Well actually the Feast of Epiphany was
last Wednesday but the Season of
Epiphany lasts until Lent, which, as a sidebar, starts uber-early this year,
Ash Wednesday is February 10th and Easter Sunday is the last weekend in March.
   So this week things have started to gear up
in the world of Day Camps. All but a couple of the Program Manual Chapters have
been submitted, plans are in place to prepare our promotional posters and bookmarks,
applications have been sent out and this evening is our Epiphany Team Gathering.
  Yesterday I made my first ever totally
organic Rice Krispy Squares (with my homemade Marshmallows) as my contribution to the Gathering and this afternoon
I shall be assembling a large crockpot of Hot Lemonade as the beverage of the
But this
morning there is the usual flurry of activity, setting up the dining room and
living room for tonight’s crowd and putting out a bunch of boot trays for all
those wet shoes and boots!
  In between everything from preparing for
Sunday’s All Ages Gathering to dealing with general office correspondence, a
lot of spare time this week was devoted to the “Changing of the Decorations”.
Changing from the Advent and Christmas things is a bigger job than some of the
other seasonal changes and it can be especially challenging to take down the Christmas
Tree by oneself; this year was no exception. Things seemed to be going quite
well as the tree-stand screws were loosened but then the big tree tipped
forward stand and all and a cascade of water poured across the living room
floor. I rushed and got towels but soon discovered it was “raining” in the
basement so more mopping had to take place there, after hauling the tree out
the front door and down the icy path to the curb. Oh my! quite a mess.
  But everything is now in place for Epiphany
and Winter and the house looks clean and peaceful after a few days of chaos. It
was especially fun to incorporate some of my recently acquired birch branches
and logs into this Wintry décor and the results make me smile
  Dinners this week have been mostly culled
from my freezer stash as there was little time for elaborate cooking but Thursday
evening I made Shanghai Dumplings as a slightly belated Epiphany Feast. Making
“pot-stickers” is really quite simple and does not even require a bamboo
steamer plus the results are well worth the effort!!

1 scant
cup flour
1 cup
boiling water
ground beef
1 cup
chopped bok choy cabbage
chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp.
freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp.
chopped chives
½ tsp.
each coarse salt a freshly ground pepper
2 tsps.
2 tsps.
sesame oil
2 tsps.
rice vinegar
1 tsp.
soya sauce
1 Tbsp.
Tbsps. vegetable oil
½ cup
chicken stock
First make
the dough. Place the flour in a medium bowl and add the boiling water. Stir vigorously
with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. Knead a few times then
cover with a damp towel and leave for 30 minutes, while preparing the filling.
For the
filling, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and work together with
your hands to form a smooth mass.
the dough has rested remove it from the bowl and on a floured surface divide it
into 20 even pieces. Take each piece and roll or shape in your hand into a 3”
round. Lay the rounds out on the floured surface and place an equal amount of
filling on each round (approx. 1tsp. each) Dab a small amount of water on half
of the edges of the dough circles and form each dumpling into a half moon shape
by folding over and pinching the edges together securely. Place completed
dumplings on a tray lightly dusted with flour or cornstarch.

Heat a
large heavy frying pan over medium-high, add the oil and when it is sizzling
lay all the dumplings in the pan. Do not over crowd but place them closely
together. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Add the chicken
stock, cover and steam until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove
the lid and fry again for about 2 minutes until the bottoms are crisp. Serve
immediately with a dipping sauce. Makes 20 dumplings.