As we continue to rush through Lent it is finally beginning to look a bit more like spring around here. Unfortunately that also means that with the milder weather comes the thawing of great mountains of snow revealing all sorts of detritus buried throughout the past 6 months. Ugh!! Today is dark and rainy so Thomason and I both came home from our morning walk covered in a thin layer of mud that was pretty yucky.
I am actually making a start on this post Friday as tomorrow morning there are two interviews scheduled with prospective Team applicants who will both also be filling out Police Check forms while they are here.
Our police force has yet again changed the forms for our Protocol so I hope all is now in order, ah bureaucracy!
       Happily this week has brought 2 more applications from host communities meaning that if the other “pending” communities come through we will only have 4 more spots to fill before we have a full schedule for 2019. Yay! It is always a challenge to fill our Week 4 slots since all other parts of the country have a bank holiday the first Monday in August so many communities avoid taking that week as people go away or have other plans for the long weekend. At the moment neither of our Ontario Teams nor the one in BC has that week filled although I have been told of a possible location for BC.
       Wednesday I also completed round 3 of my Retreat baking & cooking “make ahead” list. The 2 recipes were quite work-intensive as I tackled a giant pot of Creole Curry plus 24 individual Sweet Potato Rotis. once the cooking and baking was over, there was a huge washing up mess to deal with and also a ton of wrapping and packaging for the freezer.  To compound this week’s workload I am also wading through a list of spring cleaning chores and have so far accomplished- defrosting 2 freezers (this includes writing up a fresh freezer log), washing the basement and kitchen floors, cleaning the fridge and stove (which also means dragging them out from the wall and thoroughly cleaning behind 😊) and finally, yesterday, oiling all the butcher block kitchen counters. The last job means removing all small appliances and utensils from the counters and way worse than that, not touching the wood for 24 hours once it has been oiled. AGH!!! It is HARD to cook dinner and breakfast, wash dishes, feed the dog etc. without touching either counter. But it is well worthwhile since I love the natural wood surfaces.
            In other Day Camps news- Jessica completed the new Travelling Team Planner this week, which is amazing 😊 so now we can begin sending acceptance letters out to Team Members. Only 3 of the 10 forms we have on hand are actually fully completed as most are missing at least one if not both required references so I need to follow up and make sure the missing parts get submitted.
Outside of Day Camps, CTM held our Annual General Meeting last Sunday afternoon here in my living room and, Praise the Lord!!, Thomason was super well behaved, sleeping the whole 2 hours at my feet on his cushion while I typed the minutes. Whew, that was truly an answer to prayer.
In between all things CTM I have continued to work on my second dozen pysanky and have begun painting a bunch of small orange crates to use as Easter Baskets; so a small amount of “crafting” is still happening amidst the general turmoil of a puppy-filled household.
This post is getting pretty long so I guess it is time to wrap things up with a recipe.
The Curry Creole I made for the Retreat has always been a favourite vegetarian main course in our family it is one of my Mum’s own recipes so I thought I’d share it.
Curry Creole
½ cup vegetable oil

1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small pineapple, cut into chunks
1 can diced tomatoes
4 small zucchini, in ¼” slices
1 large red pepper, diced
1½ lbs. sweet potatoes, in 1” cubes
1 tsp. coriander
½ tsp. each cardamom, turmeric and fenugreek
¼ tsp. hot chilli powder
3 Tbsps. water
1 ¼ cups veg. stock
2 bananas, sliced
Heat oil in a large pot and fry the onion, garlic, peppers and sweet potatoes for 10minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and pineapple and cook for 3 mins.
Combine aromatics with water to make a paste. Stir into fruit and veg mixture then pour in the stock. Simmer covered for 15 mins. Stir in sliced bananas and simmer for 2 mins.
Serve either with Naan or over basmati rice with condiments such as- roasted peanuts, shredded coconut, chutney, chopped oranges, cilantro etc.
Serves 6-8