This has not been the quietest of weeks! 
          Sunday was pleasant enough as, after the morning Pod Gathering I spent a large part of the afternoon painting 14 bookmarks (my contribution to the Crafts Table at the upcoming Fall Coffeehouse two weeks today!) While painting I had a nice long FaceTime chat with Brenda, largely about all things Day Camps, of course. 😊
         Monday I prepped for Tuesday’s Day Camp committee meeting. For the committee’s dinner I made a big pot of Pork Chilli, which was a good choice for a cold night. For dessert we had  zucchini chocolate layer cake with cream cheese frosting and mulled cranberry juice for a beverage.
        The meeting on Tuesday was really productive as we continued to look at all parts of the program and pinpoint the areas where there needs to be creative change. Jillian presented a draft of the new Prayer & Share brochure so we also talked about recruiting. She hopes to soon be finished editing the video she took at the FFBCM Day Camp this summer; we will be using it for promotional purposes in the months ahead.
      Wednesday I set to work on the “to-do” list that inevitably follows a committee meeting but late that afternoon had a call bringing some serious news which will impact on CTM, especially Day Camps. I will be writing more about this soon, right now it is still not public; suffice it to say that it looks as if this Day Camp year is going to be a doozy 😊
    Thursday was our monthly CTM Board of Directors meeting at which I take the minutes. We have moved from Sunday afternoon meetings to Thursday evening in order to accommodate various schedules. I’ve never been a big fan of evening meetings but- c’est la vie! The meeting went on until after 9 pm and because it happens in my dining room it always means I then spend another half hour clearing up. Oh well, we did have some important discussions and did some valuable decision-making as we chart a course for the year ahead.
     Yesterday was bit upside down due to the need for me to devote a good part of the day to a catering order I was preparing for Jenna. Since the order was for 4 pies ( Lemon Meringue,  Gluten Free Pear Gallette,  Roasted Beet and Apple and Harvest Quiche) there was quite a lot to do and since I was going to have the oven on I also baked the weekly order of 2 gluten–free loaves for Sue plus  another Skillet Chocolate Chip cookie for last night’s dessert since Jenna came for dinner when she picked up the order!
     Because of baking all morning, yesterday afternoon was a whirlwind of typing up Board minutes, answering emails and pulling together dinner for Jenna and myself. It was lovely to finally sit down at the table and each of us was able to unpack our week sharing our joys and woes over big bowls of Salmon Chowder and a loaf of Ciabatta.
     This morning dawned wet and windy. I had planned to start by doing some more intensive raking and planting of bulbs but everything was soggy and there was a crazy gale blowing so instead I headed down to Westmount (a good half hour walk each way) to hunt for 2 special 2019 wall calendars. Westmount Stationary is the only store nearby that stocks Lang Calendars and many years ago I bought my Mum one with a special frame as a Christmas gift so every year since then we have bought a Lang calendar to fit that frame, which hangs on the dining room door. A second one  hangs in the kitchen and for so many seasons it has held all the events, dates, birthdays and anniversaries of importance in the Taylor household.
      Fortunately I had success in finding the exact designs I wanted (they sell out fast!) and fought my way home triumphantly against the wind. While down there I also stopped at Hogg Hardware to fill a bag with Paperwhite bulbs, which are now stashed in the fridge, ready to be forced in time to bloom at Christmas.
     Once home I was able to work in the garden for an hour as the weather, although still super windy, had at least cleared. And now I finally have time to get to the Blog post, although I realised while gardening that I still have not made up the menu chart for the next 2 weeks. The current one expires today and I usually set up the new one after picking up my farm share every second Thursday afternoon. So as soon as I hit the “publish” button, I know what I’ll be doing next. 😊
      But we must have a recipe before closing off.  Since the Pork Chilli got 2 thumbs up on Tuesday evening, I think I’ll share that.
Pork and Squash Chilli
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 orange bell peppers, diced
  • 2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsps. cocoa powder
  • 1 24oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups each cooked black and pinto beans
  • 2 tsps. oregano
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsps. paprika
  • 2 cups frozen corn kernels
  • pumpkin seeds & chopped fresh cilantro for serving
Steam the squash until tender, cool slightly and transfer to the bowl of a food processor along with half the can of tomatoes, the broth, spices and jalapenos, process until smooth. Set aside.
In a large pot brown the pork, breaking up the clumps, add the onion and salt and sauté until softened. Add the orange peppers, zucchini and garlic and cook a further 5 minutes. Pour in the squash purée and beans and stir until well combined. Bring to a boil then simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the corn and heat through. Serve with the pumpkin seeds and cilantro for garnishing.
Serves 8. The chilli freezes well; reheat gently so the vegetables do not overcook. 
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