Epiphany 7

It truly seems as if Christmas was just a few weeks ago and here we are looking in the coming week towards Ash Wednesday. I think the fact that in these parts winter is so protracted contributes to a disconnect as Easter and spring rarely seem to coincide 😊

        It is bitterly cold this morning with piles of fresh snow after a couple more unexpected “mini-storms” over the past few days. Thomason is curled up in a small ball on a chair nearby and I’m wrapped in a blanket trying to keep warm with a mug of coffee and also trying to type in fingerless gloves. Ugh!
The week got off to a good start with our monthly Day Camp committee meeting. Mae Anne was unfortunately absent due to sickness and Brenda was swamped with evening chores and so didn’t make it either. But the rest of us had a productive meeting kicked off with an excellent devotion by Gillian based on a modern twist on the Beatitudes  by Nadia Bolz- Weber. I first heard this piece when watching the funeral of Christian author Rachel Held Evans, who died so tragically in the spring of 2019.
        After one of our committee meetings I always spend a good portion of the next few days doing follow up on the many points raised and this week was no exception. Of necessity that work was interspersed with several bouts of shovelling, but I have survived and no doubt have stronger arm muscles to show for the workouts 😊
         We are now missing only 2 small sections of the 2020 Program Manual. I am VERY anxious to be able to send the Supply List to all the host communities who have already applied for Day Camps but am held up because one of those sections “Warm-up Games” may require a few supplies that do not already appear on the list. Sigh. I have badgered the person preparing those games and he knows I’m pressed for time so I guess I have to try and be more patient.
          Wednesday was a CTM Board of Directors meeting, the final one prior to the 2020 Annual General Meeting. Much of the meeting was taken up by discussion about the AGM and taking minutes was a bit complicated. So Thursday and Friday I spent quite a while typing up the draft copy.
         Thursday evening Jenna came for dinner and we continued the tutorial I have been giving her on the subject of making and embroidering altar linens.
        After his usual enthusiastic greeting Thomason did calm down sufficiently so that we were able to make progress on the vagaries of chain stitch and stem stitch 😊 Jenna is a quick study!
       As previously mentioned my long-time former boarder Steven has been back living here this week, having arrive last Monday morning. Thomason was overjoyed to see him and jumps gleefully onto Steven’s lap whenever the poor man tries to sit down (I think Steven is actually enjoying Thomason’s enthusiasm 😊).
      Today we will be enjoying for Saturday lunch some delicious flaky chocolatines from the local organic bakery, a treat I have not indulged in since Steven moved to Halifax last November!  Then afterwards it will be time for Saturday baking.
       Apart from a bit of progress on the ubiquitous Nfld Mittens there has been zero time for crafting although, in the next few days, I do need to squeeze in the sewing of birthday gifts for two dear friends.
      I had better wrap this post up now and get started on lunch prep as Steven has gone to the bakery to procure the treats. 
      For the Day Camp Committee dinner I made a Vietnamese slow cooker beef stew with Fluffy Steam Buns and for dessert a Macha Swiss roll.
Jillian asked for the stew recipe so here it is for anyone who would like to give it a try 😊
Vietnamese Slow Cooker Beef Stew 
  • 2 lbs. stewing beef cut into 1” cubes
  • 5oz. root ginger, sliced
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsps.  vegetable oil
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. each chili powder, smoked paprika, anise, powdered ginger, garlic powder & salt
  • ½ tsp. 
  • 6 small carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups coconut water
  • grated rind of 1 lemon 
In a large bowl, combine the beef, crumbled beef stock cube, spices and 1 Tbsp. of oil. 
 Heat the rest of the oil in a large skillet, add the garlic and stir until fragrant.  Sauté the beef, stir occasionally, until browned. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute. 
 Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add the ginger, lemon rind, coconut water & water. 
 Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 ½ hours. When the time expires stir in the chopped carrots and cook for another 90 minutes. 
 Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve over rice or with steam buns. Serves 4-6.
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