Easter 2

Things are certainly ramping up around here as we approach the end of April (EEK! less than 2 months before the start of Day Camps!!)As always, there are many items (large and small) that still need to be checked off our list but progress is being made.

Yesterday afternoon, Jessica came over to finish work on the Team Leaders Binders, super important resource tools for our Leaders packed with many documents;  it is just great to know they are now ready for use. Monday Jillian will be here too and will hopefully finish assembling the Music binders, which hold all the sheet music for the program and which are an equally vital resource for our musicians.Plus I am happy to report that ALL the advance baking and cooking has been completed for the Team Training Retreat!! 
This week I tackled Zucchini Chowder and Chicken Potpie Filling, each recipe to serve 24 hungry young adults 😊. Today, along with baking for the clergy and spouses retreat I’m catering in May, I’m also preparing Spiced Nuts for the CTM Retreat but that is really the last thing that can be made this far ahead. The next food-related task to deal with will be the compiling of the VERY long Retreat Week Grocery lists. Because we use our local CO-OP and a small local organic food store for all the shopping they like having advance notice of our needs so they can arrange for special orders from their suppliers.

Applications are still arriving from host communities, which is encouraging. I wish I could say that Team Applications were also arriving but at least we do have “pieces” of 7 forms and the promise of several more. It is a bit daunting to consider that we are aiming for a total of 21 volunteers this summer so I’m trying to reach out every day to at least one potential contact in the hopes of achieving that goal. God has been faithful every year in meeting our needs but since His timing is not the same as mine it can be a nail biting (and faith-stretching!!) experience while waiting to see the final plan unfold.I have just returned from a lovely lunch meeting with Brett Cane, friend, long-time mentor and creator of the CTM Day Camp Program (among many other great accomplishments!!) Brett is at the start of an extended journey to Europe and Africa and is spending a few days visiting family in Montreal before departing for the UK. It was wonderful to eat delicious Vietnamese Springrolls outdoors at a local organic Café and to catch up on each other’s adventures since we last met just before Christmas. Brett has also provided a couple more UK contacts for me to try out as the quest for Team Leaders continues! Although very windy, it is a beautiful warm spring day and I enjoyed another happy little visit this morning as Pippa, Seren and I got together for Wil’s walk heading first to a local park where Seren could try out the swings and climbing bars while Pippa and I chatted on a bench in the sunshine. Such a lovely way to start a Saturday 😊, especially as I know that the next three Saturdays are already jam-packed with activities.
Next Saturday afternoon a group of Team Members will be gathering @ Isaiah 40 where we will have a craft-making “bee”, preparing samples of all the 2017 Day Camp Crafts. I’ll be publishing a separate post of photos so that anyone hosting our Program can check them out. The following Saturday is both the big CTM Fundraiser (for which I am preparing the beverage- Lime Mint Ade) plus the Clergy & Spouses Retreat for which I’m catering 6 meals from Friday-Sunday AND the whole Huyer family will be sleeping over Saturday night so that they can be involved at the Fundraiser. Then the Saturday of the Holiday Weekend is Jessica’s wedding, yes, the next three weekends are pretty busy!!

Well before I go and package up the freshly baked the Greek Phyllo Rolls it is time for our recipe!I am currently pretty obsessed with the whole “Bowl” movement. “Bowls” are super popular and such a great idea as they are literally a whole meal in a bowl.Last evening I made an Israeli Couscous Bowl and it was pretty yummy!

Israeli Couscous Bowls 

  • 2 cups Israeli Couscous (also known as Pearl Couscous)
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, well rinsed, trimmed and coarselychopped
  • 4 salmon filets OR 1 lb. shrimp
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • 4 Tbsps. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. each curry powder and turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 small carrots, grated
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

Poach the salmon for 10 minutes (or shrimp, just until pink), drain and set aside.Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil and the couscous and stir will. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until all the water has been absorbed, adding a little more water if necessary. The cooked couscous should still be chewy.While the couscous is cooking, whisk together the yoghurt, remaining oil, spices, vinegar and salt. Remove the couscous from the heat and top with the spinach, cover and leave for 5 minutes or until the spinach is just wilted. Fluff the couscous with the spinach and fold in the yoghurt dressing, grated carrot and raisins.Divide the couscous mixture between 4 shallow bowls. Place a salmon filet or several shrimp on top of each serving and garnish with almonds and cilantro.
Serves 4

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