Hello Blog Friends!
Oh my! here we are, already, at the end of October. The weather is certainly looking more “fallish” although, two days this past week, we have had temperatures of +20ºC and still no frosts. It is distressing in terms of global warming trends, but does help reduce energy costs for heating 😊.
Last Saturday we enjoyed Episode 1 of the Day Camps Cook-Along, Season 6. Although there are 5 families registered for this series (a total of 11 children) only 1 family was able to attend and so Brenda and her 3 “littles” enjoyed a private lesson. Chef Jessica kept them all happily entertained and there were many giggles as they learned to make St. Ursula’s Potage. This afternoon Chef Randy will be in charge and we are hoping that at least a couple more families will join in.
During the week there was a fair bit of ongoing correspondence about the Cook-Along plus prep work for our next DC committee meeting, happening on Wednesday, November 1st, (EEK-NOVEMBER!!!!!) Prior to each meeting I try to get progress reports from all those who are working on the Day Camp program manual and also check in with people involved in our other projects (think Cook-Alongs, Advent Study Program, Grant Application, Carols & Cocoa etc.). Committee members expect updates on all these topics and it gives us time to discuss progress, or lack thereof 😊. Thus I spent quite a bit of time hunting down various contributors and making notes of how everyone is doing. Of course members of the committee also take on roles for all these endeavours and so their input adds to the meeting discussion and helps all of us set both short and long-term goals.
There are always bits and pieces of general office work to take care of and this week was no exception, as I was asked to send thank you cards to several people who had made donations at the Junior Youth Camp’s bowling event. Some cards have been sent but I’m still waiting for contact info so I can complete that task.
Wednesday morning I several reminders asking people if they might consider making a music or spoken word video for Carols & Cocoa. The list of presenters is slowly coming together but with just under a month before the submission deadline it is becoming more urgent to pin down all possible contributors 😊. That day I also sent the second supply list to all the Cook-Along families so they can gather everything they will need for Episode 2.
Yesterday was the submission deadline for content for the Anglican Montreal quarterly newspaper, so over the last couple of days, I completed a couple of promo pieces to send in, one with info about the 2024 Day Camp Program, the other a piece advertising Carols & Cocoa. As each week draws to a close I always start to pull together notes for the blog post and usually make a decision about which recipe I plan to feature!
Outside of my time glued to the laptop I have, of course, spent several sessions in the garden, although there has been quite a bit of rain to interrupt my end of season clear up work. This week I had hoped to finish knitting the stripy shawlette for my Christmas gifts stash but am only just beginning the lace border. My list of knitted Christmas gifts is still pretty long and with less than two months to go it is looking as if there may need to be a “plan B”. Since knitted presents do take much longer to complete than other types of projects it may be necessary to switch to sewing or some other type of craft for a few of the gifts.
One rainy afternoon I also tackled the quarterly task of cleaning my pantry shelves. That job takes a couple of hours but it is always worth it to see the rows of shiny jars and scrubbed paintwork 😊.
This morning it was dry enough for me to fit in some extra garden time so I cut down a few more of the perennials, planted the last of the potted chrysanthemums in a flowerbed and raked another bagful of leaves. With the baking now well underway I shall finish up this post so this afternoon (following another brisk walk with Thomason) I can be ready to log on for the Cook-Along. As mentioned above, I’m really hoping that more of our aspiring chefs will join in for today’s episode.
As “October soup month” draws to a close I’m sharing a hearty autumn soup that makes a great meal in a bowl😊.
Sausage and Lentil Soup
- 1 ½ cups French Puy Green Lentils
- 2 Tbsps. olive oil
- 3 or 4 large honey garlic sausages cut into ¾” chunks
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsps. Herbes de Provence
- several stalks fresh lovage, chopped OR 1 stalk chopped celery
- salt& pepper
- ¼ cup organic tomato ketchup
- 2 cups fresh leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard or kale
- Red wine vinegar, for serving
Rinse the lentils and place in a medium saucepan with the Bay leaves and 3 cups boiling water. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 mins. or until just tender. Set aside. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven and brown the sausage chunks, remove to bowl, add the onion and garlic, sautéing until lightly browned. Add the red wine and scrape up all the brown bits to deglaze. Return the sausages to the Dutch oven along with the stock, Herbes de Provence, lovage and salt & pepper to taste. Stir in the lentils, with any remaining cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Add the leafy greens and ketchup and heat through until the greens are wilted. Serve with a jug of red wine vinegar for diners to add to taste. Serves 4-6.