Advent 4

Another ( VERY cold and snowy) week has flown by with only 7 days left until Christmas Eve!
Although it seems that every day has been jam packed with a mixture of CTM work, visitors (mostly on CTM business!), cooking, baking, sewing, meetings, art lessons etc. somehow this Advent has included a quiet and  reflective peace, which is just what I aim for. Of course I wish that some of the solemnity was not because every few hours I’m brought up short by the horrid thought that tomorrow will be our last Sunday Morning Gathering @ St. Stephen’s. If that is not enough to make one suddenly feel very solemn I’m not sure what is! In the midst of life we are in death, and this is a death, a death of community and fellowship a death of a Parish rooted in a corner of Westmount for over 100 years.
On a brighter note… Monday morning, despite appalling weather, Jillian joined me for lunch and a discussion of both Day Camps and the upcoming Christmas Crossroads (tomorrow evening). Later that day we gathered for our monthly Day Camp Meeting and had a good turn out with 5 out of 7 members present. We ate tourtière, drank mulled cider and enjoyed eggnog mould with whipped cream for dessert. Then we got down to business discussing everything from the Logo design, to the possibility of a special Team spending 2 weeks in Germany this Summer, taking Day Camps to a big Ecumenical conference celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.
 Tuesday I had a lovely, if short, visit with Brenda, a dear Day Camp friend who lives in Toronto but was in Montreal for a couple of days. To help prolong our time we took the bus downtown together, parting at a Metro station so that I could continue on to a Diocesan Council Meeting.
 Thursday Brett Cane joined me for lunch.As I have mentioned before, Brett is my mentor, friend, former President of CTM and inventor of our Day Camp Program!!He was here for a few days to visit with family before heading to his home in BC. It was great to catch up with him and even have an opportunity to ask for his counsel about my hunt for another church home 😊.
That evening was Matthew’s last Art lesson in our Autumn Series and he finished up his copy of Monet’s Water Lilies, doing a super job and even learning how to “mat” the completed work.
  Yesterday was the dinner party for 20 I catered for a friend. She called first thing in the morning to ask if everything could be ready for pick up by 11am so I found myself scurrying around whipping cream and assembling a huge salad even before Wil and I went on our early walk. Jill was supposed to drop by during the morning but her cat needed to go to the vet so we shall have to squeeze in our coffee time next week ( Ha! She has 4 children so the week before Christmas will no doubtbe even more manic)
    Today has been about as busy with Brian picking up all the appetisers  for their family’s Cocktail Party this evening (and delivering the unexpected gift of a CHRISTMAS TREE!!!), Steven coming for a quick lunch and to say good-bye before he heads home to Edmonton for Christmas and Jessica and Tyler about to turn up any minute! Tyler (Jessica’s fiancé) is an electrical engineer and as very kindly offered to take a look at my beloved Crossly Entertainment Centre (aka CD, LP, Tape player and radio), which has stopped working just as I was enjoying our extensive collection of Christmas Music.
 Well before I put the kettle on to make them some tea and  start the delightful job of tree decorating… we need a recipe.
For Christmas Crossroads I’ve made Marshmallows to add to our mugs of cocoa. Last year’s recipe was fiendishly difficult but this one was much simpler. I have adapted it to all organic ingredients and am very pleased with the results!
Homemade Marshmallows
  • 4 tsps. unflavoured gelatin powder
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 2/3 cup light agave syrup
  • 1/8 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • a few drops Peppermint Essential Oil
In a large bowl dissolve the gelatin in 1/3 cup cold water. Combine the cane sugar, agave, salt and 1 cup water in a saucepan Bring to a boil, stirring, then allow to boil untouched for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Using a stand mixer or sturdy hand beater set on LOW speed begin to beat the gelatin and VERY SLOWLY beat in the hot syrup. Once it has all been added gradually raise the speed of the beaters to high and beat for 5-7 minutes until very thick and fluffy. Grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil and dust liberally with icing sugar. Spread the fluff in the pan and leave uncovered at room temperature for 6-8 hours. Turn the fluff out onto a work surface dusted with icing sugar and cut into squares or other shapes with cookie cutters. Store in the fridge wrapped in parchment paper in a tightly sealed
container. They will last up to one month.

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