Lent 6


        The geese are flying over!!! A sure sign that spring is finally here. This past week early every morning the sky has been filled with their honking and sometimes, when the cloud cover parts I can see a skein passing by. Thursday morning was very cloudy and they could be heard above, as Wil and I were out walking when suddenly a pair dipped below the cloud and flew so close I could
see the markings on their feathers. It was wondrous!! Ah spring!!

Of course, following such mountaintop moments, reality quickly intrudes; I open the email and discover a host church upon which we had counted is not going to apply. Pfft, joyous bubble blown ☹️ But this week has also seen good news such as 2 more host churches in Saskatchewan, promise of 3 Team Members from Ontario (woo hoo!), the arrival of the Manual as a complete document ready for final proofing, a good meeting with our Spring Coffeehouse Coordinator etc. etc. etc. As you can see there is never a dull moment in the world of Day Camps.

Once again we are bracing for a crazy weekend. The Huyers will be arriving any moment, closely followed by some of the Senior Youth Camp Staff. It is pretty cold today (-12C) so I opted to make a hot cranberry, maple & apple drink to serve them and its aroma is now perfuming the house, strangely mixed with that of blooming hyacinths. Following the staff meeting, we will all be eating dinner together then Victoria and Timothy are off to a birthday party while I wrangle the three boys into bed. Sunday (Palm Sunday!!) we shall all go to church together in the morning, mid-afternoon the CTM Board meets in the dining room then we shall be taking a picnic supper with us and dashing off to Crossroads Youth Service.  Despite many hours hunched over the laptop, there has also been time for Easter preparations. The second dozen Pysanky is all but completed, (just waiting for the 2nd coat of varnish to dry) and my painted crates are ready to hold Easter gifts for several families.

Alexander’s birthday crown has been sewn and wrapped as his birthday is March 26th and Victoria will be able to take it home to given him on the big day and the sixth little knitted bird was finished last evening to add to the Easter crates.

     It’ s a good thing I’m pretty tireless because, as these projects are ticked off it seems a whole new list grows on my calendar.   Yesterday afternoon I did a huge baking, which will hopefully cover all this weekend’s meal and snack needs. I made carrot muffins (needed by Victoria to take back to Ottawa for Alexander’s pre-school class snack), cherry pound cake (dessert for our Crossroads picnic), upside-down mango cake (dessert for Day Camp Committee Monday evening), Rosemary spiced cashews (snack for Board meeting), Cinnamon Zwieback (snack for SYC Staff meeting, Granola (for weekend breakfasts) baked sweet potatoes (for the picnic too) and oven fries for my own dinner! PLUS in a very low oven I melted the wax off the Pysanky prior to applying the first coat of varnish. Whew! It was quite the marathon.

The cinnamon zwieback (like biscotti) are an old favourite from my Mum’s handwritten cookbook, they are really yummy and worth the trouble of twice baking. Here goes…

      Cinnamon Zwieback

  • 1 Tbsp. yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3-½ cups unbleached flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp.each salt & nutmeg
  • 1 tsp.cinnamon mixed with ½ cup sugar
In a large bowl, proof the yeast in the warm water. Scald the milk, cool to warm, stir into the yeast. Beat in 1½ cups flour. Cover and let rise for 1 hour until light and bubbly. Beat in the ½ cup sugar, egg, salt and nutmeg and then beat in approx. 2 more cups flour to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise for another hour. Divide the dough in half and form each piece into a long tapered loaf. Place the two loaves on a large, parchment–lined baking sheet. Sprinkle each loaf with a small amount of the sugar and cinnamon
mixture and let rise for about 45 minutes.Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature 300F.Remove loaves from oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes then slice on a diagonal, about 1cm thick. place on parchment-lined baking  sheet and sprinkle each slice with more of the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Return to the oven and toast until completely dry, approx, 40 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow to cool in the oven to make sure they are really crisp 😊

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