Here we are approaching the mid-point of
Lent! Having spent the last couple of days “Changing the Decorations” I am now
happily surrounded by bowls of Pysanky, pots of hyacinths, palm branches and
pussy willows.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, the
arrival of spring is wonderful and of course Easter is the most moving and
powerful of the Christian Feasts but as we near this new season I cannot
ignore the twizzling in my tummy as I think of all that must be prepared before
the start of Day Camps. AGH!!!!!
It is encouraging that two thirds of our
host locations are now filled with each week bringing a couple more application
forms. Sadly the same cannot be said regarding Travelling Team Members.
Although I have composed a list of potential candidates not one form has yet
appeared. Sigh 😔
However I am trying to remain optimistic
and to that end spent most of today baking raisin loaves and marmalade muffins
for the Retreat Week.
Tomorrow, after House Church, Chelsea will be
staying for lunch and then we are going to begin work on this year’s Team
medallions. Since our Theme “One of Us” centres around the Christmas story as
told in the Gospel of Luke, we have decided to make star shaped medallions as
the star is certainly a powerful symbol in pointing the first pilgrims toward Jesus.
My friend who has been in China for the
past month has now returned home  ( she brought me a lovely Tibetan New Year decoration!) so I’m no longer making daily trips to look
after her two cats but other friends have driven up to Toronto this weekend
for the Baptism of their first grandchild so I’m on “cat duty” at their house,
but fortunately only for 3 days this time.
As I said before, the latter part of this
week has included a major upheaval with the packing of all the winter
decorations and the change to Lent/Spring/Easter. Early in the week I had a
couple of extra CTM meetings, one to look at some content on our website that
needs updating and the other to set up the template for the next issue of out
quarterly Newsletter. Involvement in those tasks is important but especially at
this season, I’m always feeling the pull towards Day Camps work when I sit down
at the computer.
I do hope you read our monthly Wednesday
Words post, which was published a few days ago. I must remember to make a link
to it from the CTM Facebook Page.
Well soon it will be time to head over and
feed Nico, the cat, but before I go we still need a recipe.
couple of weeks ago a friend asked me if I had a simple bread recipe so I
provided her with a copy of “Neil’s Harbour Bread” this recipe originated in
one of my mother’s Mennonite cookbooks. It is amazingly versatile as the dough
can be flavoured in so many ways. Today I used the basic white dough as the
base for the big Raisin Loaves I made and last weekend I made a batch of it
with half whole-wheat flour and turned it into large hamburger buns. My friend
Michelle got the recipe from me many years ago when she was living in community
with a group of Christian university students and she still makes it now she
has 4 children of her own! She calls it Bionic Bread!
Whatever you call it, this bread is easy
and foolproof and best of all is VERY yummy.
Neil’s Harbour Bread

2 Tbsps. yeast
3 cups warm water
¼ cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. salt
Approx. 9 cups flour (white, whole-wheat or
a mix)
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast with a
little of the sugar, in 1 cup of warm water. Once it is foamy, add the rest of
the water, oil and salt. Stir well.
Gradually add the flour until the dough comes
together. Turn out onto a well-floured board and knead until smooth and
elastic. Let rise, covered with a tea towel, for one hour.
Grease 2 large or 3 regular-sized loaf
tins. Form the dough into loaves, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise
until double.
Bake loaves in a preheated 400º oven for
20-25 minutes. Cool on racks.

This dough can be used for cinnamon bread,
cheese bread, raisin bread etc. Or baked as rolls or buns.