As we near the end of the second week of Advent I have been encouraged to hear from 2 communities who are taking the time to send in their Day Camp Applications despite the pre-Christmas frenzy😊.
      None of the Manual chapters have yet appeared, however there are still more than 2 weeks to go before the end of the month. Next Monday evening will be our last committee meeting of 2019 and I’m hoping it will prove to be an occasion when we can really look forward and do some serious planning for 2020. 
I prepped the agenda and sent it out this past Monday along with an updated version of our “Job List”. It is exciting to have some new people working on parts of the Program, especially as this will be the first program of a new decade 😊
      As I write today there is quite a big pile of baking ingredients waiting on the kitchen counter so this post might need to be a bit shorter than usual. Today’s baking will include Gingerbread Cookies, Porcupines, Eggnog Cheesecake, Gluten Free Bread, Granola and a Yorkshire Pudding for my dinner.
The last item requires careful timing so my baking schedule needs to be planned backwards from the pudding in order not to have dinner occur far too early or far too late 😊.
       Thomason has recently discovered the joys of curling up in one or other of the living room armchairs. Previously he was too small to jump easily into a chair but now he is just the right size. With the need to seek out cosy spots, as the weather gets colder, he seems to have staked his claim for the winter! All of our dogs have enjoyed those particular chairs and it is comforting to see one occupied again. He still pulls pretty badly on the leash and has broken a second buckle on the most recent harness I bought him. Yesterday I took it to the shoemaker with hopes it could be repaired but this time he told me he doesn’t use the kind of buckle that was broken and so cannot mend the harness. Sigh. I think I shall try to stitch the strap in place on my sewing machine but it will only be a short-term solution since the strap will no longer be adjustable and Thomason is still growing apace.
      As we come down to the deadline for Christmas gift-making I am, still churning out Newfoundland Mittens and hope to finish at least 2 more pairs by Christmas Day J. Fortunately my dearest friend is a member of the Orthodox Church so I have a bit of extra time between December 25th and January 8thto finish her present. This week I sewed 6 more gift bags and wrapped everything. Normally I place all the “out going” gifts in a bushel basket but this year everything needs to be “puppy proofed” so I’ve made sure to hide the tempting bows and gift tags or I fear all the presents will be opened by Thomason instead of by the intended recipients 😊
Well the baking schedule calls so I had best end this post.
      It suddenly seems more difficult to come up with an interesting recipe as, with the recent departure of my boarder, Steven, I am back to eating solitary meals on tray  (seasonally decorated of course!)
      Fortunately there is still a steady stream of mealtime visitors passing through my front door. As mentioned earlier, Monday evening will be the Day Camp Committee Meeting and for dessert I am making Eggnog Cheesecake.
This is a nice Christmastide recipe but is equally good on a hot summer evening!
Eggnog Cheesecake
12 oz. chocolate wafer cookies

3 Tbsps. melted butter
2Tbsps. cup cane sugar
1 ½ lbs. cream cheese, softened
1 cup cane sugar
3 eggs
½ cup heavy cream
3 Tbsps. flour
2 Tbps. orange juice or fruit cordial (I use Elderberry)
½ tsp. nutmeg
4oz. bittersweet chocolate chips
Pulverise the chocolate wafers in a food processor and combine with the melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture into a 9” springform pan and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated 325º oven. Set aside to cool while making the filling.
In a food processor beat the cream cheese, sugar, cream and flour until smooth. Add the eggs and nutmeg and process again until smooth. Pour over the chocolate crust and bake in a preheated 400º oven for 10minutes. Reduce the heat to 250º and bake for 45minutes, or until the edge is set but the centre is still slightly jiggley. Turn oven off and quickly run a knife around the edge of cake. Leave to cool for 1 hour in the oven. Remove to a rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile melt the chocolate chips and cool until the mixture begins to set. Spread out evenly on a sheet of parchment. When completely cool cut into decorative shapes and garnish the top of the cake.
Chill overnight before serving. Serves 8-10.