Ascension Day-Take 2!










As we end off the Easter Season, I’m not sorry to have another “take” on Ascension (which we are doing on Sunday) before heading into the long long Season of Pentecost/Ordinary Time the latter says it all!
    This week began with the monthly Day Camp committee dinner meeting on Monday evening.We all enjoyed a bean salad with Tahini Dressing, Ciabatta and a Rhubarb Pie that I baked from this favourite Pie Cookbook!
   It is just SO good to meet with the others on the committee and talk about everything to do with the upcoming summer. So often I feel completely alone on this annual journey and the days when a group of likeminded people surround me are really of great value.
   The good news this week was the arrival of another Team Application, plus references for another! Math is not my strong point but I think that brings us up to seven Team Members, a number which is seriously insufficient to form six Teams but is still a whole lot better than two.
  We also had confirmation of another Day Camp location and that means we now have only 3 spaces to fill, one of which appears pretty definite as well. God is good.
  In fact this has been a week full of thanksgivings.
A young friend emailing to say she is expecting a baby, after a long time of waiting, hoping and praying, another friend texting to say she nailed a summer job for which I had suggested she apply, along with the news about Team Members, so much, all in one week, for which to give thanks!
       On Ascension Day I sadly packed up all the Pysanky and took down other explicitly “Easter” decorations and over this Victoria Day Holiday Weekend will come the  “Changing of the Decorations”. Meanwhile today will be a major Bake & Blog day. Over the next few weeks I have blocked off days to devote to the baking and cooking for the Team Training Retreat.
Every year I try to find a balance between what can be prepared ahead for that week and what will need to be made on site. I know I shall be very grateful during those insanely busy days to send a helper down to the freezer and have them return with containers holding all the foods for the next day’s meals but at present I am a bit overwhelmed by the giant bags of flour and other ingredients waiting to be turned into breads, cookies cakes etc. and the long grocery lists for soups, curries etc. to be cooked. So today will be large loaves of Oatmeal Bread and a double batch of Chocolate Scones.

Many years ago my Mum had a dear friend who’s husband’s family had owned a chain of restaurants. This lady gave my Mum a large, double loaf tin, it is heavy and old fashioned but it turns out 2 really BIG restaurant style loaves of bread, so it is perfect for my current projects and today it will hold the Oatmeal Bread…

And now it is late afternoon; the baking is complete, the scones already packed and frozen and the bread cooling on the kitchen counter. Wil has had his two long walks and twice we have stopped in to visit with and feed a friend’s cats.

My own Mandu has suffered the ignominy of a BATH and is now walking around the house voicing her complaints with quite loud yowls!  There was time to transfer my warm sweaters and other clothes down to the trunk in the basement and to fill my cupboard and cedar chest with my summer wardrobe.

I even had time to paint my toe nails in my favourite Summer colour!My bag of “tricks” is packed for church tomorrow and perhaps there will even be time to read the Saturday newspaper before cooking dinner!
But before I wrap up this post I thought Iwould share the Oatmeal Bread recipe.
It makes 2 LARGE or 3 regular size loaves, slices really well for sandwiches or toast and freezes well too.
Oatmeal Bread
  • 2 cups coarse cut oatmeal
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup each molasses and brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse sea salt
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 2 Tbsps. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 6 cups unbleached flour
In a large bowl combine the oats, brown sugar, molasses and salt. Pour over this 2 cups boiling water and allow to cool to lukewarm. Meanwhile dissolve the yeast with the sugar in ½ cup warm water.  Add the foamy yeast to the oatmeal mixture and stir well. Stir in the 6 cups of flour, using you hands for the last couple of cups. Once the dough comes together and is no longer sticky turn it out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a large greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled. Punch down and divide into 2 or 3 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Set torise again until doubled.Bake in a preheated 400° oven for approx. 35 minutes.

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