Pentecost 2

       Another jam-packed week has flown by and this is a bit of a cheat since it is really only Friday evening but the Saturday post needs to get started since tomorrow is a bit of a zoo!
       Let’s see, what were the highs and lows of the last week of May? Well the highest “high point” was hearing from a former Team Leader who in reading a recent post (on THIS BLOG!!) had noted we were still woefully short of Team Leaders and who, himself has suddenly got some free space in his summer and is offering his services- HALLELUJAH! This news came Thursday, just after hearing that another young man who was on my “hopefuls” list had decided not to apply. That is the way it goes in the world of Day Camps! There is also word of a third young person from the Toronto area who may be applying and she, also is 18 years old, so slowly, slowly, the pattern of the 2016 “patchwork quilt” is coming together.
       Last Monday Jessica spent several hours here and has put in some good work on the Team Leaders Binders, and throughout the week I have produced three main courses, 2 desserts, a huge stack of chapattis, and some snacks, all of which were added to my two freezers in preparation for the Retreat Week.  I think that with the exception of one more dessert, ALL the advance cooking is now completed –Yahoo!!
      And so many emails!! It is exciting and super to connect with all the people across this big country who are busy preparing in their communities. It can become a bit overwhelming at times when there is only one of “me” to answer all their questions, but my head it still above water, although at 7pm Friday evening I have not completed the whole of my to-do list for the week.
      Wil and Mandu were both given baths,(quite the adventure!!) but there really has not even been a lot of time for gardening, although the lawns got mowed one afternoon and at this season there is also the daily chore of sweeping up piles of maple keys, which rain down in multitudes.
     The flowers are all beginning to burst open and Irises are now in bloom alongside the Allium, both early summer favourites. Another afternoon I squeezed in time to make the new sofa throw and am very happy with the way it turned out.

Next week I very much hope to create a birthday crown for my Godson, Tighe. Last Sunday his Mum and I quizzed him on some of his favourites so now, armed with a short list, the snipping and sewing can begin. He is turning FOUR, so hard to believe!

         Tomorrow morning 5 new recruits are coming to fill out their Police Check forms then in the latter part of the morning the Huyer clan will be arriving as we shall all be heading to the Service of Thanksgiving for the 45th Anniversary of Senior Youth Camp, a VERY important milestone in the history of CTM. After the Service the Soirée will be taking place but I will be bringing baby Andrew back to the house, giving him dinner and putting him to bed, while the others enjoy the party (no regrets I would much rather enjoy one on one time with my youngest Godson!) They will all be staying here overnight and through Sunday, since there will also be a Staff meeting Sunday afternoon, then I’m fixing a quick supper before they head back for their last week staying in a cottage near Sherbrooke as Victoria teaches a Law course at the University there.

Soooooo, as you can see, it is doubtful there will be time tomorrow to do anything but press the  “Publish” button on this blog post. Ha!

 For the Soirée I was asked if I could contribute an appetiser. Wanting to do something a bit different I decided on Vegetarian Filled Vine Leaves (Dolmades). These make a great appetizer but also make a super contribution to any Middle Eastern meal.
  • 1 jar vine leaves in brine
  • ¼ cup each currants & pinenuts
  • ¾ cup white long grain rice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 7 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsps. chopped fresh dill
In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in 5 Tbsps.  olive oil for a few minutes. Stir in the rice, mint, dill, 1/3 cup lemon juice and 1 cup water. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes then remove from the heat and using a fork fold in the currants and pinenuts. Place a paper towel on top of the pan; replace the lid and leave to cool while preparing the vine leaves. Drain the leaves in a colander and rinse well with cold water. Place on paper towels. Cut away the tough stem end from the leaves. Line a large shallow pan with any broken leaves. To fill, place 1 Tbsp. of filling on a leaf (shiny side down) at the stem end. Fold in the sides and roll tightly into a neat parcel. Place the filled leaves in the prepared pan placing them as close together as possible in a single layer.
Pour 1/3 cup lemon juice and 2 Tbsps. olive oil over the Dolmades and add ¾ cup water. Place an inverted plate over them and then a flat weight. Put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool in the pan. The Dolmades should be drained and served at room temperature but can be refrigerated and be stored in their cooking liquid for up to two weeks. Makes about 3 dozen 

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