My goodness winter has already settled in around here!! Fortunately I managed to plant my hyacinth bulbs last Sunday afternoon and then on Monday tackled the Herculean task of emptying the compost bin and spreading the fresh compost on a section of the flowerbeds. This year I filled TWO wheelbarrows full, usually I only have enough for one!!
     Not every day has been suitable for the final garden work as Wednesday night and Thursday we had some snow. Not a lot but enough to make the last of the leaves very wet so that this morning they are still frozen to the ground. I’m waiting until late morning to see if I can rake up at least some of them since I hate to leave them on the grass over the winter. Maple leaves are very acidic and can turn the new grass brown when everything thaws in the spring.
     Last Saturday was the Coffeehouse and it was a huge success. I hope you got a flavour of it from my photos. As mentioned before, it was our first time holding this event at First Filipino Baptist Church and I was a bit concerned about preparing the hot drinks as  having only used the kitchen there once before. However we had borrowed Rod Stilwell’s amazing giant thermoses and Jillian had assured me that there would be large pots in which to heat everything. Due to a traffic snarl we were running late when we arrived and Jillian helped me haul everything into the kitchen. I immediately started searching for the large pots but only come up with two inadequately small ones. EEK! Time was running out. What to do to heat 60 cups of liquids??? Well if you are at a Filipino Church what you do is use rice cookers 😊. Jillian rooted through the cupboards and found 5 of these useful appliances and soon we had them plugged in on the kitchen counters and out in the hall (in case we blew fuses!!).
When Pastor Joe arrived he popped into the kitchen to see how things were going and laughed heartily when I told him our story. Rice cookers saved the day 😊.
             Day Camp work has of course been chugging along throughout the week. I think I have almost completed the Creative Connection Chapter of the Program Manual, although I still need to choreograph the Liturgical Dance. I’m also still working on the “Registration Time” crafts. This is a new section we added to the program two years ago as many communities asked for an activity suitable to have on hand as children arrive at the start of each day. The craft is optional but I still want to make them all exciting and special since if a community chooses to include them they are is the first thing Campers do when they arrive at Day Camp each morning.
            Thursday I also published a (belated) Wednesday words post. As you will have read, we plan to publish Team testimonies over the next 8 or 9 months, so stay tuned for more!
             Yesterday I sent out a second reminder to a number of communities who had, last spring, been unable to host a 2019 Day Camp but had asked for info about 2020. Hopefully some of these new places will jump on board. 
               In between other projects I have squeezed in the sewing of 4 fabric “buckets”. My baking gift to some friends this Christmas is a Cranberry Walnut Miche and since it is quite large I am making medium–sized buckets instead of the smaller ones in which I have previously gifted cookies or biscotti. Fortunately I was blessed by a friend with a stack of Christmas fabric remnants and so should be able to make the 8 needed buckets.
           And another afternoon I was able to craft two vine wreathes from a pile of grape Ines generously gifted to me by a neighbour. I’m sure they will also be turned into Christmas presents 😊
Wednesday  I was so happy to have a nice visit with Jessica. She came (bearing delicious Leek Scones) for a late lunch and then was kind enough to join me as I headed to the farm stand to collect our Winter Vegetable Box.
           This one time “box” is way more than just one bin and includes 10 pound bags of onions, potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables, plus a couple of towering stems of Brussels Sprouts, a bunch of giant leeks and much more 😊.
           I was also picking up my monthly order of offal for Thomason’s homemade dog food. All in all it would have been impossible to lug this provender home in less than three trips but Jessica and I together managed it in one. Yay!!!!  She even helped me by cutting the sprouts off their stems as I tried to fit as much as possible into the fridge 😊. Afterwards we were able to continue our visit while both working on our current Christmas knitting projects.
            Well since today is Bake and Blog Saturday I’ll need to wrap this post up, as there are scones, a cake, a miche, gluten free bread and a pie to get in the oven.

One evening this week we enjoyed Southeast Asian Beef Bowls. I hope you will enjoy them too. They are super quick to pull together on a busy weeknight

Beef Bowls

  • 1lb. lean ground beef

  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 6 Tbsps. Teriyaki Sauce
  • 3 Tbsps. Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  •  1 Tbsp. Sriracha
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps. fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 5 scallions, sliced, light and dark parts separated
For Serving-
  • Rice. 
chopped cashews,
sesame seeds, julienned carrots 
In a large bowl, using your hands, mash the beef with the baking soda. Let it sit on the counter for 20-25 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the Teriyaki sauce, Tamari sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, sugar, and Sriracha. Set aside.  Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef, stirring frequently and breaking into pieces, until just slightly pink, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and light scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, a few minutes. Add the reserved Teriyaki sauce mixture and cook until the beef is well coated and cooked through, about a minute. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. 
Gently stir in the remaining scallions and spoon the beef into bowls over rice. Top with sesame seeds, chopped cashews, and shredded veggies. 
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