It has been a sort of “up and down” week around here.
Last Sunday was our special CTM Board meeting to discussion the future of Crossroads (our monthly Youth Service). It was quite a long discussion as we all shared ideas about various options for this gathering that has really been in a “struggling” mode for several years. We did agree that it should be kept in abeyance for the moment and that the Board members should spend the coming month praying and reflecting on the options we explored.
Monday we had an excellent Day Camp Committee Meeting, starting with a supper of Salade Niçoise, Sourdough Loaf, Hot Apple Cider and English Currant Cake. Appropriately fortified we then launched into a productive business meeting focusing on the progress being made on the 2018 Program and also listening to a report on planning for the Fall Coffeehouse, which is coming up in just 2 weeks!!
Tuesday my morning was interrupted as the arborist arrived to radically prune our Silver Maple that was damaged in the microburst last August. He and his helper worked all morning and did a fine job. It was a very expensive undertaking but had to be done. Unfortunately he told me that the tree has trunk rot and he is not sure how long it will last. It is 111 years old and the thought of losing it is very upsetting. He is going to come back and install a sheet of tin over a previous pruning cut that should have been covered at the time it was made, he is hoping that will help to slow the damage. Sigh.
Throughout the week I have been spending quite a lot of “office” time writing the Creative Connection Chapter of the Program Manual.
Contrary to many peoples’ understanding of the purpose of this part of the Program, this chapter is NOT, firstly, about “crafts” but about incorporating the creative arts in worship. The idea is to encourage congregations and Christian community groups to think about the inclusion of children in their regular worship services and gatherings and to do so in new and creative ways such as Liturgical Dance, having children compose and lead prayers, make banners or altar cloths or even vestments for use by their clergy etc.
It is challenging because, obviously the campers also want to take some “treasures” home from Day Camps as memories. Being passionate about saving the environment and using natural, long-lasting and/or recycled materials adds another factor to the mix. It is also very important to remember that one third of our Camps take place on First Nations or in other rural areas where sourcing supplies can be a huge difficulty and lastly, 4 of our 7 Teams travel to their destinations by air, meaning that we have to consider the cost of excess baggage, which we hate to have to pass on to these far-flung communities 😞
By starting early (the deadline is December 31st) I can devote plenty of time to wrestling with these knotty problems 😊
Meanwhile Christmas projects are coming on apace. I finished sewing gifts for 3 of my Godsons this week and yesterday cut out the laptop cover I’m making (by request!) for Jillian, my Boarder (I’m super-excited that she chose “Cat in the Hat” fabric for the exterior 😊
This afternoon I also sewed up a big batch of fabric gift bags and will next tackle a couple of chef's aprons for some special friends.
Every time I have a baking session I also try to make one more variety of biscotti to add to my Christmas Baking stash; this afternoon will be Peppermint Biscotti with a dark chocolate dip and Orange/Pecan Biscotti. Once those two are made I will have 6 types completed.
It being mid-October, the raking and sweeping of maple leaves is also a daily chore. The weather has been quite glorious all week with temperatures up to 20 degrees, so this last job has actually been quite pleasurable. I’m even still hanging my laundry outside to dry, amazing!!
Well it is time to get down to baking so I had better close off with a recipe.
Since it is apple season around here I thought I would share a simple recipe, my Nana’s Apple Pudding: -
Nana’s Apple Pudding
1 cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
pinch of salt
2 -3 cups homemade chunky applesauce (unsweetened) OR
6 cooking apples, peeled, cored & sliced
Preheat oven to 350º. If you are using raw apples place them in a shallow round baking dish and bake for 20mins. while assembling the crust.
Otherwise place the pre-made applesauce in the dish and set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork. Bring the soft dough gently together and on a floured surface roll it out to fit the top of the dish.
Place the crust over either the partly cooked apples or the applesauce and bake for approx. 30 minutes or until the crust is browned. Serve hot or at room temperature either with yoghurt for breakfast or with ice cream for a dessert. Yum 😊