Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Vegan Cookbooks, Roast Pigs, And A Whole Lot of Sugar

Rachel here.

Ok, so first off, is it noon yet? Because if it isn't, and if you haven't already entered yourself in our giveaway, then click here and go get that done before reading any further. If it's after noon, then just keep reading while relishing the fact that you entered with time to spare, or while kicking yourself for missing the deadline.

I don't have a recipe to offer today. I've had a sick kid and we've been eating pizza and crackers and other conveniences instead of cooking. M's dinner tonight is, no joke, a sweet potato. Maybe we'll throw some beans on that plate for our own self-esteems.

This doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about cooking, though, because I am. There are two things on my mind specifically right now: Christmas dinner and Christmas baking. And yes, in that order. Which is definitely problematic. The baking should be first--it will be wrapped up and delivered to neighbors and friends in the brisk evenings between now and Christmas. The dinner dominates, though, because this year we just might make a whole pig for the very first time (and yes, I bring this up on the day that our vegan cookbook giveaway wraps up...).

I sat down the other day and started writing out a few names of people to give baked goods to. There are our generous neighbors to the left and the right, neighbors who have shared food with us throughout the year (including freshly snipped kale, still-warm cupcakes, and hot-from-the-oven spring still my beating heart), appearing suddenly in the yard with a smile on their faces. There are our upstairs neighbors, our new landlords who are lovely and deeply considerate of us and who happen to also be funny and share our politics and who have never--NOT ONCE--said a word about the middle-of-the-night, teething-induced sob fests that have been known to crop up in our house like impromptu 3 am dance parties in a sorority (minus all the fun and booze). There are our friends near and far, our therapist who sees us at the drop of a hat for virtually no pay (obviously a plate of cookies will make up for years of pay-what-we-can therapy...right? right...I mean, they'll be REALLY good), our mechanic who time and again shows us that he is honest and reliable and refuses to suck. The list started going and then got completely out of hand. Which I responded to by not baking a thing yet because, I mean REALLY--where do you even start? But when I do start baking (tomorrow, I swear!), I will be making only food from my family, recipes passed down to me from my mom, from my maternal grandfather, from my paternal grandmother and her great-aunt's grandmother (I tried to follow that crooked family tree line and just umm...couldn't). And I really like this idea. And I love that this year M will be involved.

But back to the pig (my pig, as I've come to think of it). We are currently sorting out Christmas dinner plans and just might be sharing it with our dear friends Em and Phoebe. They like to cook, we like to cook, and we all enjoy a good adventure, so Phoebe's started sourcing sucking pigs, holding in her mind the criteria that it has to be roughly M's size in order to fit in the oven (I'm going to have to put some extra cookies on our therapist's plate...clearly M will be visiting her someday since her mother tells her friends to look for pigs that are the same size as her baby). I've done some looking online and my brain seems to refuse to hold onto the before images of a pig roast, instead filling the expanse behind my closed eyes with the perfectly crisp, reddish-brown end product. Some folks count sheep, but I prefer baby pigs with apples in their mouths.

How are your holidays shaping up?

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