Pentecost 3

Hello Blog Friends!

Another week has flown by although, sadly, not with the usual hustle and bustle of a pre-pandemic summer but with plenty of activity around the ongoing work of CTM.

Sunday I watched a 2 hour-long Service of Confirmation since my eldest Godson was one of the candidates. Unfortunately the camera work was less than professional and I only caught a glimpse of him when he actually knelt in front of the presiding Bishop and never saw the rest of his family. Sigh. Right after the Service ended Alexander and Sarah stopped by and I was able to give baby Owen his first birthday gift. He seemed pleased with the turtle softie 😊.

 Monday there was work to do for Junior Youth Camp as the Directors had recently received the final contract for rental of the campsite at Cedar Lodge and I needed to send the deposit on behalf of CTM. There are also 3 more Staff members who will require Police Records checks and we have been trying, unsuccessfully, to set up a time when everyone could join a Google Meet so I can talk them through filling out the application. One of the people is leaving today for a two-week vacation so it looks as if we will need to postpone until she is back home. As it is there is no way the Montreal Police Department will have processed the forms by the time Camp takes place in early August so I guess waiting another couple of weeks to fill out the forms doesn’t make much difference.

All week I have kept on badgering alumni about the Team Gathering, as that is now less than 2 weeks away. At present we have 8 or 9 people signed up, including the musicians and the speaker, which isn’t exactly stellar but is still a worthwhile group so we are not thinking of cancelling, although I certainly hope that there are some last minute additions in the next 10 days 😊. I have also been in contact with the Coordinators in two of the communities hosting Day Camps in early July, with this being the first time people are using all the newly formatted resources there are some kinks that need sorting out but I hope I have been able to help them with their issues.

Thursday afternoon I FaceTimed with one of the committee who lives in Toronto and we talked about the future of the ministry and that evening I met again with Jessica to continue discussions around the possibility of accessing a grant in order to upgrade our other 5 programs; I really think before doing that work we need to ascertain if there is still a market for our resources. Church structures have changed across all denominations and word of mouth is obviously no longer a successful way to promote the ministry. Of the literally hundreds of messages I sent out this year only a small handful of people even responded. It is hard to know if things would have been any different had we attempted to recruit and send out Teams but at this point our committee still stands by the decision to transition away from that model. How heartbreaking it would have been if we had recruited Team Members only to send them home again for lack of Day Camp venues. It is very hard to get a handle on this, especially when people are unwilling to respond to emails, text messages and voicemails. End of rant!!   In a couple of weeks time, at our next Day Camp committee meeting, we will be wrestling with these concerns and trying to come to a consensus as to how we should be facing the future of the ministry.

      This is the Fête St. Jean Holiday Weekend here in Québec so yesterday was a statutory holiday but I still got up early and spent most of the morning dealing with Day Camps. I started putting together the agenda for our July meeting and sent out some more badgering emails to the list of alumni.

    The sun is shining this morning, after a couple of very rainy and stormy days and so I decided that a few of the windows needed cleaning and hauled my ladder around outside, carefully avoiding stepping on too many garden plants 😊. One of the reasons I always do the major window cleaning in April is because there are way fewer flowerbed “landmines”, at this time of year it is practically impossible to position the ladder without crushing something. AGH!!!  But now I plan to turn my attention to baking and sewing. A couple of weeks ago I cut out one more summer dress and hope to make a start on it this afternoon. Over the past few rainy afternoons I made 6 hairbands and 2 gift bags. Some of these will be going to a dear friend and her baby daughter in Vancouver and the others will be a gift for a friend whose birthday is coming up in July.

  Right now I need to shape a batch of bagels and so had better end off here with this week’s recipe.As mentioned earlier, Jessica came to meet with me on Thursday and we shared an Asian Supper of Shanghai dumplings, steamed rice, & pickled carrots followed by Butterfly Pea Tea Bubble Tea for dessert. These dumplings are quite simple to make and are so tasty!

Shanghai Dumplings

Dough: –

  • 1 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • 1 scant cup boiling water

Filling: –

  • ½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup cabbage finely shredded
  • 2 Tbsps. chopped cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp. each seas salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsps. raw cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. Tamari
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsps. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. tapioca starch
  • To cook the Dumplings: –
  • 2 Tbsps. oil for frying
  • ½ cup chicken stock 

Pour boiling water over the shredded cabbage to soften and then drain, squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Place in a large bowl and add all the other filling ingredients. Mix the filling with your hands until the mixture is soft and clings together. Set aside in the fridge to chill.

Place the flour in a stainless steel bowl and pour in the boiling water. Beat with a wooden spoon until a soft smooth dough has been formed. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes.

When ready to make the dumplings, remove the dough from the bowl and knead a few more times then divide in half. Form each half into a snake and cut each into 10 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered with a damp cloth.

In the palm of your hand form one piece of dough into a 3” disk. Place 1 tsp. of filling on the disk and fold in half, crimping the edges to seal. Lightly sprinkle a platter with tapioca starch and place the finished dumplings on it as you make them. Any extra filling can be placed in an airtight container and frozen for future use.

The dumplings may be covered with a damp towel and refrigerated for up to 3 hours or proceed with cooking them immediately.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and lay the dumplings in it, in a single layer. Fry for 2-4 minutes until the bottoms are crispy and lightly browned. Pour in the chicken stock, cover, and continue to cook over moderate heat until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to low. Fry for a couple more minutes to crisp the bottoms. Serve accompanied with a dip of Chinese Black Vinegar.  Makes 20 dumplings.

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