Gosh talk about Vegan MOFO drop off! Okay so I posted quite a bit RIGHT after Vegan MOFO, but only posted ONCE in December. Yikes. I mean, it was about tacos, everyone loves tacos right? But I figured I would keep people in the loop about what the heck has been going on.
For starters it goes without saying that I’ve been busy this holiday season. Thanksgiving, Wolfie’s Birthday, and a Christmas marathon. And I am sure every parent know this- but once kids in the mix, Christmas ramps up to new levels of crazy. On top of the expected craziness we had two major life blips. Let’s start with the less sad-
THE CAR: We had two cars, one is nice and decent, the other is a disaster. It was never a nice car, it accelerated slowly, braked slowly, and had lots poor design feature. Mainly that when it rained sometimes the water would leak through the inside. We had a bucket to catch said rain water. It was 14 years old, and we were reaching that point of should we or shouldn’t we pay for any sort of repair. Sadly we reached a point where the most recent repair didn’t work, and the check engine light wouldn’t go off. It ran, but there was a scheduled state inspection and if the check engine light is on you don’t pass. This happened two weeks before the deadline. We had no choice but to get a new car.
This cut into our time and finances as we were not ready to buy a new car. Which sucks. And this has been all watered down from all the little details of suckatude. The summary is that we ALMOST could of gotten away with driving our crummy Dodge Neon for a little longer. But we didn’t.
TOULOUSE: I don’t post as much about her, but Toulouse is an important member of our family. Like parents do with their children- Jon mixes up Toulouse’s name with Wolfie’s all the time. Instagram followers may have noticed that I posted recently about my cat. She wasn’t eating which is rare because she is normally meowing up a storm and begging non-stop.
We went to the vet and got blood work done. She had INSANELY high levels of a toxins in her body. I can’t remember the specifics but when I first wrote the numbers down they were so far fetched I thought I misheard him. The vet even said he has never seen numbers so high. After much crying and freaking out, we came to the conclusion that we should treat her for kidney inflammation before getting the biopsy results back. We were mentally prepared to put her to sleep.
She almost immediately started to improve. She became a lot more sociable, and slowly gained more and more of her appetite. I didn’t give a big ol’ thumbs up on instagram because I wanted to wait until we got the biopsy to make sure she would be ok. She is. She got pretty much all her blood levels under control. The vet was pretty shocked.
Now, here is the downside. She took a really long time to eat her food last night. We are fearing that her kidney is flaring up again, and that isn’t too far fetched. The vet asked if we had certain medications that she might of eaten that would cause the kidney inflammation. We couldn’t think of a cause, so that left the lingering thought that the trigger would still be around the house. I have a sneaking suspicion it might her Greenies treats. I knew they had recalls in the past, but seeing all the complaints on consumer affairs, it is a little sobering. We always gave her some treats before bed, and didn’t have any troubles. ONCE she vomited from them, we threw the bags out assuming it was a bad batch. I recently got a HUGE tub of them, and I think we got it right when she started to get sick. We just stopped giving them to her. The lack of appetite could just be holiday stress, but we will keep a close eye on her.
THANKSGIVING: I didn’t really talk about Thanksgiving so I will keep a small summary of what we made. We had a low key Thanksgiving at our house with my Mother and Father in Law. We made:
- Green Bean Casserole from Vegan Casseroles.
- Cosmos Apple Pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky
- Chickpea Cutlets via slower cooker roast from Veganomicon
- Miso Mushroom Gravy modified from How It All Vegan
- Fingerling Potatoes with Creamy Worcestershire Sauce from Vedge
- Roasted Miso Brussel Sprout from Gimme Some Oven
- Mother in Law: Cranberry Sauce
- Mother in Law: Stuffing (no particular recipe)
- Mother in Law: Stuffed Onions
- Mother in Law: Turkey and Gravy for themselves
Thanksgiving went well. Wolfie seemed to like all the different Thanksgiving foods, until we gave him the cranberry sauce. Oh boy. I regret that. Afterwards that is all he wanted. He was not happy, and at one point we had to mix the sauce with all the other food and spoon feed it to him. I also remember him going to bed pretty early, and we showed off his sleeping skills to his Grandma and Grandpa by falling asleep on his own in the crib.
CHRISTMAS IN BROOKLYN: This is the second longest trip Wolfie has taken. Much shorter than traveling deep into Long Island to Amityville, but still pretty long. We went into my parent’s car again, and drove through the snow. We had SOOOO much packed! Much more than what I would normally bring. We had lots of food, gifts, but the biggest thing was the stroller. We were going to stop by my sister’s new apartment (which is cute as a fuckin button) for appetizers then walk to my Aunt’s for the main course. That meant walking in the snow with Wolfie. It was both a pain and a little magical. Hopefully in a year or two he will be making a trip up to Brooklyn to visit his Aunt to check out all the fun Christmas stuff in NYC, the mainstream Rockefeller Center and the lesser known Dyker Heights.
It turned out to be a pretty nice trip. It was a nice practice run to see how Wolfie would react to bigger crowds. He was going to have lots of family at his birthday party, on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. He seemed pretty chill with everyone, and I think there were enough people he knew that he felt comfortable. The downside was that on the ride home it took him awhile to fall asleep. My Father is a little foot heavy on the gas and breaks so he would periodically wake up on the ride home- plus the salting vehicles are clearly being driven by mad men.
But let’s be real- what did we eat?! Well I made the Welsh Rarebit casserole from Vegan Casseroles. I have to say I was really surprised by how good it turned out! I was scared it would be terrible because the bread went stale- yikes, and I made the sauce ahead of time and it was super solid. But it all worked out. Some people didn’t like it though, the beer I picked out was VERY hoppy and bitter. I made the Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, and Grape Quinoa Salad from The Full Helping. If you are going to make a salad for a big party- this is a great one! I can’t remember if I doubled the recipe or not, but we had leftovers. I probably would of spent more time roasting the veggies, they were a little underdone. But the leftovers kept well, and it was easy to mix together the day of to bring up. Then for dessert I slaved away making the Beer Caramel Chocolate Pretzel Tart from Vegan Pie in the Sky. If you are thinking that you’ve never heard of that recipe that is because it is a modified recipe from the Salted Chocolate Caramel Tart. I don’t like to toot my own horn but I think this was the star of the party. Though I am not sure if I’ll be making it again anytime soon. It took a lot of time to make the crust and caramel. Lots of time spent on setting and waiting.
WOLFIE’S BIRTHDAY: I am hoping to write up a long post about the party for the blog. I think it was fun, and it would be nice to talk about hosting an all vegan party with people who might not dig all vegan food. What I can say is that everyone loved the cake! And I am waiting for my Father in Law to go through the photos on his camera. I forgot to put my memory card into mine. Yikes!
ILLNESS: Oh boy. There were a few people who came to Wolfie’s party who were almost over a cold. It wasn’t that big of a deal really. But then Jon got sick. It was a pretty mild cold. No big deal. Then I got sick. Still, no biggie, mild cold right? Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I got so sick. I later found out that my Mother in Law got the same bad cold as well. And since it was the holiday season it just lingered. I was sick, and so anxious about all the things I had to do, cooking, wrapping, etc that I spent three nights in a row tossing and turning until 2-3 in the morning, and waking up between 5-6 for Wolfie. It was awful. I am just getting over it, so it has been over a week. Now my husband has the cold so, you know. Not fun.
CHRISTMAS EVE & DAY: Well, since I was sick I skipped out Christmas Eve get together. Bummer. But I still spent the morning cooking, oddly. I kept it simple and made a Martha Washington Great Cake from American Cakes, but it crumbled out of the cake tin. It tasted awesome, but I need to tweak the recipe I guess. So I scrambled to make a Derby Pie from La Dolce Vegan! Let me tell you- it is a very ugly pie but soooo yummy! I also made the Tempeh Sweet Potato Shepards Pie from Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook. I didn’t try the pies until the next day, but both were amazing. Since I wasn’t there I only heard stories about what went on including a giant cousin bath tub session, Wolfie stealing a pacifier out of someone’s mouth, and kids dropping the f-bomb.
Christmas Morning my Mother and Father in Law came over. We ended up having a bunch with leftover Tempeh Sweet Potato Pie and Tofu Scramble from Oh She Glows. I made Norske Kanelsnurrer (Norwegian Cinnamon Buns) from Seitan is my Motar. I liked how they weren’t as sweet and sticky as tradional buns, but I didn’t like how I couldn’t let it rise overnight. I can tweak the recipe, I am sure, but otherwise we didn’t get to eat these until past noon, past brunching time.
This was the first year I hosted Christmas dinner with MY side of the family. Usually we would spend Christmas morning with at my sister’s with my immediate family, then dinner with Jon’s parents. But we switched it around this year now that we have lil Wolfie. It occurred to me that Jon’s parents could stay for dinner, so they left so my family can exchange gifts, then came back for the dinner. So, I think we can say my family isn’t too keen on holiday foods. Like we have nothing against it, but we aren’t against straying away from it. So we ended up doing Indian food for dinner. My sister made some chicken dish (like a butter chicken), brought some frozen naan and samosas. My mother made the Makhani cauliflower dish from Vegan Richa and a spiced rice dish with peas. While I made masoor dal tadka via slow cooker and the famous Mango Tofu Curry. We were going to make more but forgot- got lazy- dunno. But we had plenty for 9 adults, and 3 children. It was pretty yummy. Dessert was pretty laid back, just cookies from my sister, and leftover derby pie.