These are a traditional Inuit design and I’ve wanted to try making one ever since I first made my Tuktoyaktuk Parka years ago. I’m pleased with the result and plan to make another to match my “Spring” Parka cover!
    Then, of course, the Pysanky production has just begun. My first dozen eggs have been washed and the basic divisional lines sketched in so later today it is hoped a bit of kystka work can begin. It is a “baking and blogging” Saturday, because Steven Craig will be joining me for dinner and since I have prepared a belated Middle Eastern/end of Epiphany meal for which I need to use the oven, it seemed a good plan to also bake a batch of bagels and some gingersnaps.
   During Lent a lot of vegetarian cooking goes on around here. One night this week I made a dinner dish, which paired the unlikely combo of Brussels sprouts and tofu!  Not being a huge Brussels fan I was slightly suspicious but was pleasantly surprised with the results.

The original dish comes from this really great cookbook, which I was given at Christmas. As usual the recipe needed to be tweaked to reflect the ingredients I had on hand, but I think it is well worth sharing!

  Brussels Sprouts & Tofu

  • 8oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thickly sliced
  • 8oz. extra firm tofu, cut in 3/8” slices, each slice then halved
  • ½  cup chopped garlic scapes
  • ¼ tsp. hot chilli sauce
  • 2 Tbsps. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsps. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2-3 Tbsps. canola oil
  • ¼ tsp. dried chillies
  • 1 orange pepper, cut into 1” squares
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

In a shallow dish, combine the chilli oil, soy sauce,1 ½ Tbsps. sesame oil, rice vinegar and maple syrup. Place the tofu slices in the marinade and gently turn to coat evenly, set aside. Heat a large frying pan on High and add 1Tbsp. oil. Toss in the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Cook on high heat for approx. 2 minutes, until browned. Remove to a bowl. Add another Tbsp. of oil and fry the pepper and dried chillies for 1-2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the sprouts. Add the rest of the oil and, using tongs, gently remove the tofu from the marinade and lay in a signal layer in the pan. Be careful as it may spatter. Place a shield over the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the pan from the heat and return the bowl of cooked vegetables to it along with the marinade and half the cilantro. Toss together then sprinkle with the rest of the sesame oil, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds.
Serve over steamed white rice. Serves 2, easily doubled.

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