Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Christmas disasters and vegan delights

It must be 35 years since my brother took his new, ten speed bike out for a ride on Christmas day and while trying to figure out the gears, hit a parked car, damaging car and bike. It must have been a crushing experience for a young boy.
Yesterday (Christmas day) my brother's son had his turn experiencing a crushing Christmas mistake. The little bloke, who is about eight, lost some cash that had been wrapped in a gift for him. If the loss of the money wasn't bad enough, he had been told it was not time to open presents yet but he persisted and added shame to his loss. His tears were inconsolable but if that's the worst Christmas he ever has, he will do well.

Today I am preparing a vegan buffet to share with my extended family. We will meet at my sister's house and the experience of cooking here but being hosted there will be a new one. I will need to make sure all details are remembered because it won't be any good to anybody if things are left at home.
My brother in law has spent the  past year as a vegan, he has completed the year he challenged himself to and I doubt he will continue with it but I wanted to support his choice in these last days of the project and it won't hurt the rest of us to honour the earth with a kinder, more sustainable meal.

There will be

  • baby beetroot
  • asparagus, cuccumber, green beans and tomatoes
  • curried chickpeas
  • smoky middle eastern carrots
  • roasted sweet potato
  • lebanese lentils and rice
  • hummous
  • green hommous with coriander and lime
  • mango dressing
Dessert is yet to be decided. I have seven hours to figure that out!


  1. Your poor nephew. While you are right that if that is the worst Christmas experience he won't be badly off, that doesn't diminish yesterday's pain.
    All praise to your brother-in-law. I have been leaning toward veganism for a while, but cheese is a HUGE sticking point for me. And dairy more generally.
    Enjoy your day.

    1. As you know, I am not vegan or even vegetarian and I would consider cheese to be a great loss but I choose to see every meat and dairy free meal as a win and I try to make plenty of them

  2. I will never be vegan or vegetarian since I like chicken, eggs, and dairy too much. However, I think a little heavy on meat is better than heavy on baked goods.

    Maybe if he learns the value of obeying rules or expectations, he can avoid trauma in the future. My son insisted on doing things his way, but with my vigilance, he learned a little restraint. I hope no one replaces the money! lol...I believe in suffering consequences is a good teacher.

    My daughter learned to ride her bike and rode it into the street. As she came back into the yard, she went straight into the bushes and hit the house. I ran to her as she was crying from the bushes scratching her and whacking the house. She asked me through tears why I did not teach her how to stop. I swear it did! All she had to do was pedal backwards. But, to this day, she knows I did not...sigh. The bike nor the bike were hurt. Her feelings were hurt.

    1. I think you are right that heavy on meat is better than baked goods. Baked goods have not a single nutrient in them but meat is full of the good stuff.

      We are hoping the money will still be found and that way the pain will teach him but he will still get his Christmas present. It will be very disappointing for the giver if it never shows up.

      memory is notoriously unreliable so it makes sense that you and your daughter have different versions of the story. I bet she remembered how to use the brakes from that moment on!

    2. kylie,
      I don't eat much meat. However, I am guilty of having too many cookies, pieces of cake or whatever.

      How did the money get lost? My son lost everything! He laid his new camera on our back car bumper and we drove off, losing the camera. It was a sad day for him, and I was soooo angry. A day later, someone called us up, having found the camera. I had put his name on the camera or case. So, Mama saved the day. I tell them to put names on things for kids!!! He learned a lesson but the day was saved, thanks to an honest person.

      I know I showed her how to slow and stop. However, I did not tell her how to keep from hitting the house...lol. She was so scared that I felt so sorry for her. It banged her up a bit but left no marks or bruises. I think the bushes helped to slow her down.

    3. We really don't know how it was lost! We thought it might have been thrown out with the wrapping paper but my daughter saw it on the floor and then it just disappeared. It could be under furniture or with the paper or i suppose it's possible that someone could have picked it up and kept it.

      It was a good thing you labelled the camera!

    4. my money says someone took it. That is another good lesson--give money to a parent to care for.

      I made sure I pointed out that putting his name on it saved the camera. Well, that and honesty on the part of the finder.

  3. Did anyone check the seat cushions on the furniture? I have found more stuff there . . . I hope the money turns up.

    Your buffet sounds delicious. I have tried to keep meat to a minimum ever since our daughter went vegan (then back to vegetarian). Your menu is wonderfully varied.

    1. most of the effort went to sifting through trash because obviously that is time critical. someone may eventually check under the cushions.

      thank you for your comments about my menu, i hope it will be enjoyable for everyone

  4. By now the party must be over and you would have got the feed back. I just want to wish you all the best with the very tempting menu. I wish that I could be there to partake.

    1. I would have been very glad to include you, Ramana! The adults were very pleased with the menu, the children were all unwell and not so impressed but they had a try, which is what I want to see

  5. My heart goes out to your eight year old nephew. Why the hell couldn't he open his presents? No eight year olds should be driven to tears on Christmas Day.

    1. he was asked to wait because the adults were distracted and a little supervision prevents just those kind of situations.
      He had received gifts from his parents earlier in the day and it was extended family he was waiting on so he wasn't Oliver Twist or anything

  6. Oh, so it's your brother-in-law who is a vegan. All Consuming is a vegan, and if I lived in consistency with my values, I would be too. Perhaps, it's just as well that I'm not because I would be even more insufferable as vegan than I already am. I think there might be something behind the stereotype of aging men as crotchety. I try to go through live being friendly and helpful, and I'm sure that I mostly succeed, yet I know very well that I'm more critical than I used to be, and while I don't go around criticizing people openly, being nice comes harder than it once did.

    1. Some ageing people are crotchety and some are more gracious than ever. i think age gives perspective which might take us in either direction for any particular circumstance, it's just a question of less fence sitting.
      You do a good impression of nice!


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