A New Month

Wow February already! I guess most of us are happy to put January behind us and to see the days begin to lengthen. 
       It has been another snowy week around here but we have also had a welcome dose of sunshine 😊 and work for Day Camps 2017 is in full swing. All the Program Manual Chapters have nowbeen received and passed on to Arnee and each morning she sends in several emails with questions, comments and even finished sections for me to review. It feels good to have this key part of our Program well in hand.
      And the schedule continues to fill up, not just with “pencilled in” requests but with honest to goodness Application Forms and Deposits. The latter are most welcome since they mean that we can  begin to look at purchasing some of the Team Supplies. My “Woman Friday”- Jessica is getting married in late May so we are both quite anxious to do the supplies as early as possible and have that box ticked well before we are both consumed with last minute wedding details (yes, I shall be a bit consumed too since I am sewing the wedding dress!!)
     Too bad we have not yet received any Team Applications, but I guess one cannot have everything. Hopefully a notice will be made at the upcoming Crossroads Service by which time the new promo bookmarks should have been printed and soon a group of CTM volunteers will begin a series of Church visits at which they will be encouraging young people to sign up for our Residential Camps, and maybe to even consider Travelling Team. I have made a tentative list of prospective Team Members and have pulled together 17 names. As is my annual custom, I shall commit from now until summer to pray over the list on a daily basis, adding and crossing off names as we near the start of Day Camps.
    Behind the scenes there is always the slightly less interesting day-to-day “office” work. Wil and I took a cold walk to the bank yesterday and recently I’ve also been pulling together the various documents needed for the March AGM. Henry, our invaluable copy centre person, will be printing the AGM folder but badgering everyone to submit their annual reports is not the easiest of tasks!
   Of course the week has also seen daily bouts of shovelling. Fortunately we have not had any more blizzards, just enough snow to require an hour or so’s work with the shovel and broom.  There have not been quite so many visitors as usual either, although Monday evening a long-time friend came for dinner and we enjoyed a Chinese New Year meal of Noodles in Soup, Mandarin Oranges, Moon
Cakes and White Peony Tea.
   Much of my spare time is currently taken up with the Icelandic socks I’m knitting for a friend. They are extremely complicated, both in the pattern and in the unusual construction so it is almost impossible to read a book while knitting (my usual practice!) Thank goodness for the world of podcasts. I’ve recently discovered “Burnt Toast” from Food 52. I have the Food 52 cookbook and love the recipes, If one is really into the whole foods thing these interviews and discussions are super interesting and take my mind off the nasty pattern charts 😊 I get my daily reading fix in bed each night and am currently reading an excellent book called “Sensible Shoes” ( I’ve been staying up way too late reading “just one more section” each night!!) 
    Hopefully next week there will be time to squeeze in a bit of spring sewing. Although the “Changing of the Decorations” does not occur again until Ash Wednesday I like to make things like new cushion covers or garlands well in advance so they can be ready for arranging along with everything else at the correct time.
   Regular readers may have noticed a lack of “Sunday Reflections” posts over the past month. Of course this is mostly due to the closing of St. Stephen’s but also because right now, well, I just need some space in which to straighten out my thoughts as to how church will look for me as I move ahead. Actually I’ve probably spent a lot more time “reflecting” than I used to on the Sabbath Day so perhaps next week I’ll pull those thoughts together and share them in this space.
  Today I’m prepping some recipes as a friend is coming to dinner tomorrow evening. I’m off to chop veggies for a Sausage and Lentil Soup (from Food 52!)
   But first a recipe: – This week Wednesday was my big baking day so for dinner that night I made Baked Beans with Apples. Most baked beans take ages in the oven these are way faster yet still very authentic.

 Baked Beans with Apples

  • 1 cup Great Northern or Navy Beans
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 3 medium apples, diced
  • 6oz. bacon cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups tomato juice1 tsp. mustard powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ cup brown sugar
Soak the beans overnight in cold water. Next morning drain and place in a medium pot with plenty of fresh water. Bring to the boil then simmer over low heat for approx. 40 minutes or until just tender. Drain and place in a casserole or bean pot. Add all the other ingredients and stir well.Cover tightly and bake in a preheated 350º oven for 1 hour. Serves 4

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