Advent 2

Hello Blog Friends!

This past week began with Advent Sunday. Our small House Church “The Pod” met online early that morning and then I tuned in for the Sunday Eucharist from Canterbury. That afternoon we held our first session of the Alumni Advent Study Program when Jessica led us in the sacred reading practice of Lectio Divina followed by a time for creative response introduced by Sharon, who shared a special video of artworks themed around our Advent 1 passage “The Annunciation”- Luke 1:26-38.

Weatherwise, things went rapidly downhill from that quiet sacred space as,Sunday evening, the first storm of the season hit Québec with over 20cms of heavy wet snow that brought down power lines and many large tree branches.   At 6am Monday morning the power went out in my neighbourhood and it was cold and dark for the next 5 hours until it resumed around lunchtime. Even my landline phone, being cordless, requires electricity so I was reduced to turning on the data function on my cell in order to communicate with the rest of the world!

Of course, being currently unable to shovel, much of my time, both Monday and Tuesday, was devoted to responding to kind friends and neighbours who rallied to clear the snow around my house. One neighbour, who had been in touch Sunday evening and assured me she would come early Monday to clear a path at the back door so that Thomason could get outside, was unable to come until Tuesday as her car had been squashed by a giant tree branch and she spent most of Monday talking with the insurance company. Ah the joys of winter in Canada! Meanwhile the schedule of dog walkers also had to be organised, as some friends living farther away were unable to dig out their cars and others who did come spent time trying to find a parking space. Agh!

By Wednesday the city was busy ploughing roads and sidewalks and hauling away dead tree branches. My windows rattled as the heavy machinery passed by but, with power safely restored, I could get back to chasing down the last of the presenters who STILL had not submitted their video recordings for Carols & Cocoa, which, as regular readers may recall, takes place a scant hour from now, at 4pm (a full report on this event will appear in next week’s blogpost).That afternoon I was thankful to see that the courier truck had made it through the drifts to deliver some safe, warm slippers I had hastily ordered online to replace the ones, which had precipitated last week’s accident.

Tomorrow is the second session of the Advent Study Program. The person originally scheduled to lead the sacred reading practice has a conflict and asked to switch to week 3 so I am for leading and have spent time this week studying the passage and applying the practice of Marginalia to it.

Wednesday evening was the monthly Day Camp committee meeting. Although 2 members were absent (not surprising at this season 😊) we had a really productive time, even mapping out potential calendar dates for events and activities through, God willing, to next March.

In small gaps of free time I have slowly begun to wrap Christmas gifts and hope to finish that task over this weekend. Regretfully, I will not be having a tree this year since it would be very difficult to decorate, let alone crawl under to water it each day and then dismantle and drag it out to the street in early January!! I am blessed to have lovely seasonal decorations in place all around me and so the lack of a tree will not be too great a disappointment and it makes sense to recognise my current capabilities.

The tech person for Carols & Cocoa has called for a dry run and sound check at 1pm, with myself and the MC so, with little time left before logging on, we had better wrap up this post with our Christmas Season recipe. At this time of year Portobello mushrooms are available and I do enjoy a mushroom burger, why not give them a try? Yum 😊.

Portobello Mushroom Burgers

  • 4 Portobello mushrooms
  • 2Tbsps. olive oil 
  • 1 avocado 
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 4 burger buns (preferably homemade)

Carefully remove the stems from the mushrooms (these can be saved to add to a vegetable stock) and wipe the caps with a damp cloth. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add ¼ cup water, place the mushrooms in the skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Cover, and braise the mushrooms over medium –low heat for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl and mash together with the mustard, chipotle and lime juice until smooth. Cut the tomato into 4 thick slices and spilt the burger buns. When the mushrooms are ready, spread the avocado mixture evenly on the 4 buns, add a mushroom and top with a tomato slice. Serve immediately. Serves 4.  

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