Here we are on the cusp of Holy Week! 
         Of course being Montreal in April we had a snowstorm this past Tuesday that dumped 10cms of snow on the city and caused 20,000 people in the suburbs to spend two days with no electricity. Ah! spring in Québec 😊
        Since then nearly all of the snow has melted and there are even some small green shoots showing in my garden so hopefully things will soon take a turn for the better. Despite the distinctly “un-spring-like” weather it is still my plan to wash all the curtains and windows in a the house next week, in readiness for Easter. Performing this annual task in Holy Week has a twofold purpose as I love to see the house bright and shining on Easter Sunday and I also find this one of the most taxing jobs in the whole year so it makes for a suitable Holy Week penance. Of course if oodles of rain or snow are predicted the plan will need to be altered but I am currently hoping it be able to carry it out (more next Saturday 😊).
        This has been a bit of a heavy week in terms of meetings and worse still in my having to type a copious amount of Minutes.
       The trip down to Cathedral Place on Tuesday went according to plan despite the blizzard with first Tyler and then Steven holding the fort at home by caring for Thomason as this was the first time I had left him for several hours.
      Then Wednesday evening was the monthly CTM Board Meeting at which I also take minutes. Thom behaved himself quite well that evening, lying on his cushion beside me throughout the proceedings. Fortunately Rebecca sat on his other side and as she is a great dog lover, was able to keep him calm, even when Mandu passed through the room several times, much to Thom’s interest!
     In the world of Day Camps this week the problem of needing a third Training Day Camp location has yet to be resolved.  I have written to the Clergy at another church but as yet have not had an answer. The matter will certainly be on the agenda next Tuesday at our Day Camp Committee meeting. With that meeting falling in Holy Week 3 of our 7 members are not able to be present due to rehearsals for Easter Services, however we still plan to meet because at this time of year there is SO MUCH to work on. I have scheduled extra one-on-one meetings with 2 of the members so that their input in the discussions can still be included. Of course that means I now have 3 meetings next week instead of one. Ha! So goes the world of Day Camps, as summer approaches 😊
          Somehow despite all this week’s activities  I did manage to finish making fabric liners for my Easter gift crates and yesterday afternoon wrapped all 24 of this year’s Pysanky in clear cellophane to protect them when the crates are being delivered.
          As I write this post a group of volunteers is over at FFBCM Church recording this summer’s Day Camps songs. and I’ve just sent off a text to Mae Anne who is in charge, to see how things are going 😊
         This afternoon I’m also going to bake my first batch of Kulich, which is the special Russian Easter bread I plan to include in the crates. Right now I’m waiting to interview another newbie Team Member candidate. This young man has recently suffered the death of his father and has just returned from the funeral in another country so needless to say I am concerned that this might not be the right time for him to commit to a summer away from other family members. However it is not good to make such a judgement before talking face to face. We still need 5 or 6 more Team applications and of equal importance 5 more host locations, 2 in Québec,2 in Ontario and 1 in BC. Of course next week it will be impossible to connect with anyone who works in a church as everyone will be focused on the coming Festival of Easter and so we will just need to keep praying about these issues until I can speak with my various contacts the week after next.
Since my interviewee should be knocking at the door any moment I guess I should wrap up this post with the customary recipe.
As mentioned above, I’m going to make Kulich this year. It is a delicious sweet yeast bread and has a lovely pink icing, making for a special presentation.
Here is the recipe:-
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 ½ cups flour
  • 1cup butter
  • ½ cup whple wheat flour
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried apricots, chopped fine
  • 1 cup ground toasted almonds or pecans
  • 2 Tbsps. orange zest
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
In a large bowl combine the yeast and water. Add the milk, sugar and salt. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Butter 3 28oz. cans and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Add 3 cups of flour, whole wheat flour and ½ cup butter and stir or mix with an electric mixer on low speed. Add remaining flour and butter and mix just until blended. Stir in the fruits, nuts, zest and cardamom and stir until well mixed. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Carefully fold into the dough. Scrape the dpugh into the greased cans as set aside for 1 hour or until doubled.
Preheat oven to 350º. Bake for 45mins, cool in cans for15 minutes and then turn out onto a rack to cool completely before icing.
Ice the top of each loaf with the following icing, letting it run decoratively down the sides. 
Pink icing
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1tsp. strained raspberry juice
  • Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, adding more sugar or juice to achieve a good consistency.
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