WordPress Upgrade and Xmas Food

I finally upgraded my WordPress and so far I’m loving it. The new dashboard design is very useful as most things are but one click away. I really hate having to go to two other pages to find what it is I want! Aside from this brief examination I have not explored much else, yet.

Christmas

Christmas is only four days away! How insane is that? This year has gone so fast for me and I keep thinking about how it seems like only six months ago we celebrated Christmas. I have been wishing for that childhood state where time just goes on and on and nothing seems to fly by you.

Anyway, this year is my first Christmas being properly vegan, so I am having to plan a bit better what I will actually be eating. Side dishes are usually fine as there are plenty of salads, vegetables (the joys of a Summer Christmas are easy BBQs and lots of salad), breads, etc. made without animal ingredients. However, main dishes are a little different, obviously, because I wont be stuffing myself with any meat.

My family have done a lunch with my mother’s family and dinner with my father’s for years. Since the grandparents are getting older, this year it’s lunch at our place and dinner at my eldest sister’s.

So I have two mains to think about and have decided on a nut loaf for lunch (I’ve never had one, but they look easy to make and good for a lunch meal) and cous cous stuffed field mushrooms for dinner. I want to re-create that gorgeous stuffed mushroom I had at a restaurant awhile back — it was just that good! I hope there wasn’t some secret ingredient that the dish can’t be without, or I’ll be, well, screwed. :p

For dessert I’m making two apple pies, with The Worlds Most Awesome Pastry Recipe, that can be found in Tatiana’s Table by Paullina Simons (Pie Crust 1). No, seriously, it’s the best.

If you celebrate Christmas, or another holiday at this time of year, what are the traditions your family has? What foods do you eat? I would love to know!

UP SHE GOES, UP SHE GOES

Today I opened up a new bank account to start saving for my overseas trip. I have nice, though little, chunk of money in there, now, and it’s such a good feeling.

I am beginning to allow myself to go beyond daydreaming about this and start planning where I want to go, what I want to do, and everything else. At this point I am going to focus on Europe, since I’ve wanted to go for so long, though I have no idea what kind of turns I will make as time goes by.

GRANDPARENTS

I love being close to my grandparents. I have three that are still living and I am fortunate enough to be able to spend significant time with all of them. Two grandmothers that impart knowledge on many subjects from cooking to values to life lessons and more, and one grandfather that imparts knowledge on pretty much everything except cooking!

I’m so thankful for the conversations I have with all three of them, but I frequently get to sit down and listen to my poppa talk about his life and his family. Through his stories I feel like I know my great-grandparents in a way.

My great-grandfather was in WWI and spent his life farming; my great-grandmother, well I see her as kind of ballsy, really. She drove a car, something which my great-grandfather only tried about once and decided it wasn’t for him.

She was the third-eldest, and eldest daughter, of thirteen children and helped raise them all. I recently mentioned to Poppa that I would like to know more about his mother, the sort of woman she was and what she spent her life doing, aside from raising children and farming. He’s writing much of it all down and said he would focus on her a bit more.

I love learning about all the woman in my family, past and present. As a young woman I think it’s important to know the other woman around you and to listen to them — what they say now might not make much sense, but as one grows older, some of that advice, or seemingly random things they’ve said, begins to make sense in a way you would not have expected.

These talks with Poppa are times that I treasure so much, and always will. I hope my own children have the sort of relationship with their grandparents that allow them to learn about the past and their family history. I think, though, that I have an abnormally large interest in that sort of thing, probably because I am so interested in history in general and find any little tid-bits I can gather to be fascinating.

This week I’m going to have to visit The Howick Historical Village and get a history fix. And now I know what my third Bachelor of Arts subject is going to be.