It seems appropriate to end 2011 with a summary of our Christmas, because if I leave it until 2012 I will feel slack (even though I'm still posting about our travels which happened in OCTOBER, but whatevs).
Our Christmas promised little in the way of either excitement or decoration - it was just Andy and I hanging out in Townsville, and we had a stack of novels to keep us company, and the limit of my cheer was this little display on the table (which is a major step up from most years).
For dinner, which Andy and I have on Christmas eve, we decided to be modest so we could save room for dessert.
There was a yuba-wrapped seitan roast, made as per last year's recipe, except this year stuffed with a fig & pecan stuffing, which was wonderful. There were some oven-roasted potatoes, which Andy declared "tates awesome" (get it?). There was a crunchy noodle cole slaw - you know the recipe on the back of the crunchy noodle pack, with a sesame-soy dressing. And there was cranberry jelly, from a jar, which I resisted buying because the homemade version is much better, but it was on special and Andy can't resist a bargain.
As per our plan, there was room for dessert, in the form of tropical trifle, but which I forgot to photograph. Here is a photo of my first go, but the Christmas version was made in a rectangular baking dish - partially because that's how Andy's mum does it, but mainly because our usual trifle bowl was under a friend's house and we'd been too slack to pick it up.
On Christmas morning, I woke to put on some bread - cranberry fig bread, a dried fruit combination which, to me, seems more festive than dried mixed fruit, which we always have on hand. I found a recipe for vegan panettone, but decided to just make it like a regular loaf in the breadmaker. Only, when the beep signalled our bread finished, the result was flat in the pan (despite loads of yeast), it was reluctant to come out, and when it did, it collapsed into a heap:
The reason was because it was still pretty doughy in the centre. We ate it anyways, in chunks, though my lofty goal of having cranberry fig french toast on Boxing Day was dashed.
The rest of Christmas Breakfast centred on mango mimosas - champagne with melty mango sorbet.
And on food, too. Hash browns with smoked cheddar sheese and (vegan) bacon bits. More cranberry jelly. Creamy breakfast mushrooms. And see the chunk of bread? Also, Vegan Dad's breakfast sausages. I made a half batch of this lightly sweet but mainly savoury recipe, but made the mistake of steaming them wrapped in baking paper, rather than foil - to me aluminium foil seems wasteful, and the whole thing about aluminium and health... But the baking paper wasn't tight enough so they were a bit flat, and not as dense as they should have been. But still good.
The rest of the day involved cocktails, potato chips, more trifle, novels, It's a Wonderful Life, and leftovers.
Boxing Day saw Nacho throwing up all day, and not eating. One of the throw-ups involved a 20cm piece of shoe lace. She perked up a bit after that, but then got sick again, so when she was still sick on Tuesday morning, we took her to the Emergency Vet - because it was the Christmas Day public holiday, you see, and the regular vet was closed.
While we worried about Nacho, we occupied ourselves by making some mango-beetroot spring rolls. I originally planned to have these for Christmas, but the Christmas Day public holiday is close enough, no? In rice paper I put 20cent sweet chilli tofu...
And a big pile of grated beetroot, grated carrot, and rice vermicelli.
Then I rolled them up.
And after we heard that Nacho's surgery went just fine, and they removed a 60cm piece of shoe lace from her guts, we ate our spring rolls for dinner.
Nacho came home the next night, full of her last dose of pain meds, and with a shaved arm where the IV had been, which I think makes it look like she has her sleeve rolled up.
And with a shaved pink belly.
She's done a lot of laying around since Wednesday night, which is good, but she's also back to eating lots, licking herself, and purring adorably.