Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010: The Start of Something Amazing

The holidays are behind us and the New Year is here.


I had a wonderful time on short but jam packed trip back home to visit all my friends and family, but I didn’t initially think that would be the case.

I’ll be honest; I was scared about this trip … this was going to be my first Christmas at home in 3 years, PLUS I was arriving as a newbie vegan, and as much as everyone had offered their support up until this point, I wasn’t too sure how far it would extend. I mean, it’s easy to say “Sure, I get it, we’re behind you” over the phone or in an email, but when it’s GO TIME, I was unsure of how much support would still be there.

Oh how wrong I was to doubt any of them. The support and love was undeniable.

Surprise #1
My Dad and Brother were visibly surprised when they dug into my vegan Christmas morning feast of Raspberry Chocolate Chip Pancakes and Spicy Hash Browns. Apparently they were expecting something else and not to YUM-FEST that it ended up being. Even got my Dad on the Earth Balance and soy milk … he’s clearly a convert in the making ;)

Surprise #1.1
My Dad and StepMom bought me a HUGE gift pack of vegan bath and body goodies from LUSH. Insanely thoughtful of them and I am now in bath and shower heaven – Ahhhh,

Surprise #2
This one came out of nowhere and blew me away. My “brother in law” surprised me by making a scrumptious veggie and tofu lasagne for me to enjoy at the big FamJam Christmas dinner. And it was FANTASTIC! It was so dang good that in a matter of days I had consumed the ENTIRE tray. As soon as I get the recipe from him I am planning on whipping up a batch – watch out, post to come :)

Surprise #3
Another out of left field. One of my long-time GFs knocked my socks off by making me (and my gluten intolerant “sister-in-law”) Gluten Free Gingerbread Vegans! They were soooo delish. Soft and full of gingery goodness. And to boot, she included a recipe card. I LOVE YOU K! Again, these babies are too good to have just once a year so I expect to be whipping up some in the near future,

Surprise #4
My "Mother in Law” - what a lady, a true class act. This is a woman who will do anything and EVERYTHING for her family. And it would appear that I have made the cut :) For a treat on boxing day she made up a batch of Gluten Free Carob Drop Cookies. OMG, they were amazing. Again soft and chewy inside, golden brown on the outside.

Surprise #5
MY MOTHER! If I could be like anyone on the planet, it would be this woman. Strength, courage, creativity and an uncompromising sense of caring & family are just a few of her adoring traits.

Now just a little back story: My mother married to a wonderful, kind and gentle Japanese-Canadian man and in the last 5 years has immersed her self in his family and culture. She is a Japanese culinary guru in the making. She would argue that she knows little, but I beg to differ.

ANYWHOO, we had decided that for our Christmas Dinner, which was taking place on Boxing Day, we were going to forgo the “traditional” dinner and make ourselves a proper (and mostly VEGAN) Japanese feast.

Oh and what a feast it was:

P and I made the Inarizushi (fried tofu skin (aburaage) cooked in a sweet-soy sauce sauce, stuffed with sushi rice)

Mom made the Miso Green Beans,

Sesame Baked Tofu,

Cucumber Sunamono (sooooo good!)

and a Curried Sweet Potato Soup (ok, not so Japanese but dang tasty!)

And my StepDad made his world famous Yakisoba (Japanese style chow mein). He even did a whole separate batch just for me, chicken free – What a guy!

Needless to say, we were all stuffed to the gills.


I learned a lot this holiday season.

I learned that my family loves me and supports me in everything and anything I do.

I learned that my friends are amazingly supportive wonderful people without whom I would be lost.

I learned that P is even more on board and behind me than I ever realised. He would stop and read every lable on every SINGLE thing that someone tried to feed me and announce that YES, she can have this, or NO, this has whey, lactose or whatnot in it … AMAZING. My heart thumped each time.

It is now the start of a new year, a new decade and I can feel down to tips of my toes that this is just the beging of something special.

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