Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's Winter!

I owe a million updates, but for now here's one. What have we been up to? It feels like a lot! Really, it's been the normal stuff plus planning for lots of travel.

I am finding it very challenging to write up the Rally weekend post without turning it into a novel. It may just have to be a novel. Since the rally, I voted, the results were what they were, we hung out with our awesome, local vegan friends, I made plans to go to LA and Florida, I cooked and baked, we volunteered at the local humane society, we had a long Thanksgiving weekend with family, and now it's December.
Crosby at the Champaign County Humane Society. Adopt him! So cute!

Oh, and I committed to a trip to Ireland. (Yes, I finally clicked the button that said, "You are going to leave the country in 2011 like you said!")

Let's jump back to Thanksgiving. See, we brought home a lot of leftovers. We are the only vegans in the family. Heck, if we were just vegetarian, we'd still be the only vegetarians in the family. So, as the rest of the family was planning the food and decided I would "bring a vegetable dish," I let them know I would likely be bringing three or four dishes and a dessert since there was no way I was letting our Thanksgiving consist of one dish.

I made Moroccan Lentil Soup, Biscuits & Gravy, "Sausage" Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Crust-Free Pumpkin Pie, Green Bean Casserole, Aztec Corn Salad, a Field Roast loaf, and Coconut Whipped Cream. I received compliments on the mashed potatoes from one person, and I think a handful of servings were taken by family members of everything else, but for the most part what we didn't eat those three days with family came home with us. We easily had five days of lunch of dinner covered by the food I made that was not eaten by others.
Everything is pictured except the Coconut Whipped Cream and Field Roast loaf.

I don't think I was bothered so much by the leftovers so much as I was bothered by something much more basic. How many dishes of mashed potatoes did we have? One? No. Two. Why? Because apparently vegan mashed potatoes are so radically different, that we have to make non-vegan mashed potatoes, too. This really struck a nerve. I said a couple of times that we really didn't need to make two versions, but that fell on deaf ears. I have to say I was surprised by the one family member who sought out my help in making an unusual recipe and making sure it was vegan; one of my uncles. (My mother did email about a recipe, but it was for a salad, and even though The Boy likes salad, I wasn't going to make a salad for Thanksgiving.)
These were darn good mashed potatoes, and I am thankful for my supportive aunt, too.

So when it came time for family pictures on Saturday and the photographer wanted to take some outside since we had fifteen people, what happened? "It's too cold, we can do it outside." Immediately vetoed even though the topic had been tossed around as a possibility the entire weekend. In fact, the photographer called about 30 minutes prior to our appointment time, and it was a 15-minute drive to either location, so it was pretty inconvenient. The weather was sunny and above 30F; a veritable heat wave in an Illinois winter! So, we are going to end up with studio photos in front of the same backdrop for every shot. I didn't let it ruin my day, but I also didn't pretend to be happy with the decision.

(I didn't realize how annoyed I still was until I started thinking about this post while doing the dishes, which included the finally empty containers from our Thanksgiving food. Letting it go and moving on!)

Over the next four months, starting tomorrow, I will be traveling to Los Angeles, Florida, and finally Ireland. Needless to say, I am extremely excited. While out in LA, I will be catching up with Deb and her little boy, catching a Thrilling Adventure show with guest star Nathan Fillion, and zooming back home in under 36 hours. Our Florida trip is to spend Christmas with The Boy's father's family. It's been a while since we spent a good amount of time down there, and I won't mind the break from our weather. Then, it's just a hop, skip, and a jump to our trip to Ireland. Fantastic.
As fantastic as these vegan chocolate-mint-peanutbutter cupcakes? Maybe.

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