The second week of Advent has flown by! 
        There has been progress around both the 2019 Program Manual and the new “Planners” with the Community Planner being almost ready for proofreading, which is super! One of the best pieces of news this week was that the Corporation of St. Matthias Church has agreed to our request to use their facilities for training and workshops during the (soon to be reconfigured) Retreat Week. Having a location already pinned down is a huge relief as there is a ton of other planning to do but at least we know we have a venue. I’m excited to share the news with the whole Day Camp committee at our meeting next Tuesday. 😊Two of the Program Manual chapter editors have submitted their material, which is also excellent. All of this is most encouraging and makes the multitude challenges we are presently facing a bit less daunting!
         In other news I have completed all the bouchées I was commissioned to make for my friend’s “Cocktail” and have done a lot of extra baking and cooking for various pre-Christmas activities. All the Christmas gifts are completed and wrapped and the paperwhites are almost in bloom. 😊
       Tuesday I headed down to the Synod offices for Diocesan Council. The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada was the guest speaker. He is retiring next summer and is currently travelling to every diocese in the country gathering reflections from Anglicans on the topic- “The Heartbeat of the Church”. It was an interesting meeting and the bonus for myself as Lay Secretary and for my Clerical partner, Sophie, was that we were only required to record minutes of the formal meeting portion not the time of reflection. 😊
       Thursday afternoon Chelsea came over to visit and to catch up on our Pod Advent Program. She has a part-time job over the Christmas season and of course often gets called in on Sundays so she had missed the first 2 weeks of the Program we are following. It was lovely to take a break from a marathon-baking afternoon and intentionally slow down. We made bowls of latté and curled up in cosy living room chairs to watch and reflect on the videos then we moved back into the kitchen where Chelsea painted a plate as her artistic response to the Advent 2 liturgy and I went back to baking!
            Victoria and the boys had hoped to be with us this weekend but things haven’t worked out at their end and so they are at home in Ottawa. It is particularly sad, as I had planned to give her the bag of Christmas gifts for the family. Hopefully they will be able to make it down to Montreal during the week between Christmas and New Year so we will still have our gift exchange during the 12 days of Christmas😊. I had planned to take my godsons to see the Precipio, which is an annual NDG tradition and is set up in the windows of a local Italian Restaurant & Charcuterie, Pasta Casareccia. Yesterday afternoon, standing outside in the pouring freezing rain I stood entranced for a long time looking at it in all its magical detail.
        After several dark days with horrid freezing rain the sun has come out this morning and I will soon be off to do the inevitable round of errands before launching into preparations for a High Tea we are having tomorrow afternoon when Sophie is coming to join Steven and myself. Sophie is a former Day Camp Team member who is now in Medical School and I have not caught up with her for quite a while. She knows Steven both from his years of working at MCF and because they both attended Emmaus Church while he was living in Montreal. I haven’t done a High Tea since my last Spanish Inquisition.  This visit is most definitely NOT in that category but I love doing a High Tea and Advent seems a great time to have one.
      When I get back from errands I shall be assembling a Black Forest Trifle and preparing a batch of stuffed eggs so we had better finish up with a recipe so I can get going 😊
One evening this week, for a special dessert, I made a seasonal favourite – Eggnog Pudding. I strongly recommend making this with all organic ingredients firstly for ethical reasons and secondly for a much more delicious result.
 Holiday Eggnog Pudding
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsps unflavoured gelatine 
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup ice water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups commercial eggnog
  • Whipped cream
In a large bowl combine the gelatine with brown sugar. Add in the boiling water and whisk vigorously until the gelatine is completely dissolved. Whisk in the ice water and place the bowl in the fridge until the contents mound on a spoon (this can happen quite quickly so be sure to check at five minute intervals). Once the mixture is ready, beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy then slowly beat in the eggnog in a steady stream. Fill a 4-cup mould with cold water and immediately empty but do not dry. Pour the pudding into the mould, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Unmould onto a serving plate and serve with whipped cream. Serves 6-8.
 Coda: Late this morning dear family friend and mentor, Brian, called to say he would be dropping by shortly with my Christmas Tree!!! So as you will see by the last photo, Steven and I have just spent the latter part of the afternoon happily decorating it and have just said a blessing over the finished product 😊
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