Monday, 24 December 2012

Could try harder

I feel a tad unprepared for Christmas.

I should by Christmas Eve have cleaned and decorated the house, purchased piles of gifts and mountains of food, and be swanning around the house elegantly attired and humming suitable music.

My decorations have been on the minimal side

A beautiful black and green ribbon wreath made by the lovely Mrs J.

Christmas wreath
A few ornaments donated by Carla adorning a dried out branch of Bay.

Christ ornaments
I've managed a bit of food prep, namely croissants, sausages, macadamia cream, and mince pie.

Baking
I've also managed to hack a load of ice out of the freezer (doubling available storage!), have been enjoying seasonal soaps from Lush and have purchased, wrapped and delivered all the gifts I was required to.

And I spent Saturday night getting into the festive spirit with Helles Belles and watching their seasonal burlesque show which featured a lot of glitter and sauciness. Highlights were balloons assisting in bra removal, the audience being showered with fake snow (which then looked like dandruff) , and an enormous powderpuff.

Post show debris
Post show
And I breakfasted on sparkly Marmite on Sunday

Gold leaf marmite
So maybe I'm not as poorly prepared as I thought. Time to get on with celebrating then.

Merry Christmas banner
 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

What's in my lunchbox this week? - forgotten

Lunchbox and book
As I was drifting off to sleep on Sunday night when I realised that I'd completely forgotten to prepare anything for my lunchbox. I'm not great at mornings but 6am Monday saw me googling easy vegan lunch ideas. This was the result:

Clockwise from top left

  • Smooshed chickpea salad based vaguely on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I subbed sun dried tomatoes for olives and basil for parsley. It tastes great. Not sure if its the lemon or the oil but there's something really tasty and tangy in it.
  • Steamed Brussels sprouts - my favourites
  • The Red Box by Rex Stout. I had it on my list to read something featuring Nero Wolfe and this was it. I enjoyed the style of the writing and plan to be on a look out for some more.
  • Either a tangerine or a satsuma - what is the difference?
  • Steamed cauliflower
 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

What's in my lunch box this week? Creamy and spicy

 

Lunch and book
Lunch this week was the result of various wanderings, rummagings and a search for inspiration on a Sunday evening.

 

Clockwise rom top right:

  • Steamed cauliflower. I microwave this at work and add oil and salt and pepper. The creamy taste is amazing. The bloke on the market offered me 2 cauliflowers for a quid and I powerless to turn him down. Although it did then feel like I was carrying 2 bowling balls home.
  • Tub of spicy chickpeas, fried tofu, vegan chorizo. The creamy dreamy taste can always be improved with a bit of spice and protein. Picked up the Chorizo at a much reduced price at last weekend's Animal Aid fayre. The short date on it means I feel honour bound to consu me it as quickly as possible.
  • Lasting Damage by Sophie Hannah. Another beautifully written book with a very cunning plot.
  • Apples - English Coxes this week with a delicious sweet crunchiness.

 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Seven for seven

  • Eating - Christmas ice cream among other yummy vegan stuff at the Animal Aid Christmas Fayre
  • Reading - The Midnight Mayor by Anne Griffin and Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King
  • Enjoyed - a day of Christmas shopping with my sister
  • Regret - that a pair of green sequin shorts reduced in a sale didn't fit
  • Had a go - at driving a Mini
  • Laughed - lots at a 40th birthday party
  • Learnt - handmade and vintage things just can't compete with Star Wars

Monday, 3 December 2012

Counting down to Christmas - cup by cup

 

Advent tea calendar
Advent calendars were always a really important part of the build up to Christmas. My my always got two calendars and my sister and I swapped every night to keep it fair. Cadbury's dairy milk miniatures featured heavily although I do recall one year that resulted in a different plastic animal each day. The colours were on the interesting side with green goats and blue dogs.

I fell out of the advent calendar habit. Advent candles went unlit while I was out drinking mulled wine. Chocolates stacked up until I got round to opening several doors at once.

The discovery of vegan advent calendars did spark a fresh round of enthusiasm but given my preference for salt over sweet it was never going to be a long term enthusiasm. Besides I was too busy buying up blocks of vegan cheese, locating the last celebration roast and wrapping presents to want to be reminded how few days remained to get everything done.

Tea advent calendar
This year I'm being given an opportunity to sip my way to Christmas in a delightfully mature manner. Mimi over at Little sips of tea has made me this glorious advent calendar with a different tea bag for every day. Despite a very busy weekend it was lovely to take time to make a cup of tea and sit down to enjoy it. I took the opportunity to look at my job list, tick off Christmas related tasks and to think about all things seasonal (pretty lights, Christmas music and iced up windscreens).