Today, faced with the prospect of a return to univeristy and work after two weeks that were among the most stressful of the year, I didn't jump out of bed with a spring in my step and a wiggle in my walk.
I felt like carrying a sharp fork around and prodding everyone that passed with it, just because.
Then I started reading everyone's near year round-ups - The Vegan Word, Green Gourmet Giraffe, Vegan in Brighton, Allotment 2 Kitchen, and numerous others - and it had a soothing effect. I was no longer grumpy. I was degrumped. I was reminded that how a thing ends shouldn't colour how you view it, and 2015 was no exception.
There's no doubting last year was hard work and it ended with a trip to A&E(!) but it had its high points, not leastly that I managed to get into medical school. So, I'm writing Christmas 2015 off, and approaching 2016 as a fresh slate (button it, cynics - let me cling to my vain hope).
I'm not making resolutions because no sane person does, but I hope to keep blogging this year - I love reading what other veg folk are cooking and eating, where they're travelling, and how they go about their days.
With that in mind, I'm offering up a recipe for rumbledethumps, a Scottish dish of root veggies that's perfect for winter. There are many versions out there - this is my vegan take.
Happy new year folks. x
Serves two hungry people
200g potato, peeled and cubed
200g carrot, peeled and cubed
200g parsnip, peeled and cubed
200g swede, peeled and cubed
One onion, chopped fine
100g savoy cabbage, with veins removed, cut into small strips
Salt, pepper, oil or vegan butter type spread
Handful of cashew cheese or similar
How you do it
Preheat oven to 190C
Warm some oil, and fry onion over a medium heat for 10 mins, or until nearly cooked. Add the savoy cabbage, and cook for the same amount of time.
Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add potato, carrot, parsnip, swede, and carrot and bring the water back to the boil. Cook the veg for 5 mins or until cooked through. Drain.
Mix together the drained root veg, onion and savoy cabbage. Mash lightly and add generous salt, pepper, and olive oil or vegan butter type spread.
Pour into a pyrex dish and put in the oven. After 10 minutes, sprinkle with chunks of cashew cheese and cook for five minutes more.