Lent 1

Mandu 2003-2021

This has not been an easy week and I even considered not writing my weekly post but felt it best to forge ahead.

The week began with yet another bad storm so a number of hours were spent outside shovelling. The snow was heavy and had blown into high drifts making for some big piles to be moved, it is becoming a real problem finding suitable places to put more snow!

During office time I have been working on promoting our “Cook-along” project. Sadly there has still been zero interest from our constituency and with today being the registration deadline we are considering the need to cancel despite the efforts of all the organisers. At present I am in consultation with the 3 chefs and their “buddies” in order to make the best-informed decision.

With the February CTM Board Meeting coming up tomorrow I also needed to have the draft agenda approved by our President and then send it out to al the members. Monday afternoon Gillian and I met for the second time to continue planning the Lenten Day Retreat for Team Alumnae. We had a really good meeting and Thursday I was able to send a draft schedule of the event to our Speaker, Chris Belle. Several Alums have already expressed interest in the Retreat so I think we will be able to hold it as scheduled on the last Saturday of March.

Afternoons I have continued with the phone calls for Innovation Jeunes. Some days I can reach 9 or 10 people but at other times all I get is voicemail, which can be quite frustrating.

All week I have also been tending to my 18 year old cat, Mandu. She has been fading for several months and had a heart condition. She died Ash Wednesday night. I am grateful for Thomason’s presence with me in the house as, with the COVID restrictions I would otherwise be completely alone. I shall miss her very much.

Today I will be baking GF bread for Sue and making my first batch of Hot Cross Buns. We had a couple more centimetres of snow last night so first thing this morning there was another short round with the shovel!

I shall juggle baking with phone calls, as Saturday will perhaps be a better time to catch the clients at home. Many of them are university students and since classes are all online it is possible to reach them at home on weekdays but I think they often wisely let their phones go directly to voicemail when they are attending virtual courses.

Not much has happened in the way of crafting. I did complete 2 sets of Lutheran Prayer Beads that a friend had commissioned me to make, and I have almost finished knitting the Merino wristers I started a couple of weeks ago. Next week I shall need to see if a local store has any free-range white eggs, as I would like to begin making some Pysanky. The eggs in my organic grocery order are brown and so will not take the dye properly and I will not, on principle, buy battery laid eggs since I cannot bear to think of the way those chickens suffer. I’m not keen on free-range for myself to eat as I’m not sure if the chickens’ diet includes grain that contains GMOs however I’m willing to buy them for Pysanky as at least I know they come from chickens who lead a decent life.

Well I had better head off to start baking so I shall end here with a recipe. One evening this week I enjoyed a steak and pear salad, hoping you will enjoy it too!

Steak & Pear Salad

  • 1 lb. flank steak
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 Bosc pears, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup veganaise
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. each coarse sea salt and black pepper

Pat the steak dry and season with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a cast iron pan and fry the steak for 6 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together the vinegar, veganaise and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the carrots and pears in 2 or 3 individual shallow bowls. Thinly slice the steak and add to the bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle each serving with some of the dressing. Serves 2-3

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