Lent 3

Hello Blog Friends!

Here we are almost half way through Lent, which seems incredible! However when I look back over the last few weeks a lot of special Lenten things have been happening so it isn’t surprising to realise we are well into the Season.

Today marks the last episode of the third series of the Day Camps Cook-Along. The first two episodes have gone particularly well this time; in fact I would say this is the best season we have had. Four families are signed up, representing 4 different provinces across Canada and our chefs-Victor, Syndi-Belle and Jessica have all done it before and so are more confident and relaxed with the whole process. I think the idea suggested at one of our DC committee meetings to add an activity challenge each week as an “extra” has also proved popular and I received a super photo of a Week 1 “Volcano” made by Irene in Edmonton 😊 This past week’s challenge was the DIY Snake Stuffy, and I’m anxious to see, today, if anyone tried that activity. This afternoon Chef Jessica will be making Honey Cakes and I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes.

        During the week I have also continued to prepare (and also to badger Alumni) for the Lenten Study program. We now have 12 Alums registered and a couple of other possibilities, so I am pleased with the response and really hope all the participants will find it a beneficial Lenten experience.

Tuesday we had another enquiry about purchasing Come Together, this time from a priest in this Diocese, which is quite unusual, since nearly all the e-books we have already sold have been to churches and individuals in other provinces 😊. Then on Wednesday Bishop Mary also bought a copy, which was very sweet of her. When she was a parish priest she was a huge proponent of innovative ministry with children and during Advent one year I was even invited to her church to lead a Liturgical Dance workshop as a group of youth and children was going to present the dance at the Christmas Eve Service.

          We now have 5 or 5 “maybe” communities talking about applying to host a Day Camp this summer. I shall not be doing a Happy Dance until I actually see some completed application forms but it is certainly a better situation than the “radio silence” we have experienced for the past 2 years 😊.

      Outside of office hours I am continuing, each weeknight to watch the “Journey to Jerusalem” series being aired on the Canterbury Cathedral YouTube channel and every Tuesday evening in Lent am attending an online course called “Living as a Christian in a World That’s Not: Reading the Acts of the Apostles”. This past Tuesday was the second lecture and the professor continued an exegesis on Chapters 1-7 with particular emphasis on cultural context, I’m kind of hoping to receive more teaching based directly on the title although this week she only devoted the last 3 minutes to even mentioning so I’m not very hopeful! I think there are 4 more sessions, so we will see what happens next time.

Of course I am also working, daily on my Pysanky and have now completed the first dozen. It is certainly a bittersweet experience this year as I watch and read the news coming from the Ukraine and my prayers for that war torn country are all focused on a speedy peaceful end to this terrible conflict. 

Thursday Jenna came for a quick breakfast. She had planned to arrive at 830 am so I had got up super early and walked Thomason before 8am but soon after we got back Jenna messaged to say the traffic was very bad and she wouldn’t be arriving before 9 so I was able to do nearly an hour’s office work before she came, which got me well started on my day! Later that day Jessica dropped by and picked up the bag of gifts for my Godsons and their Mum in Ottawa and we enjoyed a cup of tea and some Fairy Buns.

Yesterday afternoon I had a virtual cup of tea with Christopher, from the DC committee, who teaches at the University of Toronto. He is only on a short-term contract and has been applying to other colleges and universities for next autumn; it was good to catch up on his plans.

This morning I have been rushing around doing housework and an early baking. For the past 2 weeks I have been building a gluten-free sourdough starter for my friend Sue and today is the first day I can bake a loaf. It has been such a long process; I’m really hoping it works. So I had better end of here with our recipe, although I’ll check in briefly after the Cook-Along before publishing 😊 .

I have previously included my Hot Cross Buns recipe on the blog but it is such a long time ago that I think it bears repeating, My friend Gillian asked for a copy earlier this week, so here it is for all readers 😊. Over more than 30 years, I calculate I have literally made thousands of these buns, many of them for Easter Breakfast at St. Matthew’s and also as gifts.

Hot Cross Buns

  • 2 Tbsps. yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsps. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 4-5 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup raisins and/or dried cranberries

In a large bowl combine the warm water, brown sugar and yeast and allow to become foamy. Meanwhile scald the milk, remove from the heat and add the butter and brown sugar. When the milk mixture is lukewarm add it and the eggs to the yeast mixture and stir well. Add 3 cups of flour, salt and spices, beat well and add the raisins. Continue gradually adding more flour until a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Knead until smooth and set aside to rise until double in bulk. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide risen dough into 24 equal pieces and form into buns. Place on baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400º oven for 20 minutes. If buns brown too quickly reduce heat to 350º after 15 minutes. Remove from oven to a rack and if desired brush with melted butter. For icing: – mix approx. 1 tsp. lemon juice with ½ cup icing sugar to achieve a thick spreadable icing. 

We had a great time today at Cook-Along learning how to make Honey Cakes with Chef Jessica. Watch for a special Wednesday Words post in the coming week when I will be sharing comments and photos from the whole of the Day Camps Cook-Along Season 3 😊.

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