This wasn't the Christmas holiday that I planned. Instead of spending lots of time with friends and family, eating, drinking and being merry. Only that wasn't the case - the universe conspired to royally mess things up by visiting a rather unpleasant and prolonged bout of extremely nasty illness on my house. There was not much in the way of drinking, hardly any eating, and nary a whiff of being merry.
Hopefully 2016 won't carry on from where 2015 left off - I'm crossing my fingers that the new year will bring the sort of fresh start that we always hope it will.
Food however is very much proving to be about continuing what went before. Only yesterday, I finished up the last of the vegan lox I made as part of a buffet that I cooked for Mr Flicking the Vs' folks.
It was my first attempt at making lox, using a cross between this recipe and this recipe. It was almost really tasty, but not quite - I'm not sure why. I think the amount of miso was overgenerous and it didn't quite work. Still, it gave me an excuse to track down some vegan dill and mustard sauce to go with my vegan smoked salmon (I used Sainsbury's - definitely vegan, but a bit on the sweet side).
Oatcakes may not be traditional for lox but there were no bagels to be had in my cupboards this Christmas.
It look me a similarly monumentally long time to finish off the salads I made for the meal - a beetroot, butternut and brown lentil one with cashew cheese at the top there and a black eyed bean, lemon and parsley at the bottom. Sandwich filling was the save the tuna from Crazy Sexy Kitchen that I made a tonne of and noone touched. Good job I like it!
It wasn't just my food I've been busily devouring - one of said family, a recent vegan convert (!), brought over a large box of gingerbread.
These pretty little stars have been a frequent accompaniment to cups of tea over the last few days, because they were quite simply delicious. After a valiant effort by my good self, I despatched what remained of these crisp little treats. Isn't it great to have a new vegan in the family, especially one that's as good at baking as this one.
Said family member wasn't the only one demonstrating some admirable vegan baking skills this Christmas - my ma decided she was going to make a vegan Christmas cake this year, complete with enough brandy to sink a ship, icing, marzipan, and a little snowman for good measure. How cute is that?
And, what's even better, she left me half of the cake after she visited, so I'll be eating slices for a while. Lucky fruit cake keeps so well, huh?
But with the New Year comes a desire to put away all the rich food of the festive period, and rediscover a normal diet. I had a plan to make pears poached in mulled wine, but it came to no avail, and I now have six pears that needed using quickly. Here's what I did with them:
Pear and banana smoothieIngredients
One pear, chopped into small chunks
One banana, chopped into slices
50ml vegan banana yoghurt
100ml vegan milk
20g of porridge oats
Cinnamon to taste
How you do it
Blend the pear, banana, yoghurt, milk and oats together until smooth, then dust with cinnamon, if you fancy.