Lent 3

Another week has flown by and we are already half way through Lent.

The first Cook-Along, last Saturday afternoon went of splendidly! Initially I was going to put up a “Wednesday Words” post about it but I’ve decided to hold off for two more weeks until the course is completed and will then publish a comprehensive post with all the photos and comments in one place.

Tuesday evening we had our monthly Day Camp committee meeting where we were able to discuss the Cook-Along as well as the plans for the Lenten Day Retreat, scheduled for Saturday March 27th. Of course we also spent a lot of time looking at progress around the Virtual Experience Day Camp program we are developing, and ideas for the in-person program also being offered. We are going to record a training video for the in-person Day Camp and are looking are creating something that is not program specific so it could be used for several summers but that will also be of help to communities as they transition to running Day Camps without Travelling Team support. 

The Lent/Easter issue of the quarterly CTM Newsletter will be published in a couple of weeks so I need to write up something about Day Camps as well as assemble and format all the rest of the content.  Next Monday morning Gillian and I are having another little meeting about the Lenten Retreat and after that I’ll send out a second round of emails to former Team Members inviting them to register.

Wednesday was the birthday of my sweet friend Jillian and I was actually able to have her over IN PERSON!!! For a lunch visit. This past week has been Spring Break for most schools in Québec and so, as an elementary teacher, she has also been on holiday. We had not seen each other since New Years at which time she had just drop by very quickly to leave my Christmas gift. A REAL visit in time of pandemic is such a treat. I think she really liked her gift too as she put the earrings on straight away.  

 Outside of office hours I’ve spent a large chunk of time ”Changing the Decorations” and with that big job behind me I need to get back to working on my Pysanky as I’m rather behind with this year’s batch.

 Of course two of my Godsons will be celebrating their birthdays during the next month so I also need to be producing their annual Birthday crowns. Alexander (soon to be 9!!) has at least decided on the colours he would like, but I do not yet know about Andrew’s choice nor do I have any lists of the designs they would like appliquéd onto the crowns. Sigh.

This being Montreal in March there has still been shovelling to take care of and the weather is still bitterly cold. It was -27C early in the week but only -15C today! I’m once again rushing through some morning baking so I can be ready to join the Cook-along session at 3pm. Today Mae Anne is our host and Syndi-Belle our chef. Syndi will be making Greek Easter Cookies with the participants and we have 5 families participating this week, each from a different province across the country! Something like this course is one of the small bright spots during pandemic as in the past we would not have considered meeting up on line for this sort of activity. It is very special to be able to build community even as we are unable to meet each other in person.

Well, speaking of the Cook-Along, I had better end off here, take Thomason for a walk and log-in for the baking session, but first I’ll close off with a recipe 

When Jillian came of lunch, I made a favourite dish with couscous and fried Halloumi, here it is!

Fried Halloumi with Spiced Couscous

  • ¾ cup whole-wheat couscous
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp. each cinnamon and coriander
  • 1 read pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4oz. Halloumi, well drained and cut into ¼” slices
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. za’atar 

In a small saucepan combine the couscous, tomatoes, cinnamon and coriander with 1¼ cups water. Bring to the boil, stir, cover and set aside off the heat for10-15 minutes. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the Halloumi and peppers, keeping them on separate sides of the pan. Keep turning the Halloumi until it is browned on all sides. Fluff the couscous with a fork and divide between individual shallow bowls. Top each with a portion of peppers and Halloumi and sprinkle with za’atar. Serves 2 but is easily multiplied. 

Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix if you cannot find it locally you can make your own: –


  • 2 Tbsps. dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1Tbsp.ground sumac
  • 1¼ tsps. sea salt

Place all ingredients in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse powder. Store in an airtight jar. 

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