Advent 2

Still no snow, we may be facing a green Christmas, most unusual in Montreal but not totally unheard of.   It has been another very busy week around here. In the world of Day Camps we received an enquiry came from a potential host church in Winnipeg, one to which we sent Teams for a number of years when Brett Cane was Rector but have not been to in recent summers. It is always exciting to hear of a new location and to consider how to fit Manitoba into the geography of our Teams’ itineraries!
       As Advent progresses, attracting the attention of people in host churches becomes increasingly problematic since all of them are caught up in Christmas preparations, Sunday School Plays, Concerts etc. Much of my work at this time revolves around the Program Manual as I badger the various Chapter Editors, our Logo artist and anyone else participating in Program development hoping to meet the initial December 31st deadline.
 We are also on the cusp of sending out CTM’s Christmas Newsletter and so badgering skills are needed in that area too trying to chase down all those submitting copy. I have been asked to contribute another Blog Post to the SYC Blog. They have an annual series called “The Twelve Blogs of Christmas” and my post will be a follow-up on my recent “It’s Not Easy Being Green” post. So at some point this weekend some extra writing will need to happen!
  Monday evening Matthew and I were continuing our exploration of Pointillism at “Art Night” when the phone rang and a stressed out friend asked if I could cater a dinner for six for her on Thursday. Normally this would have been a bit of a rush but since I also happened to be having a young couple to dinner myself that night, my workload suddenly increased quite dramatically. Thursday was also the day on which our last order of winter vegetables was due for picking up at the farm stand plus the fruit box from the CO-OP.Sigh.
   After rearranging my schedule a bit and selecting a menu cooking began over Wednesday and Thursday. The vegetable order ended up coming Wednesday, as snow was forecast for Thursday (it never materialised) thus with bread baking in the oven I trudged over in the pouring rain and retrieved several very large bags of root vegetables plus about 9lbs. of offal from the meat farmer, destined for making Wil’s food (which also needed to be made on Thursday!!)
  So as you can see, things have been a bit hairy around here.
Without really thinking about it I had previously arranged a Friday Lunch with a friend from St. Stephen’s and Saturday Brunch with a couple, also from St. Stephen’s, who are Tighe’s other Godparents (we call each other “God Family”) so in an hour or so they will be arriving with their 3 year old son Nico.
  At this time of year there is always a background of Advent and Christmas music and an increasingly frenetic inventory of completed gifts balanced against those, which still need to be made. EEK! At odd times this week I have squeezed in knitting and sewing and also happily completed the restoration work on the historic Bishop’s cope over which I’ve been working for almost a month.
  This afternoon the first batch of Stöllen
will be going in the oven bringing one of the traditional aromas of Christmas into the house, hopefully there will also be time to cut out Tighe’s Christmas gift and to make some final preparations for church tomorrow.
For Brunch today we will be having Toad in the Hole, an old childhood favourite (must be the British upbringing!) which I  hope will be pleasing especially to little Nico!
Before getting ready to bake it, here is the recipe; it makes a good supper dish too!!
Toad in the Hole
  • 2 lbs. breakfast sausages
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ tsp. dried savoury
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 eggs
In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt and savoury. Whisk milk with eggs and gradually whisk into the flour mixture until smooth. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prick the sausages, place in a greased 9×13 baking dish. Roast in a 375°F oven, turning the sausages once, for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Drain off all but 2 Tbsps. of the fat.Increase the oven temperature to 400°F. Whisk the batter once more and quickly pour over the sausages. Return the pan to th oven and bake for 20minutes. Turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for a final 10 minutes. Serve with coleslaw and a bowl of chutney. Yum 

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