Tomorrow is the first day of the new Liturgical Year. It is cool that this year it falls on the first of December too!
I have spent a good part of the past week readying the house for Advent and Christmas and am excited to begin re-enacting annual traditions in the days head.
I’ve mentioned many times before that as we near the major festivals, it becomes harder and harder to attract the attention of anyone serving in a church context so Day Camps work tends to turn inwards as we move into December.
Fortunately there is always plenty to do in programming and also in initial planning of major events like the Training Retreat. Since the committee has decided to hold an extra meeting in January devoted to Retreat plans I do need to get a head start as soon as possible. For many years I have always used the time between Christmas and New Year to plan all the menus for the Retreat s now I just need to look at other aspects of the Training.
This week I also took a chunk of time to assemble all the content for the “Networks” newsletter and am fervently hoping that this issue can be published, unlike the previous one, which had to be scuttled 😒
Today is shaping up as another “Bake & Blog” marathon as I lean into Christmas Baking.Along with the weekly GF Bread for my friend Sue I plan to make Stöllen, some shortbread and the last of the 8 Cranberry and Walnut Miches for gifting.
With Steven gone I now have no way of procuring our Saturday lunch treat of chocolatines from the local organic bakery so I’m thankful it is time to bake Stöllen, which is so great for breakfast and lunches during the coming season.
As I said at the beginning of this post, all my work this week outside CTM office hours has been devoted to the “Changing of the Decorations” although evenings have still focused on the knitting of mittens 😊. I completed a pair of wristers and am onto another pair. Time is running out to get all those mittens made. Agh!
Well right now it is time to get going on the baking list! I’ve been mentioning the Cranberry Miches for a few weeks now so today I thought I’d share the recipe. I found the original online but have tweaked it a bit. Here goes 😊
Cranberry Walnut Miche
3½ cups unbleached flour
2 tsps. salt
1 ¼ cups warm water
½ tsps. yeast
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped walnuts
4 Tbsps. honey
The day before you plan to bake-
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in he warm water. Add all the other ingredients and mix well, making sure to incorporate all the flour. Cover the bowl tightly and set in a draught-free place for 18-24 hours.
One hour before baking turn the dough out onto large piece of parchment paper and allow to rise again. Meanwhile, in a 450º oven, heat a lidded Dutch oven or similar heavy casserole. Once the dough has risen, trim the parchment around the dough leaving a 1” border. Quickly place the loaf on the parchment into the Dutch oven, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for a further 15minutes, uncovered. Carefully lift the miche from the pot and cool on a rack.