Sunday, December 31, 2017

Holiday Hoopla

Christmas is over and thank heavens.  The holiday is a bit of a mountain to climb; all the preparations of gifts and food, keeping everyone happy and moving in one direction, the right amount of drinks and frivolous fun balanced with close family time. I would think this would all get easier as the kids get older.

There were many parts of the holiday that I enjoyed and will savor over the course of 2018 and I plan to put a little more thought into next year's plan. Next year I don't want to be the one person constantly in the kitchen preparing food. We've always had interesting meals for holidays, we don't tend to have a big platter of meat as the main course. This year we had two vegans to work with and it was no easy feat. As per my last post I did prepare an almost all vegan spread and they were delicious recipes. Even with a perfect spread it was still off.  Next year I'm just going to have a ton of Indian food pre-prepared, ready to heat back up and served around the table. 

Everyone has expectations for the day and I have a sinking feeling that somehow I was not a good cruise director. Although I think whatever plans I had made or not made wouldn't have mattered. What is it about holidays and family gatherings that bring out the negative or at least hurt feelings? It begs the age old question "why can't we all just get along? It takes a lot of empathy to understand trauma and depression and while I am a caring person I feel like I'm being slowly pulled down the rabbit hole. So instead I'm putting my whole spirit into ushering in 2018. Let it be a good and peaceful year.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Weekend festivities

It snowed last night which means for many children celebrating Christmas that Santa's journey will be made much easier in his sled. My children are all older yet they appreciate snow a little more at this special time of year. I love the snow when I can stay inside, curled up in front of the fire with a very good book. Luckily I got most of my errands/shopping done yesterday.

I have a lot of cooking and baking to do today and I thought you might like some recipes.  Heather and Tristan have been vegan for about a year now and that changes our holiday meal drastically. We are pretty healthy eaters leaning more toward vegetarian so it's not like a cooking crisis but traditional meals like oyster stew and clam chowder on Christmas just won't do.  Instead will be having a carrot and potato soup with fresh homemade bread, a salad and homemade vegan brownies for dessert.  It will be a simple meal sandwiched between two church services.

Tomorrow we are going to have a tofu/potato scramble, vegan cinnamon rolls and mimosas (luckily those are vegan naturally!) for breakfast after a few gifts have been opened.  Later in the day we will sit down for a late supper of turkey lasagna (my husband begged for one non-vegan item), a a vegan roast (Heather and Tristan are bringing it), this amazing cauliflower dish from Jaime Oliver, mashed potatoes and vegan gravy, and a vegan berry pie.  I've got my work cut out for me so I don't know why I'm still standing around.

Happy holidays everyone for what you may celebrate may be different than I; I wish for you a happy and contented life as we move into a new year.  Another year for Trump to mess things up giving us all the more reason to stand up and be heard.

Merry Christmas, Peace on Earth, and 
JOY to the World.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Craving Chickpeas...

Happy December!
Last week I was craving spicy soup, which has nothing to do with Christmas or December but just my own odd taste buds.  I looked through recipes both online and in my massive stacks of books looking for just the right one. I found this one by Rachael Ray that looked interesting: Indian-spiced Chickpea, and this one, Morroccan Chickpea, from Good Foods, and then this, Chickpea Chili, from MyRecipes.  I ended up kind of making my own up loosely based on the last one except I did not have butternut squash on hand and I left out pimento-stuffed olives because seriously I couldn't imagine that flavor with the soup I was craving. Once I settled on a recipe I found some friends to invite over to be my tasters.

I made a batch of brown rice, tossed up a fresh salad, and this rustic bread to break together. Oh and I had a couple of chicken breasts on hand and as other people love their protein I shredded it and left it as a topping to be tossed into the soup like the parsley and sour cream. They left quite full, smiling and with half a loaf of bread in their hands. Also they'd both done well at Spite and Malice and Taboo; games that we played.  It was a lovely winter night; cold outside, toasty on the inside.

I finished Maggie Stiefvater's new book, All the Crooked Saints, tonight. She is a very imaginative writer and I think she casts a spell on each of her stories. This one, set in Colorado in 1962, is about the Soria family and their ability to collect pilgrims looking for miracles and it's about radio waves, saints, and love.  I don't understand how she weaves that altogether but she does. My Maggie favorites are The Scorpio Races and The Raven Boys series. Now I'm on to Choosing Civility by P.M. Forni and Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam.