A New Year Approaches

     Wow, only 8 days ’til Advent Sunday and the start of a new Liturgical Year! Over the coming week there are going to be a LOT of intense preparations around here.
    Work has been chugging along on the Day Camp front. Last September, before the computer crash, I had planned to respond to a request that had come on one of the Clergy Evaluation forms. A Pastor out West had asked for an outline of how to start a Parents’ Fellowship (one of the suggestions listed in our “Follow-up Brochure”).
   When I was responsible for Children’s Ministry at St. Matthew’s I organised a Parents’ Fellowship, which ran successfully for several years until the children of those parents, aged out of elementary school and family life changed! Not having a readymade document on the subject the plan was to create a new one, but after the crash it took a while to get caught up so this week I’ve finally been attempting to write down all the details of how this group worked and do so in an interesting and easy to follow fashion. Fortunately Anna, who is working on the redesigning of the Follow-up Brochure, has kindly agreed to turn my random thoughts into another handy dandy brochure (Yay Anna!)
    In other work, I’ve been preparing for the Day Camp Committee meeting (Monday) and the CTM Board Meeting (tomorrow afternoon). This will be a very CTM weekend because tomorrow evening is also Crossroads!
   Afternoons have been spent continuing to close down the garden (MORE raking!) and I was happy, on Thursday, to be able to tackle the heavy duty job of emptying the composter and spreading fresh compost over one of the perennial beds. Yesterday, after raking, I cut down some of the late chrysanthemums (one is still happily in bloom!) and then sewed grass seedover various patchy areas of the lawns. All of this in anticipation of the 10cms of snow forecast for tomorrow night and Monday (EEK!)

Today is an extra “Bake &Blog” day, as I realised some shortbread would go down well at the Board meeting and with such a busy Sunday I need to make part of Monday night’s dinner today. We are going to be having  German Cabbage Soup with soft pretzels (baking as I write) followed by Maple Mousse.
Another reason for getting ahead on dinner for the Day Camp Committee is thaton Monday afternoon, Jessica is going to come early so that we can have a look at some wedding dress fabric and patterns. I am about to embark on sewing her wedding dress so there is much to discuss!

One rainy afternoon I sewed a cute skirt, which I’m stashing away for Seren’s birthday, in early January. I made it from this great pattern. Previously I’ve only sewn the adult version (two for myself and one for Victoria), it was really
great to make a child’s version, as it came together so quickly!

I also blocked a shawlette I’ve been knitting to add to my Christmas gifts.

Well the oven timer is ringing so back to baking. One of the shortbreads about to go in the oven is my favourite Coffee Chocolate Chip version, good for Christmas Baking too!

Coffee Chocolate Chip Shortbread

  • 10 Tbsps. butter
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 Tbsp. finely ground espresso beans
  • 1tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Combine all the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a large bowl and work together with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Blend in the chips. Turn the dough into a 9” square cake tin and press it down evenly with your fingertips. Using a sharp paring knife, score the dough into 16 squares. Prick each square several times with a fork. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 20-25 minutes, until firm. Place the pan on a rack and, using the same knife, cut into squares. Leave to cool completely before removing from the pan.

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