Advent 3

Hello Blog Friends!

Welcome to the eve of the third Sunday in Advent.

Today is all about Carols & Cocoa. Oh my goodness, there has been so much stress and drama involved in preparing for what has become an annual event!  Badgering artists to create content was the biggest hurdle and then “rebadgering” numerous times trying to get them to actually submit their recordings. This meant that Jeff has had to work many late nights editing and pulling together the videos plus a PowerPoint with the full running order. Of course now all of us are just holding our breath, wondering if lots of people will log on at 4pm this afternoon or if there will only be a handful of participants. 

        I have tried very hard to focus on praying that God will guide all the people who should be there to come and to leave my worries in God’s hands, but in the middle of the night one picks them up again and the brain loop replays.  Sigh, in a few hours it will be all over and I truly hope is that it will have proven to be a blessed hour for many during this season of Advent. Watch next Saturday’s post for a reprise!  Here is the link should you wish to log on TODAY at 4pm EST 🙂.

       Of course there have been plenty of other rabbit holes to head down this week. I needed to create a fresh PowerPoint for the third episode of the Alumni Advent Study Program. Last Sunday several people had to bail out at the last moment so we had a small group but I was touched after we logged off when I received a text from one of the participants who has 2 tiny children and who had found the program to be a short oasis of peace in a crazy busy day. A comment like that puts things into proper perspective and one needs to remember that “where two or three are gathered together” God is there with us. (I still hope a few more of those who had signed up will make it tomorrow afternoon for Advent 3 🙂).

  Several mornings this week I also dipped into the files for the Extended Day Program, as the 2023 Day Camp Program “Something to Celebrate” does not have a previous version of this extra guide that communities may order separately if they want to extend their Day Camp days beyond the standard 5 hours of our “Classic” program. 

I need to use the generic template of the EDP but develop content for parts of it that will be specific to the “Something to Celebrate” theme. It will mean designing some easy daily crafts as well as a more complex art project that campers can work on “after hours” for the whole week. I have a few ideas in mind but must be careful not to add any activities that are too similar to those taking place during the main program so it’s a bit of a balancing act.

Outside of office time I have continued madly knitting socks 🙂 and have spent many hours on another project, which Pippa (dear friend and mother of my Godson Tighe) had brought to me a couple of weeks ago.

The family has a darling puppy called Rocket, however said puppy had got hold of a very special teddy bear that had belonged to Pippa when she was a child and now belongs to her daughter. The teddy was in pretty rough shape with the face completely ripped off and Pippa asked if I could try to put it back together. As an added bonus, the toy originally was holding a little bear cub (long since lost) and could I also make a new cub? After long hours of teddy restoration I have now moved onto making the cub but had to dye some felt to try and match the colour of the larger bear. Hopefully the final result will be approved! (it has been 🙂.)

Thursday evening I had an unexpected text message from Bishop Mary. When she visited me, the week before last, she had offered to take, my special handmade broom back to Raphael, the craftsman who had made it as his workshop is close to her family’s country cottage in Eastern Ontario. During the height of pandemic lockdowns I had mentioned to Mary my need for a new broom and she had ordered this amazing one for me. It is possible for Raphael to replace the broom straws once one of his brooms becomes worn down, which is such a wonderful way of extending the life of a beautiful handcrafted object. It only took him a few days to do the repairs and so Mary was able to drop it off as she and her husband were returning home from the cottage. I am so happy to be reunited with my special broom and Raphael even sent a lovely whisk as a gift.

    Early in the week I was approached by a friend, for whom I quite often do catering jobs. This time she has asked me to cater a Christmas Eve dinner for 12. We have finally got the menu ironed out so I’m currently making a long grocery list and over the coming days will begin production of a few “freezable” items as she wants to pick everything up, precooked, on the morning of December 23rd. I still have almost two weeks in which to make all the food but as Christmas approaches there will be several visitors coming for meals including the couple coming on the 20th for the aforementioned Spanish Inquisition 🙂. That menu is proving challenging as there are a number of dietary restrictions to deal with, however, I’m always up for a culinary challenge!

 Yesterday morning I was supposed to welcome Emmanuel for breakfast but, sadly , he ended up having to work overtime on his night shift so I had to ‘unset” the breakfast table and we have rescheduled his visit for later in the month. However this Apple Skillet Cake makes an attractive dish to serve for company and so I thought I would share it as the second in my “ Festive Christmas Recipes” series 🙂.

Skillet Cake with Sautéed Apples

  • 7 Tbsps. Unsalted butter
  • 4-5 apples, cored and thinly sliced
  • ½ cup brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup whole milk yoghurt
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup Crème Fraîche

Melt 6 Tbsps. of butter in a sauté pan. Add the apples and sauté until they are tender but still hold their shape, about 10 minutes. When almost done, stir in the sugar or maple syrup, then cover and keep warm while making the skillet cake. 

Beat the eggs whites until stiff and set aside. In a medium bowl, dissolve the soda in the yoghurt. Beat in the egg yolks then stir in the flour, baking powder and salt, Fold in the egg whites. Preheat the broiler. Melt the remaining Tbsp. of butter in a large skillet, pour in the batter and cook until set, 5-7 minutes. Test with a skewer to see that it is set in the middle then place under the broiler just until the top is lightly browned. Slide onto a large serving platter, arrange apple slices on top and garnish with the crème fraîche. Serve 2-4. 

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