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 
😊