Christmas grEATings

And how are you all today? Ready for the annual festival celebrating new hope and over-indulgence?

Or is that Easter?

Anyway, it’s getting close now – only a week away.

Shopping to do…

Shelf elves to coerce…

Frantic buying of reindeer food.

Batman psyching himself up for comments about his personal hygiene.

And of course, trying to remember the actual words to Christmas Carols and not the versions that involve the three kings and various forms of automotive transport.

But this year is going to be interesting in the Everyday household. As you know, my vampire constitution, despite being ox-like, means that eating/drinking animal products is a no/no.

This is why vampires in the movies stick to blood – it’s just easier.

That’s just plain lazy if you ask me. I know you didn’t. But those ones are fictional, so I can be a bit cheeky if I want.

And I want.

Back in the day, I’m guessing finding suitable food – or any food – might have been tricky, but these days we’re spoilt for choice. Need to find something dairy/gluten/sugar-free? There’s an app for that.

But finding it back then? Here’s your turnip, madam. Boxes ticked.

Ah! This Christmas. Right. That’s where I was. Yes. This year, Christmas is going to be a bit different. And Christmas dinner will be unrecognisable.

The hubster has gone vegan. He made the change when he did Veganuary – in February. It was only going to be a month until he looked into it a bit further…

It makes my life a lot easier, I can tell you! Nothing in the fridge, freezer, bathroom can now send my vampire immune system into overdrive.

But Christmas dinner this year? No cooking two different meals.

When does the whole turkey thing come from anyway?

Blame Henry VIII.

He started it. Normally beef or chicken would be eaten, but farmers needed the cows for milk and the chickens for eggs. Did you know that over 80% of humans believe that Christmas wouldn’t be the same without turkey? I don’t think anybody asked the turkeys.

If you watch/read/listen to A Christmas Carol, the Cratchits have a goose, while Scrooge spoils them with a massive turkey. Thanks to old King Turkey Leg Henry, Turkey became the thing that rich people ate. Goose was for the impoverished masses. But nowadays, I’ve noticed that turkey is considered a bit meh amongst humans. Onwards and outwards with different, better birds, it seems. Goose seeming to be a particular favourite.

Except for turducken.

I don’t know how anyone can eat something that has ‘turd’ as its first syllable.

So the whole point of the Cratchits being so poor that they can only afford a goose is a bit lost on modern audiences/readers.

Therefore, is turkey the be-all-and-end-all of a Christmas dinner? Apparently not.

I think we’re having some kind of plant-based roast, with all the trimmings. Stuffing (it’s bread, herbs, onion – nothing dodgy there). Pigs in blankets – now there, there will be a concession. But it’s still just (meat-free) sausages wrapped in (meat-free) bacon. Sprouts (I love ’em, the hubster hates them), carrots, cabbage, peas (did you know peas are a good source of protein?) and of course… roast potatoes.

Actually, just give me a plateful of them babies with some gravy and you probably won’t see me until Boxing Day. The trick is to use floury potatoes that, when they’re boiled, get kind of crumbly on the outside. Once you’ve drained them, rough ’em up a bit by shiggling the pan. Put a couple of spoonfuls of oil in a roasting pan and heat it up. I like rice bran oil, but anything with a high smoking point works.

Then put the potatoes in when the oil is hot, get ’em coated and blast them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Basically however long it takes to get them all golden and crusty and now I’m starting to drool.

Anyway, on that note, I’m off to find a mince pie or piece of stollen. I’m hungry.

What will be on your table this Christmas? I’d love to know!

Santa Christmas Greeting Poster.png

 

 

Pleased to eat you

We have a lot of indoor markets here. It’s kind of a thing in these parts. Amazing places. Looking for something? Go to an indoor market. If you can’t find it, you probably didn’t need it. They have everything. One stall that I never, ever shop at (you’ll see why) has this brilliant slogan – ‘We’re pleased to meet you and we’ve meat to please you.’ Clever. I don’t eat meat, but dang, I can appreciate a good play on words.

To each, their own. Live and let live. That’s my motto. It kind of has to be, really. Just let me get on with my life, and I’ll return the favour (for some reason, the predictive text suggested ‘book’ rather than ‘favour’). As I’ve said before, I have multiple allergies to animal-based products, so I’m vegan by default. Although, I have gradually made it a principle thing too. At least that way, I can pretend I had a choice.

I don’t even bother explaining anymore. The few people in the past I’ve tried to explain it to think I’m just being awkward. The number of comebacks I’ve had… look, you can give me all the anti-plant-based rhetoric you like, chum, it’s not relevant to me! Why do people want me to eat something that’s going to make me ill? And why do you think the legends all bang on about vampires not eating? Here’s a couple of the top irrelevant statements…

“Animals in the wild eat meat!”

Well, when was the last time you saw a lion picking up its weekly shopping in Tesco/Walmart/Aldi? I tell you what, they’d be absolute nightmares at the till. A coupon for everything and guaranteed they’ll want an assistant to pack for them. Plus they can’t park for toffee. They always end up taking up two spaces with their customised jeeps.

“Where do you get your protein from?”

Try asking a gorilla that question. Go on, I dare you. I double dare you. Just be grateful that I tend to avoid blood which, ironically, is the one thing my tummy is happy with. Well, human blood, at least. I can’t remember, to be honest. It’s been so long. Surprised? Shocked? Hello..! Vampire… Nah, we’ve covered this before.

”But it’s what our ancestors used to eat!”

Tricky. And do you know why? Because it kept running away from them. Now I don’t know about you, but if I’m about to have lunch, and my food runs out the door, I’m guessing that stuff ain’t cooked properly. I’m letting the sucker run.
I prefer food that doesn’t have the ability to run away from me. Take a potato, for instance. And when I say take, of course I mean ‘get your own’. You come anywhere near me with the intention of nicking my chips/roast potatoes/mash, I will stick a fork in your hand.

And sometimes, it didn’t run away. Sometimes, you would have been the one running.

Anyway, the potato.

So versatile. So tasty. And they just wait there for you to come to them. In the soil. All nice and cosy. Flash a little bit of skin in the autumn. ‘Ooh, give me a bit more soil, you bad bunny.’ Let’s face it, the potato is a multitasker par excellence. It’s given us mash, chips, crisps, hasselbacks,  those twisty fried things (apparently they’re called Tornado Potatoes? Makes sense), even vodka. It makes the other veg look like total slackers. It doesn’t even brag, does it? It’s always referred to as the ‘humble potato’.

Have you ever actually come across a conceited vegetable though? I’ve often thought asparagus had ideas above its station, but then I realised that’s just a defence mechanism. Rocket/Arugula is another misunderstood plant. I mean, imagine being named after a starship or the sound a klaxon makes in an emergency.

But, our ancestors…

It can’t have been much fun, knowing your food had the capacity to chase you. I mean, certainly nowadays, food choices can kill you but in this case it was literal. ‘I’ll rip off your head and poop down your neck’ – said no veggie burger ever. Okay, so I imagine the animals that our ancestors hunted never said it either, given that they didn’t have the power of human speech. And the fact that they were too busy dealing with indigestion while also trying to find the loo roll.

These days, of course, too much of the wrong food will still kill you. But it’s gotten sneaky. Rather than going with the whole head-biting thing, it’ll do it from the inside. ‘You just wait. I’m gonna fur up your arteries. I’m gonna fix your gut so you can’t be trusted in a crowded lift.’

Seriously, though, I’m plant-based.  Because I am one of those people who can’t be trusted in a crowded lift. I’ll only eat stuff that grows in the ground. Let’s face it, we’re all going back there someday, so I’m getting to grips with my potential neighbours now. Good thing is though, potatoes, carrots etc aren’t known for their revenge tactics.

Hollywood has never made a film called ‘The Usual Saucepans’, or ‘Kill Dill’.

You get what I’m saying.

Ding-dong-merrily-on-huh

And here we are, the first weekend of December. Everyone is getting ready for Christmas. Yes, including me. At least this year, nobody has asked me whether or not I celebrate Christmas. Of course I do! If nobody sees me braving the heaving consumerist hordes, it’s because I finished my Christmas shopping last month. Six months either side of Christmas and this town is crazy.

I did venture into town today though. Needs must. And I got the fright of my life while I was there.

I was walking through the shopping centre and I saw two raggedy groups of creatures at either end of the concourse, shambling mindlessly along. Suddenly a spark of recognition ignites on either side and they begin approaching each other intently, their feet shuffling, hideous mewling noises issuing from their stained mouths.

Others watch in horror as they edge closer and ever closer. The squealing meander seems to go on forever. They begin to raise their arms, reaching out as the others approach. Suddenly, the wailing rises to a high-pitched screeching as heavy-laden arms flail arhythmically and they all lump into one squealing tangle.

As it turned out, it wasn’t the Zombie Apocalypse after all. It was just a group of teenage girls greeting each other. Crisis averted. But it pays to be alert.

And that’s why I don’t go out much.

When I got back home, I seriously needed a drink. No, not wine, or anything like that. I don’t touch the stuff. Trust me, people who know me in real life say it’s probably best that I don’t drink. I’m not quite sure whether that’s an insult, a compliment, or just a very astute observation… So, to coin a phrase, “I never drink… wine.” Then again, I never drink tea or coffee either, but it just wouldn’t have the same punch to it. I bet you’re trying the phrase out in your head right now, aren’t you? And does it work? I’ll bet it doesn’t.

Obviously, actual blood is off the menu, but I do need an adequate substitute in order to restore the old energy quickly (yes, I do eat ‘proper food’, but sometimes an avocado salad just doesn’t hit the spot, know what I mean?)

So what are the choices? There’s that time, isn’t there, when you’re a child and you play dress-up as vampires (although I since found out that most little girls tend to dress up as princesses. Oops). Anyway, you dress up with your best frills and trills and use your mum’s best pillowcase for a cape and all you can find to drink is a certain blackcurrant squash as your ‘blood’ (Except I only ever had it as a holiday treat). And then, when you grow up a bit more, you get more creative and have tomato juice (yeeuch). And then, when you’re an actual adult, you’re allowed to pop Worcestershire sauce and a tot of vodka in (is that correct? Is that how you make a bloody Mary?). I hate tomato juice. *Shudder*. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful stuff, and all that lycopene is very handy for lessening the horrible burning effects of sunlight, but…

Anyway, I do have a delightful little pick-me-up. It’s one of my little secrets that I’ll let you in on. I call it my A+ juice (get it?!). You juice 1 beetroot, 3 or 4 chunks of broccoli, 5 or 6 curly kale leaves, ¼ of a pomegranate, 2 apples, ½ a lemon and a couple of sprigs of mint. It’s ‘bloody’ good, if you’ll pardon the pun/expression! Tastes wonderful and earthy, with a smack in the chops of pure sweetness. Seriously, try it.  Everything is in there for a reason. Look it up and you’ll find out why…. I’m now going to ‘juice up’ to get myself ready for the next phase…. Wrapping presents… Oh joy (to the world).

Happy Googling!

 

 


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