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ravenousveggie

Thoughts on veggie food, work, play and life in general

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Christmas

Monthly Loves – December

December – that month of cramming in work, parties and shopping before a long break (if you are lucky) where time seems to stand still and days become one big blur..  

  • Christmas Festivities – although Christmas has changed for me a lot over the last few years, I still enjoying to see the energy and enjoyment it brings to so many people.  
  • I had a lovely Christmas meal with a client at The Half Moon at Warninglid.  Probably the best veggie meal I hd out this month. Not sure what the usual menu is like, but I know my other half will love the food there, so planning a trip back at some point.
  • Hot chocolate made with almond milk.  The best dairy free alternative and flavour combination I have found to date.
  • Mal Maison – probably my favourite hotel chain who also cater well for vegetarians.  The staff are always welcoming and the decor is sumptuous. Don’t visit very often but I am never disappointed.
  • Christmas Dinner – I made a simple but gorgeous veggie main using Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s receipe for baked mushrooms with kale and walnuts. It went perfectly with all the roast veg and trimmings and was really filling. And it to no time to prepare and cook! Find the receipe in his River Cottage Much More Veg book
  • If you read my latest blog you will think I did nothing over the Christmas break, however I did spend a good few hours planning my business for the next 12 months.  Business planning sounds quite boring, but I am now focussed on what I want to achieve, and how to achieve it. I found it a very energising process and am looking forward to 2019.
  • Presents – my lovely friends and family showered me with an array of environmentally friendly and home-made gifts, helping my journey to reducing plastic and treading more lightly on the earth.

Christmas

Christmas can be a strange time of year.

The weeks before are a whirl of shopping, working hard to get ahead for the days off, and attending various seasonal functions – parties with work, networking groups friends and family.

In previous years I have always been incredibly busy at this time or year.  On top of all of the above I was in a choir and it was our busiest time of the year.  So by Christmas Day I was normally worn out and coming down with a cold. But I still loved Christmas.  Getting together with family who I don’t get to see that often. Having a few days off. Watching endless hours of TV.  Occasionally venturing out into the fresh air.

But since my parents died, and I split up with my husband, Christmas has been different for me.  It doesn’t seem to have the energy and fun it used to have.


Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash

My new partner does not have much family and has never really been into Christmas celebrations.  He sees it as a good break from work, but is not into visiting family. It has given me an appreciation of Christmas from the perspective of someone who has never really celebrated it since childhood.  

So for me it is about creating our own traditions for this time of year.

For the past two years we have been to our local for a lunchtime drink, and then home for a relax in front of the telly, and then our Christmas meal in the evening.

This is a lovely way to spend the day – fresh air and exercise from the walk to the pub and back, plus meeting friends.  Then a very un-stressful day making dinner for the just the two of us.

This year we have had a good break, doing very little, with one family get together with my family.  This is always a great occasion as we just love catching up with all the news. The day is about food, drink, relaxation and having fun.  No stress. Everyone gets on really well. Food wise it was relly good as three of my nieces and nephews have turned veggie over the last yer, so I was no longer the only veggie at the table!

After a few days or relaxation and long lie ins I confess that at one point I had no idea what day it was!

Now we are coming to the end of the brek I do sit back and think I haven’t achieved enough.  But then I worked hard in 2018 and didn’t have more than a week off at a time, and often worked seven day weeks.  So I have given myself permission not to get worked up by the length of my to do list. I will just re work it nd catch up over the coming week.

So whatever your take on Christmas I hope you had a good break, doing what you love the most and having a rest where possible.

Veggie Christmas Menus

Its that time of year when the Christmas party is being organised.  Desks fill with seemingly endless piles of menus. This time last year I wrote about how much cheese seemed to be on the menu for vegetarians.

So once again I start the sifting of menus.  Hopes being filled by lovely starters, only to see the same thing rehashed as a main.  Or goats cheese and blue cheese being snuck in where, quite frankly, it isn’t required.  I have even come across three venues that have no vegetarian or vegan option at all.

Overall tVeggie Christmas Menushis year’s offering seem to be a bit better though.  A move back to the days of nut roasts (hope they aren’t as dry as last year’s) and a move to root vegetables in various forms.  but most of them still have cheese attached to them in some form or other.

One menu I have come across has lovely starters and desserts, all marked as vegetarian, but no main course.  There is the option to have just two courses, so should I go for starter and dessert? Or ring them and see if they can do a veggie main? The first option would be better for the waistline.  The latter option will make me feel like the awkward one, but probably make the evening go by more easily. Decisions, decisions.

All the menus I have seen so far are very ‘brown’ looking.  None of them reflecting any of the colours we like to fill our homes with at this time of year.  

I would still like to see something like a spinach and mushroom roulade, a chickpea wellington, cashew nut and red pepper roast or spicy butternut squash with chickpeas.  All these go well (in my opinion) with the traditional Christmas veg.

Despite all the moves this year to vegetarian and vegan diets becoming more mainstream the Christmas offering does not seem to have kept pace.  Alas the world of variety of food for vegetarians at Christmas is one that continues to pass the majority of caterers by.

I would love to know what disappointing menus have you come across this year.

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