Christmas 2

Christmas 2 is the designation for tomorrow’s lectionary readings since the Feast of Epiphany will fall mid-week this year and we plan to make Epiphany the theme of next Sunday’s All Ages Gathering.
       But Christmas 2 (or too!) sort of sums up the past week as it is still very much Christmas around here even if many of my neighbours are busily discarding their trees on the front lawns. Unless there were visitors, I have made a point of eating all my meals in the living room so as not to miss one moment of the joy that comes from having a large living pine tree in the house!
        Of course I had visions of spending cosy afternoons reading books in here all week but those dreams were shattered when, last Tuesday, a whopping storm dumped over 35cms of snow on the city. The past week has been more of a blur of constant shovelling at either this house or one of the other two properties I’m looking after for friends who are away. There was also one friend’s car to dig out and move and two cats to feed, all of which activities seem to have taken up most of this “Holiday” week.
       At least the evenings have been cosy with knitting and tuning in to watch a few of the Urbana talks as quite a few of my CTM friends spent 5 days at that massive conference.
        Wednesday the Irish family came for lunch, intrepidly making the drive in from Richelieu and mercifully finding somewhere to park not too far from the house. We enjoyed a big pot of Cream of Tomato and Cheddar soup along with Rosemary and Parmesan Popcorn.  
Anna brought me a super Christmas gift of a pile of quilting fabrics part of a stash she had recently received. This was a most timely present since I had been searching through my own fabric baskets to find a suitable piece with which to make Moon Pants as a birthday gift for Seren who will be turning 7 on Wednesday (her name means “Star” as she was born on Epiphany!). I found a perfect piece and cut them out yesterday afternoon then spent part of this morning sewing them. I do hope she will like them 😊
Yesterday afternoon Arnee walked over for a cup of tea. She is just back from spending Christmas with her sister in Ireland and is all gung-ho to begin typing the Program Manual. Happily, this year, all but 3 of the Chapters were actually submitted by Thursday’s deadline, quite extraordinary!
  Monday it will be back to the work of CTM on a more regular schedule although parts of next Tuesday and Wednesday will be set-aside for the “Changing of the Decorations”. And then just one week from today we will be holding the Epiphany Team Gathering. I do hope we get a decent turn out; it is always so hard to contact people and send out reminders when everyone is busy with their own Holiday activities.
 Once I hit the Publish button I need to spend the balance of the afternoon doing menu planning for the next two weeks. I’m excited to delve into a new “Breakfast” cookbook and will be including a few “breakfasts for dinner” in the days to come!  Yesterday I baked a batch of Cinnamon Buns, because it wouldn’t be Christmas without a least one pan of those treats.
Everyone seems to have a favourite recipe but the following is mine, in case you feel like experimenting!
 Cinnamon Buns
  • 1 ½ Tbsps. yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3/8-cup butter
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • Approx. 5 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter


  • 4oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsps. heavy cream
  • 2-3 cups icing sugar
In a small saucepan combine the butter, milk and sugar and warm until the butter is melted. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl dissolve the yeast with 1 tsp. sugar in the warm water. When the yeast is foamy, add the eggs and the butter mixture. Stir well then gradually add the flour to create a firm dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead until silky and smooth. Place in a clean greased bowl, cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. In a medium bowl mix together the butter, cinnamon and brown sugar. When the dough has risen punch it down and roll out to a 12×18 “ rectangle. Spread with the brown sugar mixture and roll firmly to create a 12” long log. Butter a 9×18” baking dish. Cut the log into 12 pieces and fit into the dish. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 20-25 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then ice.
To make the icing, combine the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, starting with 2 cups icing sugar and adding more as necessary to make a smooth spreadable icing that is not runny.Ice the buns and serve immediately. The recipe can also be doubled and the buns freeze well.

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