With the clocks changing last weekend, the last few days have really
begun to feel more like Winter than Fall, around here.

After all the hustle and bustle of the Coffee House it has been good to
regroup this week and get on with some more “standard” Day Camps work, to take
a look forward to the whole training process of our Teams and, yes, even to
dabble in Menu Planning for the Retreat Week, which will take place, God
willing, at the beginning of July!

Actually it is not that far-fetched to be drafting out the Menus since I
love to explore new recipes and foods from different cultures and even to link
some of the meals to the Day Camp Stories and other Retreat activities. So now
that the outline is in place I will be able to keep on tweaking it into shape
over the next few months until the advance cooking begins, sometime in May.

SYC Bible Study went off well last Sunday evening, with approx. 12 in attendance,
a good mix of Staff and Campers. A while back I mentioned that SYC had started
a Blog too and have been meaning to include the link so
here it is . Why not check it out?

I was so pleased to be able to entertain Arnee to lunch. She is our
long-suffering Program Manual typist/editor and does a fabulous job of pulling
many mismatched chapters into a seamless document of which we can all be proud.

Over lunch I presented her with the canvas
and leather bag I had bought for her and the card, which was signed by a whole
bunch of Team and Committee Members.

Tuesday I was very happy to have Steven Craig over for dinner. He is a
member of the ICVF Team working in CEGEPS and Universities in the Montreal area
and is in charge of MCF @ McGill. He told me all about the Retreat they had
last weekend at which there had been 90 participants!

Throughout the week the raking and general closing down of the garden
has continued apace. The bulbs have been planted and yesterday I emptied the
composter and spread fresh compost over several beds. Sadly my wheelbarrow has
a flat tire. A friend did make an attempt to inflate it but was unsuccessful,
thus requiring that I carry the compost all over the garden in a rather small
bucket. A long and laborious process! There are still quite a few leaves on my
biggest Maple tree but the others are bare and the ivy has changed colour and
is now dropping leaves all around the house.

looks as if the brick masons will not turn up this Fall. I am concerned at the
very real possibility of bricks falling and shall have to commit the situation
to prayer over the months ahead.

Wednesday I was able to post a little knitted hat to David and Claire,
in Warwickshire, UK  (former Team
Leaders) who have just had their second son.

That afternoon also marked the arrival of
my big Winter vegetable box   so I biked
first to the Post Office and then to the veg. stand, using my bicycle as a
workhorse to help transport a lot of heavy root vegetables!!

Today, some of those vegetables have been transformed into a giant pot
of Borscht, as tomorrow is my “Soup Duty” day at church. Now that the weather is
cooler I need not worry about squeezing the pot into the fridge, all I need to
do is leave it overnight in the front porch. 

As I write, the last of the Christmas
cookies are baking in the oven after which I plan to bake a stuffed squash and
my Nana’s Apple Pudding, for dinner.


So I will close off with the Borscht Recipe
since I need to put together the squash stuffing.


                                            Classic Borscht

2 medium onions, diced       

2 Tbsps olive oil

2 carrots, chopped

1 small celeriac, chopped

1 pound beets, peeled and grated

½ pound potatoes, grated

½ a small cabbage, grated

1cup tomato purée

1 tsp dried dill

1 tsp black pepper

8 cups water

1 Tbsp Tamari

2 Tbsps lemon juice

In a large pot, over medium heat, sauté the onions in the oil, until translucent. Add the carrots, celeriac
and pepper and sauté for another 15minutes. Add the tomato pur
ée and dill and simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the potatoes, beets,
dill and cabbage with the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20minutes. Stir
in the Tamari and lemon juice. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt or sour cream.
If desired.

Serves 8