Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers! 

         We have much for which to give thanks, despite all the COVID-19 challenges being faced in many parts of Canada. In comparison to the situation in countries whose citizens do not enjoy national health services we are so well cared for but for many families it is very hard not to be able to gather for the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner. By mid-October there are few parts of this country where an outdoor celebration can be held and here in Québec indoor gatherings of more than 6 people are currently taboo.

      It has been a full week. CTM’s quarterly “Networks” newsletter was finally assembled and will be published this weekend.  I have also completed reworking the email contacts and have compiled a new group list of “friends of Day Camps” to whom we will be sending 2021 application forms and other information.   No updates yet regarding the new blog site so I may have to send out the first round of information minus that new addition.

    Outside of office hours I am slowly beginning to shut down my gardens. The herbs have all been harvested and hung to dry in the furnace room although I always continue to cut fresh ones outdoors until snow finally covers the herb bed. I am also about two thirds of the way through pruning the largest perennial bed after which there are still three more fairly big sections of borders to cut back. The Bearded Irises need dividing and I’ll try to get that job done this autumn if it doesn’t freeze too hard.

     Thursday afternoon I picked up my Thanksgiving CSA box, full of lovely fall veggies, which will be featured in my dinners over the next couple of weeks. Yum!

     Rainy afternoons have seen me back sewing MANY more masks. This week I have completed 18 for my 3 Godsons (6 each) and am part way through 10 more Liturgical silk masks, ordered by Bishop Mary as well as two more cotton ones, also for her.

    It’s a good job I finished the fabric Christmas gift “buckets” last week since other gift projects and sewing for myself are currently on hold 😊.

    I’m not baking today, as Sue hasn’t ordered any GF bread this week but I do plan to start baking Christmas cookies on Monday, since it is a holiday. For many years my Mum and I started the Christmas baking on Thanksgiving Weekend and I like to keep the tradition even though the quantity of baked goods is drastically reduced from that of the past 😊.

       Today I’m sewing masks with the fond hope of completing all the orders so I can make the woollen overalls for myself that I cut out last weekend. Thursday night we had our first frost so today I regretfully turned on the furnace and went around “bleeding” all the radiators. It is a fine furnace that was installed for me six years ago at a great saving by my sweet friend (and plumber!) Phoebe. She and her Mum were members of my long time home Parish of St. Matthew’s. Sadly her Mum died at a very young age but Phoebe has made her way in the world and now has two kiddos of her own and is a master plumber, way to go girl!!!!

     Well this post seems to be getting rather long and the pile of partially made masks is sitting on the table waiting for me so we had better close off with a recipe.

    As we are now officially in “soup season” hopefully another soup will be of use to you. Last week my friend Sue brought me an amazing Pink Banana Squash. I had never seen one before but thankfully “Mr. Google” was able to provide me with information. This soup can be made with any type of winter squash. I always peel, seed and slice the squash then roast it for about 30 minutes in a 400° oven. After it cools off I purée it in batches, pack it in containers and freeze it for use in all sorts of recipes.

South American Squash Soup 

  • 1 Tbsp. butter or oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 lb. pumpkin or squash, roasted and puréed
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground chipotle
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups tomato juice
  • 2½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat the butter or oil and sauté the onion until translucent, add the garlic and chipotle and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the pumpkin, bay leaf, tomato juice and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. You my need to add more stock or water as the soup will be quite thick. Cool slightly, then purée in batches. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro. Serves 3-4, freezes well.

I served mine for supper with a bowl of cheesy hot buttered popcorn on the side!

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