Hello Blog Friends!
It has been quite a full week around here.
All week we have been gearing up for the first episode of Season 6 of the Day Camps Cook-Along. There was a huge amount of last minute badgering, which has been successful in collecting a respectable group of 11 children who are now signed up to participate. Of course, in classic fashion, several families can only come to 2 out of the 3 episodes and so it is still a mystery to me exactly who will log on at 3pm this afternoon 😊.
Bright and early Monday morning I sent off an email to a long list of potential host communities letting them know that the new Day Camp application form is now ready online. I’m not expecting a flood of responses but it was important to at least start the ball rolling for Day Camps 2024 😊.
Unfortunately, Junior Youth Camp had to cancel the sleepover event they had planned for this weekend but are instead taking a group of staff and campers bowling today. The cancellation caused a bit of kerfuffle as reimbursement E-Transfers had to be sent to the parents who had registered their children and tracking down all the correct contact information occupied most of my time on Monday. Once it was all sorted out my attention turned back to the Cook-Along plans.
Tuesday afternoon I was also able to talk with committee member Sharon and we discussed progress on the Grant Application. She also generously offered to give a hand with the planning of the Alumni Advent Study Program, which is great news! Wednesday morning I sent her all the planning notes I have already made and hopefully, now the Cook-Along is (relatively 😊) organised it will be possible to devote a bit more time to this program. I also posted all the Advent program info on Instagram. Guylaine has set up a schedule of regular FaceBook posts and so the info for both the Cook-along and Advent was also posted over there. I am not at all a fan of FaceBook as it has had some really bad press in recent years. I spend zero time on it except when posting something for CTM and am not convinced that many young people use it either, but I suppose it is best to cover all bases on social media 😊.
Thursday I had a FaceTime chat with Anna, our Day Camps puppeteer extraordinaire and had an opportunity to ask her if she could please airdrop the original files for the Signposts videos so they can be used when we start creating the PowerPoints for the program. She also agreed to review the Games chapter of the program manual, as she has written that chapter in past years.
By yesterday everything seemed to be in order for today’s Cook-Along, I’m praying it runs smoothly 😊. So, after tidying up various “office” loose ends, I’m focusing, this morning, on getting the baking done as early as possible as I will need to devote a good chunk of the afternoon to being present for the episode.
Outside of office hours, I’ve had a couple of visitors this week. Tuesday evening the young man whom I mentor through a Diocesan committee came to learn how to cook Shanghai Dumplings, after which we sat down and enjoyed them for dinner along with steamed rice and pickled Daikon and carrots.
Wednesday was Jessica’s monthly visit and she cam a bit early, bearing a number of herb plants that she had dug up from her allotment. So we first met in the herb garden and planted everything, then came in to review all the illustrations I have painted for the Psalm book she is creating, watched an episode of the Netflix series she has been sharing with me, enjoyed a Korean –themed dinner and finally finished the evening by watching a second episode 😊.
With the illustration project completed all my arts & crafts work is now exclusively focused on completing Christmas gifts. With a second pair of Swedish socks now off the needles and blocked I have returned to knitting shawlettes and am about halfway through a stripy one, which will have a lace border.
The weather has been party good most of the week and so, early each morning, I spent an hour or so in the garden, continuing to cut down perennials and sweep off leaves. Thursday morning I discovered a brave Autumn Crocus peeking through the leaves. I’m hoping to spy a few more, but even one gave me joy 😊.
AS it is rainy this morning and thus no gardening can be done, I got an early start on the Bake and production is in full swing! Today I’m making-2 GF loaves, 3 more Cinnamon Swirl loaves (Christmas Gifts), Baked Apple Cider Doughnut, Pumpkin Crumb Cake and Cream Crackers.
All that to say, it is time to close off here with the next October Soup: –
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Cardamom
- 1 3lb. pumpkin
- 2 Tbsps. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 small leeks, chopped
- ½ tsp. raw cane sugar
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- ½ tsp. ground cardamom
- pinch ground nutmeg
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- salt and pepper, to taste
- croutons for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, peel and cut into chunks. Spread the chunks on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1Tbsp. olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes, then set aside. Heat the remaining Tbsp. of oil and sauté the onions and leeks for2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the sugar and add the butter then continue cooking for 20 minutes, until caramelised. Stir in the pumpkin chunks. Add the spices and stock, stir well and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor and return to a clean pot over low heat. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Heat gently until warmed through. Serve topped with crouton, if desired. Serves 3-4.