Pentecost 17

Hello Blog Friends!

Here we are past the mid-point of September and firmly established in the autumn routine.

    Monday I was happy to receive the approved” police records checks from the SPVM ,although there was a problem with one of the forms. Occasionally a person has a name that is very similar to someone who has had a conviction and so they are required to submit fingerprints. After some scanning of documents, phone calls and text messages, the matter seems to be moving ahead in a positive fashion so, by Tuesday afternoon I was able to check it off my list. 

      A good chunk of office time this week has been devoted to preparing the CTM quarterly newsletter, Networks, which will hopefully be published just prior to Thanksgiving. There were some technical issues in opening the MailChimp platform and then there were problems with two pieces of content that had been submitted, AGH!!! The CTM President had misnamed his document using the backslash character and so the file could not be opened and then another item sent as a PNG file would not send to the office email address; the latter problem was solved by sending it to my personal Gmail address and the former rectified, mid-week, when our President returned from the clergy conference 😊.With those issues ironed out I was able to move forward and think the draft will be ready Monday to be proofread by the communications director. Whew!

      Meanwhile, badgering continues in the hopes of collecting a few more alumni to participate in the Harvest/Thanksgiving Team Gathering, coming up two weeks from today. Tuesday, DC committee member Mikaela joined me for a quick lunch during her workday and she has promised to do some extra badgering, which is one of her fortés 😊.

    Wednesday morning I had been supposed to meet on FaceTime with Anna, creator of the Day Camps puppet videos but sadly we had to postpone as she and her family currently have COVID and, understandably, she just wasn’t up to any meetings. I need to see if she has a master copy of the videos we will be using for the 2024 program. It is possible to grab them from her YouTube channel but, when embedding video files in PowerPoints, it is always best to use the highest quality resolution. There is plenty of time before the PowerPoints are made but it would be good to know what we will be working with. I had also planned to ask if she might be up to editing the Games chapter of the program manual. The 2023 chapter was very well done and so it is unlikely there would need to be many changes but it is important that every detail of the program be examined before we begin to assemble a new manual.

That evening I had another lovely visit from Jessica, which included watching two more episodes of Hometown Cha ChaCha along with a dinner of Bokchoy and Mushroom Pho😊.

  Thursday I received the first draft of the letter that will be sent to prospective donors as part of the preparations for the grant application. A prerequisite for submission is to include a budget which guarantees that matching funds are in place so we will need to get the letter out in the next month as the portal for applications opens on November 1st.   

Friday I roughed out the draft of this post and was able to begin work on the 2024 Extended Day manual, while listening to the song tentatively chosen for next year’s Liturgical Dance. 

Outside of office hours work continues on Christmas projects,. The checkerboards for my Godsons are slowly coming together and Thursday evening I cast off the first sock of another pair destined as a gift. It has long been a family tradition to start Christmas baking on Thanksgiving Weekend so some time has also been spent in trying to decide what sort of baked goods to give several households on my list. I have settled on Cinnamon Swirl loaves but that plan may change 😊.

And so today has begun with the usual whiffle around the garden 😊. All too soon gardening will consist of much raking as well as beginning the slow process of putting each flowerbed to rest for the winter. I have ordered a few spring bulbs and yesterday received a notification that they have been shipped but most of the fall work consists of cutting back and/or shifting perennial plants. I enjoy that manual labour but will need to juggle around my daily schedules in order to fit in the time needed for extra garden chores.

Next on this morning’s agenda is the weekly Bake- GF loaves, cream crackers, granola & pumpkin scones. As I’m also expecting Sarah for lunch tomorrow I think a batch of soup is in order, made from the Delicata squash that was in the last CSA box. I recently saw a recipe for winter squash soup with rice and so decided to experiment with the delicata squash on hand. The great advantage to this variety is that your do not need to peel it 😊, here’s what I came up with.

Delicata Squash Soup

  • 1 medium delicata squash, seeded and cubed
  • 3Tbsps.  sugar
  • 4Tbsps. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8oz. bacon, diced
  • 1large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme or 5 sprigs fresh
  • ¾cup Basmati rice
  • 8cups homemade chicken broth

Preheat oven to 435ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the squash on the pan and toss with the sugar and 2 Tbsps. of oil, season with salt and pepper and roast until cooked through but not too soft,  about 30 mins.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil, add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 mins. Transfer to a plate. Add onion and garlic to the pot, and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 5 mins.,add thyme and stir until fragrant. Then add the rice and stir to coat in the fat. Lastly, add the broth and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is slightly al dente. Discard thyme sprigs.  If you are not eating immediately, wait to add the reserved squash and bacon before briefly bring back to a simmer.. Garnish each serving with chopped Italian parsley. Serves 4-6.

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