Pentecost 8

Hello Blog Friends!

There have been plenty of activities to keep me occupied around here this week. Work continues on the E-Book draft, I am currently one quarter of the way through but there is still a lot more content to create as I’m hoping to include a couple of extra All Age Gathering ideas plus instructions for making a calendar of the Liturgical Year.

As always, there has also been some general office work to deal with and I’m never without a pile of emails to answer 😊 Early in the week I designed a flyer to advertise our next sessions on Day Camp Cook-along, once I was happy with the layout I composed an email accompany the flyer and sent it off to a bunch of church and community contacts across Canada as well as to the list of families who participated in the first series, which took place last spring during Lent.

I have also prepared a message inviting musicians and other artists to take part in Carols& Cocoa that is being planned for Advent 2021.  I’m still pulling together a list of names from among the Team alumni as well as inviting everyone who performed for last year’s event. It’s a bit early to be thinking about Advent but I want to make sure the performers have plenty of time to record their videos with also enough lead time for a tech person to edit them into one cohesive playlist.  The DC committee has one other autumn project to get started upon as we plan to hold another online Day Retreat, probably in the latter part of October.

Outside of office time I tackled a pile of mending and alterations that Bishop Mary dropped off on Monday morning. She also brought a large tub containing vestments and altar furnishings from a deconsecrated church in our diocese and asked me to sort through it and make an inventory of usable items that might be of interest to another church or to clergy.

Bookbinding continues, I’ve completed all the book covers and am now on phase two that involves the preparation of all the pages. I’m following a really good YouTube tutorial that offers lots of suggestions for designing the books, which will ultimately be intended to serve as journals. I am making 8 books and plan to give them to some close friends as Christmas gifts.

Of course there has also been plenty of garden work, although at this time of the summer it is mostly standard maintenance tasks, mowing, trimming, weeding etc. The best part is when I get to pick some flowers and foliage to make bouquets for various rooms in the house 😊

Because there was a forecast of rain for the last couple of days, and for today, I got outside extra early on Thursday morning and mowed the lawns. It’s not actually raining yet so this morning I did the monthly task of edging the flowerbeds. This afternoon, once this post has been published and Thomason has had his second long walk of the day, it will be time to do some baking and hopefully squeeze in some more bookbinding work.

So I had better end off here with a recipe. Last Saturday my baking included a batch of Dutch Rusks. The recipe comes from my Mum’s old handwritten recipe book. I love to look through that book although many pages are tear-stained. I think seeing the handwriting of someone whom you loved very much is quite emotional but it is special to feel connected with my Mum when I make something from that book. Do try them; they are great with jam and cheese 😊. The full recipe makes a lot but they keep well as long as you make sure they are fully toasted and dry in the middle before packing in an airtight container.

Dutch Rusks

  • 2 Tbsps. yeast
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6-7 cups flour
  • 1 cup melted butter, cooled

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water, until foamy. Stir in melted butter, cream, sugar, salt and eggs. Gradually beat in 3 cups flour, beating until smooth. Cover and let rise for 90 mins. Beat in another 3-4 cups of flour to create a stiff dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth. Place in a clean greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for another 90 minutes OR cover with plastic and let rise overnight in the fridge.

If you do a slow rise, allow the dough to come to room temperature the next day, before proceeding to shaping.  Punch down and divide into fourths. Roll out ½” thick and cut into 4” rounds using a biscuit cutter or a mason jar. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and let rise for 30 mins. or until puffy. Bake in a preheated 400ºoven for 7 minutes.

Allow to cool then split each rusk horizontally in half. Place cut side up on baking sheets and return to a 250º oven to toast of at least 1½ hours until completely crisp and dry. Cool on racks then store in airtight containers. Keeps for at least a month (unless you eat them all straight away 😊)

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