Epiphany 2

Hello Blog Friends!

I’m sorry last week’s post was so late but am extremely thankful that the webhosting difficulties have, mostly, been sorted out and hope this post displays in the usual style.

It has certainly been a “back to reality” week after a couple of more laid back ones. The blog woes have taken up quite a bit of my “spare” time and then there were things like preparing a draft agenda for the January CTM Board meeting, a Day Camp committee meeting Wednesday evening, a Diocesan meeting (for which I am secretary and thus took minutes) Tuesday afternoon, a couple of one-on-one ZOOM meetings etc.

Early in the week I received the good news of our first 2024 Community Application. YAY!!! This, of course, precipitated a flurry of activity readying various aspects of the program that can be worked on long before April, by which time we aim to have the Program Manual completed.

Tuesday I went down the “rabbit hole” of beginning to revise the Community Planner. This is the document that goes out well ahead of Day Camps and, as the title indicates, provides checklists and all sorts of info for planning the camp week. We did a detailed revision in 2019 but, as that was the last summer when we were sending out travelling teams, a LOT has changed since then. In 2020 there were no Day Camps, then in 2021 (when there were three) we did some cosmetic revisions, removing references to the teams, etc. but not really going into the finer details. It is a 22-page document and as of yesterday I was about three quarters of the way through doing some more extensive revisions. Hopefully this new iteration will stand up for another 4 or 5 years 😊.

Yesterday I also had a very pleasant surprise to brighten my work day when an unexpected Christmas/Epiphany gift was delivered. It is two beautiful, handcrafted pottery goblets sent by a kind friend and former boarder. The amazing thing is that the glaze almost perfectly matches that on a bowl I crafted myself, many years ago when I was study pottery in Newfoundland. The goblets fit seamlessly into by current décor and will most certainly work in a couple of other seasons.

Outside of CTM office time (literally OUTSIDE) we had a brutal storm that started Tuesday afternoon and raged into Wednesday. It brought a lot of snow and ice pellets, strong winds and, as it blew itself out, heavy rains. Given my current somewhat compromised shovelling abilities this extraordinarily heavy snow has been quite a challenge to clear. The husband of my neighbour who rents the driveway did come and do some work clearing that area but it still leaves the front path, back and side paths, small porch and large deck, all to be cleared. I focused on the first three areas since they are all vital to ingress and egress from the house and let the rain reduce the snow on the small porch to the point where, by Thursday, I could just sweep the last of it off with a broom 😊 . Sadly, today we are in the midst of a similar onslaught. The snow started last night and is still falling quite heavily. I am once again concerned about the shovelling but am also extremely disappointed as Jillian, Victor and baby Amelia were scheduled to come for lunch today and we have had to postpone, due to hazardous driving conditions. Today is actually their 6th wedding anniversary and, interestingly, we all battled our way, in a terrible blizzard, to First Filipino Baptist Church to attend the ceremony on their wedding day😊. Except during the height of the pandemic, I have always invited them to some sort of celebratory meal but this would have been the first time they had no other commitments on the exact date of their anniversary and I felt so honoured they had chosen to come and spend time with me on this special day. So I must admit to feeling rather deflated after unsetting the lunch table and putting away the ingredients I had prepared to make a celebration lunch😞.

However, my friend Sue still needs her 2 loaves of gluten free bread and I am still going to bake the biscuits, which are part of the Anniversary gift for Jillian and Victor as I can wrap them and freeze them and assemble the gift whenever we are able to reschedule.

So I guess I had better close off this post. I hesitate to include my “Three Cheese Macaroni and Cheese” recipe because Jillian does read this blog and it is what I had planned for our luncheon but, since the arrival of baby Amelia, she has not always kept up with the posts so I will take the risk 😊. After all I have remained mysterious about the exact nature of the Anniversary gift, so there will still be some surprise even if she discovers ahead of time what will be on the menu!

Three Cheeses Macaroni and Cheese

  • 8oz. elbow macaroni
  • ¾ cup milk, warmed
  • 4 Tbsps. butter
  • 3 slices homemade white bread, torn into ½”pieces
  • ¼ cup flour
  • fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. each nutmeg and cayenne
  • cayenne pepper
  • 9 oz. grated old cheddar
  • 8 oz. grated Swiss cheese
  • 4 oz. grated Parmesan

Grease a 6 cup casserole dish and set aside. Melt 1Tbsp. of the butter and pour over the bread pieces, tossing to combine. Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan and add the flour, whisk together for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the warm milk and cook, whisking, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, remove from the heat. Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, cayenne, 1 cup cheddar, ½ cup Swiss cheese and ¼ cup Parmesan, set aside. Heat a large pot of water and cook the macaroni until the outside is cooked but the inside is still underdone. Drain and rinse well under cold water. Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce and transfer to the prepared casserole. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses and top with the breadcrumbs. Bake in a preheated 375ºF oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. Serves 4-6.

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