Advent 1

           Many years ago I used to babysit for the children of our Parish priest and his wife. Our then Bishop always had a big party on the Saturday evening before the first Sunday in Advent. They called it a “New Year’s Eve” Party, so I have always thought of the eve of Advent Sunday as New Year’s Eve, and that is today, so- “Happy New Year”!

           This afternoon a group of Team Alums will be joining me online as we begin a weekly Advent Program. I have used this particular resource at the Pod for the past three Advents and am eager to share it with the Team Members. It is most encouraging that 7 or 8 “Alums” have signed up for the program and it will be so lovely to “see” their faces, even if it has to be over Zoom and not in person. We are meeting at 4pm so I’m trying to squish my baking into this morning in order to be ready on time.

       The past week has been quite full as we continue prepping for “Carols & Cocoa –Coast to Coast”. Monday afternoon Kelvin and I had a Zoom meeting in order to go over all the details. He is our MC for the event and is also going to meet with Jillian, who will be handling the tech side of things. I have sent out a second round of reminders to a long list of Host Communities plus recent and past Team Members so we are all hoping for a good turnout on the day. At least with virtual events we know that bad weather will not keep people away, unless of course there is a power failure!

       Outside of office hours I have been occupied with my own Advent preparations, like planting Paperwhite bulbs on rocks and packing my gifts in the fabric bags I sewed for them. Today’s baking includes Stöllen, an annual Christmas Treat, much loved by my family and which I still enjoy nowadays on my own!

      We also have had 2 dumps of snow this week. Wednesday there was close to 10cms. which necessitated a couple of hours of shovelling, although the next few days are forecast with above freezing temperatures so it looks as if I’m free of shovel duty for the present.

     Throughout Advent the Pod is meeting on Monday evenings as our most regular member, Sue, is staying up at her family’s cabin every weekend since her husband takes Services in several small rural churches. This Advent we are watching some excellent short films from “The Work of the People”, creating a weekly nature craft, listening to the weekly YouTube Bible Study from Holy Comforter Church and using 2 Advent EPs by The Brilliance as our soundtrack. It is my turn to prepare the craft for this coming Monday, and I’m planning for garlands of dried citrus slices. It is a bit tricky drying them in a regular oven as they can burn quite easily; they work better in a dehydrator.

      Since I need to keep a sharp eye on said slices for the next hour or so I had better close off here with a recipe. After recently reading two fascinating books set in Burma, I have been exploring that cuisine, which is heavily influenced by Indian foods, as well as the cooking of South East Asian countries.  Thursday evening I enjoyed a Burmese egg curry, it is extremely tasty as well as being so pretty, do give it a try!

 Burmese Golden Egg Curry

  •  4 large eggs
  •  2 Tbsps. peanut oil
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric

  • 1 small onion, minced  
  • 2 tsps. minced garlic
  • ¼ tsp. chili powder 

  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tsps. fish sauce
  • ½ tsp. salt
  •  1 Tbsp. Sriracha  

 Boil the eggs for 8 minutes, drain, cool in cold water then peel them. 
Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add the turmeric and stir to dissolve. Add the peeled eggs and fry until golden and a little blistered all over. Remove from the pan, halve lengthwise and set aside Add the onion and garlic to the oil remaining in the pan over medium heat and fry briefly, until translucent. Add the chili powder and tomatoes and simmer until the tomatoes have broken down into a softened mass, about 10 minutes, 
stir in the fish sauce, salt and Sriracha. Place the eggs cut side down in the sauce and cook about 3 minutes. Serve hot with rice or Naan and Asian pickled vegetables.

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