Thursday, December 22, 2016

Our Vegan Christmas Dinner

Aurore is leaving (sob!) so we had an early Christmas celebration with a vegan feast and gifts.  Our spread is pictured below, all vegetarian and mostly vegan, all new recipes (because for me the fun is in the experimentation).

From left:  a zucchini, artichoke and sun-dried tomato wreath; cauliflower and mushroom quiche with a quinoa crust (this had eggs, but I replaced the cream in the recipe with almond milk); eggplant balls in marinara sauce, "thanksgiving wraps" with arugula and roasted sweet potatoes flavored with cinnamon and chickpeas flavored with paprika; roasted potato and avocado salad; cabbage, mushroom and tofu stir fry; and beautiful acorn squash stuffed with quinoa.  Not pictured (because we'd already eaten it):  pumpkin soup and olive bread and not pictured (because dessert wasn't quite ready at the time of this photo): chocolate Christmas cookies.  Yum!  I'd remake all but the acorn squash, which lacked flavor, and the tempeh, which I didn't really like...

After dinner, we opened presents, of course.  This was a special one from Aurore to us:  a kitchen towel that she selected for the bird that is on it, because she thinks of us as "the singing family" because we are always singing when we are in the car.  What a fun way to be remembered!

She also wrote a lovely poem (impressively rhyming in English, her fourth language). Bits of it follow:

Four months ago you welcomed me with an open arm
And day after day I discovered your amazing charm

I could not have landed in a more beautiful family
K's laugh is like a healing remedy
G is full of creativity
And Therese, I just can't thank you enough for your humongous generosity!

From the best pancakes in the world
And delicious meals of vegetable
To the best places in the world
You made my stay unforgettable

Puck is so fluffy
Deserves a trophy
loves to hold hands
and has lots of fans

Uh and old lad Ike, he is always hungry
Don't look at me like that; let me do my laundry!

There's more, but even just this sample is so sweet.  I cried as she read it aloud to us and we miss her already.

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