Christmas was the best this year! My Beloved and I decided to step out of the shopping madness and just enjoy each others company for a change - with a few gifties thrown in, of course! We 'did the social thing' with our good friends Dave and MaryEllen on Christmas Eve eve (if you can follow that) and introduced them to vegan scalloped potatoes which, I think, were quite the hit. The recipe is from Susan over at FatFree Vegan (click here to make your day!) and is, without doubt one of my top 10 new favourite foods.
We also came up with a remarkably creative fix for that tricky Xmas problem: the unreciprocated gift. Here's what happens: you are normally at the house of a friend or loved one. You have settled into the nice warm, comfy glow brought on by good company and free-flowing vino. People are stopping by and sharing a glass or two, perhaps a lard-free mince pie, you get the picture....Then, HORROR! Someone whips out a card and giftie for you. Which is normally a great thing, except that you have nothing to give in return. A half-stick of chewing gum, wadded in the bottom of your jeans pocket....a crumpled dollar bill...erm...no, nothing worth giving back anyhow. So all possible scenarios rush through your head but you know it's too late and you are busted. So you smile in that self-depracating (-defecating???) way and mumble something appeasing while your face glows the shade of a certain reindeer's fabled nose...
Take the shame!
So this year, rather than navigate that particular circle of Hell, we decided to play a game. Having purchased some placeholder cards, we made 'promissory notes' for everyone likely - or indeed unlikely - to be at the 'do' and from them created a 'lucky dip'. This is not a concept widely understood over on this side of the pond, so the novelty factor carried it through. Each person got to pick a sealed card out of a Santa sack, along with a choccie (non-vegan from a previous incarnation), and munched on the choc as they learned their fate. On each card we'd written something like 'one dozen margarita cupcakes' or 'one dozen ginger sparkle cookies', to be redeemed at any time during 2008. Our phone number was listed on the card and they simply call up and I will bake whatever it was that the person 'won', deliver the goodies to MaryEllen's house where the lucky recip can collect them. That way, I don't have to drive around Western Mass like an idiot in my ailing Volvo, but I still get to make good on my promissory notes.
It certainly seemed to go down well and am thinking that next year I may well introduce them to the other Brit game: musical chairs....Not sure how to get vegan goodies into that, but at least I have a whole year to work it out!
Thursday, December 20, 2007