The weather was fantastic yesterday (Christmas Day)– sunny but not hot and still ‘cool’ enough for the hot beverages. I saw a cousin I haven’t seen since she was 12. She’s now a towering 18 year old and it made me think just how quickly time does fly and how we need to just slow down and smell the roses more often.
I did plan on making pancakes and waffles for Christmas breakfast based on family requests, but instead decided to serve the stollen I made. I made fairy bread and fresh juice in the blender and we had some shortbread on the table as a special Christmas treat. Dumb idea. Do you think they (Husband included) touched any of the healthy fruits or the stollen?
Because we’re geeks:
Lunch was at my mum and dad’s house. I’m the only vegan in the family and mum had lots of vegan options. It’s funny because she always makes these dishes, regardless of a vegan being present. She made stuffed vine leaves (dolmades), fried eggplant and a marinated fried zucchini. For my sister, who is cutting out meat, mum made some eggplant rolls which I was told were delicious (they contained egg and feta). Mum and I will work together to veganise this recipe:
On my plate I added some roast potatoes and sweet potato. I also brought along some leftover plain basmati rice with a mock meat rendang with green beans and potato. It’s the first time I’ve had a curry at Christmas as our foods are always Greek or Greek influenced:
I took along strawberries and a chocolate cashew cream for dessert but forgot to take a photo. I did however photograph the mulled wine!
We used three bottles of a vegan red wine, about 5 oranges juiced, zest of 1 orange, 3 cinnamon sticks, a tablespoon of cloves, half a box of sugar cubes and over proof rum:
First we put the cloves in a bit of vodka and let it sit about an hour. We forgot to bring the star anise, if we did that would have gone in to the vodka too. This was the first year Husband decided to add vodka:
In the pot we put the wine, orange juice and zest, cinnamon quills and the vodka-cloves combination. Turn the heat to low. [Be careful not to let it boil or even simmer too much]. Then on top of the pot we put a special metal plate (the name escapes me… but it’s a long German name) designed for making gluhwein. We stacked sugar cubes on the metal plate. When we lived in Europe we’d buy sugar in a large cone shape but in Australia all I have found are cubes:
You pour rum over the sugar cubes then set the cubes alight. As the sugar melts and caramelises, it drips down in to the pot. You can see the flames in the photo below:
We had a great day and it’s always good to see my relatives who come down from Queensland. The biggest hit in terms of gifts was DeeW’s karaoke CD player. My uncle was channeling his inner Sinatra meets Johnny Cash.
Next year we are going to set a challenge when it comes to present buying for eachother. The gift you give must either be handmade, or come from a secondhand store. Now that’s a challenge I love!
I’m off to stuff myself on leftovers now, mum gave me a big pile of dolmades and they’re calling meee. See you again soon 🙂