October Meeting

            Monday last was our monthly Day Camp Committee evening. It was a cold blustery day so I had assembled a huge post of 6-bean chilli in my giant slow cooker, to be followed by pumpkin cheesecake and chai.
          Despite all the food bribery we had a small turnout due to sudden timing conflicts for two members, however four of us did gather and the meeting was most productive, with plenty of ideas and suggestions tossed around. We never meet but I am thankful for this group of people who offer so much support to the work of Day Camps and who help to make me feel less isolated as we gather to share our thoughts.
          Thus Tuesday was a morning for following up on all those great ideas, mostly via email! And that evening I was so happy to welcome for a dinner visit my erstwhile secretary, Alana who was in town for a teachers’ seminar. The six young women who, over a span of about fifteen years each spent two or three as the CTM office worker have a very special place in my heart. All of them were university students, holding down the part-time job and I got to share in their daily lives as they did in mine.  Alana now teaches elementary school on a First Nation in northern Quebec. Every year she tells us that she will be moving back to Montreal (and re-joining the Day Camp committee!!) yet I think she has stayed up there five years, maybe next year she will be back!
     Thursday morning I had a nice visit with Jill, the youth coordinator at Emmaus Church, and a former committee member. We always swap news of her youth group world and the world of Day Camps, while knitting and drinking coffee, this visit was no different!
In the evening Matthew came for his first Autumn Art lesson and we began work on two decoupage boxes.
After a bit of on-line research I had found an interesting method of doing decoupage with motifs from paper napkins so we made a start on the project.
           I also had an awesome surprise that afternoon when Michelle called to say she had time for another visit if I was at home. WOO HOO! I don’t think just the two of us had had a one on one chat for at least 12 years. Bliss. She stayed right until Matthew knocked on the door and I never even noticed missing dinner. My! but it was good to talk with her!
       I hope you have read the latest Wednesday Words Guest Blogger post, which was published this week. Do scroll down and check it out, Robin is one of my favourite former Team Leaders, perhaps because I watched him grow up as he made his start in life as part of the congregation of St. Matthew’s where his whole family was VERY involved in all our church life. To see him now, married and ordained as a CofE priest is pretty special.
     So here I am having a “Bake & Blog” Saturday. The whole morning was spent labouring in the garden as days there are precious now and each section of the perennial beds and herb garden needs to be carefully cut down and prepared for winter. Yesterday it was the herbs and today the largest perennial bed, it took 3 hours!!

     But this afternoon is all bake & blog since preparations are underway for a “Spanish Inquisition High Tea” tomorrow at which I intend to “interrogate” the young man currently dating my favourite minion!
    So there are Scottish Oatcakes in the oven and cupcakes waiting to be baked and there will be a big rush after church tomorrow to prepare everything for the Tea Table.

Somehow, despite the usual hectic schedule I also managed to complete several Christmas gifts this week. There is quite a long list to go but I have hopes of producing all my gifts on time!
Last Sunday afternoon when the Gallahers joined me for Tea we all tucked into an Apple Crostina. Since we are still in the midst of Apple Season I thought that would be a handy recipe to share today.
 Apple Crostina
  • 2 lbs. apples
  • pastry for a single crust pie
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. lemon juice
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. each cinnamon, ginger & nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tbsp. Butter or margarine, cut into bits
  • 1 Tbsp. cream
Roll out the pastry into a 12” circle (I cut a large circle of parchment paper and lay it on a flat pizza pan then roll the pasty out right on that). Chill while preparing the filling. Peel and core the apples and cut into ¼” slices. Put the apples in a large bowl and add the sugar, cornstarch, spices and salt. Toss together then pile the mixture onto the pastry leaving a 2” border. Fold the edges up over the sides of the filling. Dot the filling with the butter and brush the edges with the cream, sprinkling on a little extra sugar if desired. Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for 30-35 minutes. Cool a little while before serving. Serves 6.

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