It is amazing to think that we are already
nearing the end of Epiphany with less than a month to Ash Wednesday.  The other day, someone on the radio referred
to February as “the longest, shortest month”, which is true in many ways but it
seems to be flying by pretty quickly around here!

    To
follow up on the “Day Camps Train” analogy, we can now safely say that the
train has already visited its first station of “Program Manual” and has picked up
a full cargo of “content”.  Of course
there are many many more stops along the line but God willing, we will eventually
arrive at the terminus of “Summer 2014”, on time!

    With Arnee now settled in Oxford each day
brings a flurry of email questions about everything from the type of scissors
required for a craft, to the correct Scripture reference for a quiz answer! It
is just great to know that the Manual, the core piece of our Program, is
starting to take shape.

    The mail has also brought another Church Application Form and email correspondence has been flying back and forth with interesting enquiries from prospective churches AND Team Members! WooHoo!

   In the coming week I intend to begin
assembling the 2 Supply Lists (Team and Host Church). This is not as easy a job
as it, perhaps, sounds since it is essential not to forget even one item on
either list as a Team could find itself far from the sort of store which might
stock say, brass paper fasteners, or, conversely the local Coordinator might be
justifiably annoyed when asked to produce a large bag of sand when it was not
“on the Supply List”! so one needs to make very sure that everything is there
before posting that list on the Web.

 
Throughout the week there has been quite the stream of visitors. Monday
I enjoyed dinner and discussions with Steven from MCF. He has been asked to
Speak at our April Team Gathering so we talked about a Theme and got that all settled.

     Tuesday, Sarah, from St. Stephen’s came for
another “knitting evening”. She is currently working a blanket for her, soon to
be born, baby and I was finishing up a pair of legwarmers from the very last
of the gorgeous Alpaca yarn I was given for Christmas 2012!

     Thursday there was a quick little Tea-time
visit with Pippa, Seren and Tighe, so that I could present her with the Monk’s
bag I had made for her birthday. In her own words she “LOVED” it! It is so
nice when somebody is genuinely pleased with a gift.

     Then
Thursday evening Jessica joined me for dinner and I got to read her collection
of charming dinner menus for an imaginary restaurant which focuses on Seasonal, Organic, Locally-sourced foods (could there be a better type of restaurant??)

    These
menus were for a presentation she is to give at the Cooking School where she is
studying this year. Knowing that most of their food work is with European
Cuisines, I chose to prepare a Chinese meal of Tea-steamed Chicken and
Vegetables, Rice, Lapsang Soochong Tea, Chocolate-covered Candied Ginger and Fresh Oranges.

   We ate in front of the fire and talked
about “Foodie” matters, as well as Day Camps!

     No
sewing this week, but I did finish the legwarmers and started another pair in a
gorgeous chunky, local yarn, which I plan to wear in early Spring.

    


For Christmas my friend Barb gave me a fascinating booking on patchwork
fabric folding and a package of 5 “fat-quarters” to go with it. My plan is to
make a pieced section using these lovely fabrics and then make a Japanese Monk’s Bag for myself. I’ve been playing around with the colours and hope to make
a start this week.

    
Tomorrow looks like being a pretty chaotic day so do not be surprised if
“Sunday Reflections” ends up being posted on Monday!

  
For now I’m immersed in Baking and Blogging (Gluten-free Bread,
Chocolate-Raisin Biscotti, Cranberry Orange Scones and Tomato, Pesto, Haloumi
Pizza for dinner).

    AND
all day I’ve been arranging the dining and living rooms for the long
anticipated Chinese New Year High Tea, which will be happening tomorrow
afternoon and for which I’ve been storing up food for several weeks!

 
Pastor Nick will be picking me up early in the morning as we are having
an All Ages Service, so there is a lot to prepare before Church. Then, after
Church it’s our Annual Vestry Meeting, followed by dashing home, walking Wil and
setting out all the food for the High Tea!! Whew.

 Chocolate-Raisin Biscotti are not on that menu
but they are pretty yummy so I’ll close off today with the recipe!

          

                                      Chocolate and Raisin
Biscotti

2 Tbsps.  Margarine or Butter

1/3-cup sugar

2 Eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder

½ tsp. salt

2 tsps. Baking powder

¾ cup raisins

In a large mixer bowl, cream together the
sugar and margarine at high speed, until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a
time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. In a medium bowl,
whisk together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder.

Beat into egg mixture at low speed. Stir in
the raisins by hand.

Gather the dough into a ball and divide in
half. Form each portion into a log 8” long and approx. 1 ½” wide. Place on a parchment-lined
baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 350F oven. Cool, and then
slice diagonally, into ½ “ slices. Return slices to the baking sheet and toast
in a 250F oven for approx. 20 minutes, or until dry to the touch. Makes approx.
3 dozen biscotti.