Oh, I am excited about this one. So excited that I am bringing this allegedly monthly challenge back from yet another hiatus when Life got the better of me. I know it’s not quite July yet, but let’s face it – the wintry weather has set in.
We don’t really have holly in Melbourne, but if we did, it would have berries on it. And while it isn’t snowing here, I understand they are having a pretty good ski season up in the Victorian Alps. Meanwhile, we have the wind wuthering around our house, the weather is cold and dark, and when one goes out in it, it rains. Sideways.
This may not sound appealing to you, but I actually love Melbourne winters. Partly, it’s perversity – nobody else seems to love this weather, so I do, wholeheartedly. (In return, Melbourne very kindly gives me good weather for any events I hold outside, even if the weather has been utterly unpromising up until that point. We have a very good relationship, Melbourne and I.)
But mostly, it’s because this is such fantastic baking weather.
I mean, think about it – it’s cold and wet and miserable outside, but then you come inside and the house smells of the bread you’ve been baking, the curry you’ve had simmering in the slow cooker all day, the quinces you’ve been stewing on the stovetop. It’s the best feeling in the world.
And cooking is so warming, too – both for body and soul, I think. The prospect of feeding people something delicious and comforting and full of love will draw me into the kitchen at any time of year, but at this time of year it’s even better, because everyone is a little depressed by the gloom, and one can just see their spirits lift as you put the food on the table. And there’s that lovely, virtuous feeling of making food that warms the house a bit – I’m sure I’m not *actually* saving anything on fuel when I bake something that takes a long time and the kitchen and dining area are warm enough that the heating switches off, but it makes me feel good anyway.
And then, of course, there is Christmas. Which I adore, because how often can you get people to indulge in public singing AND you get to find awesome presents for people AND THEN you get to feed them. Often repeatedly. I mean, really, it’s like this festival was invented for me. (I mean, I do have a fair bit of feeling for the religious side of it, too, but the celebration is delicious in its own right.)
Of course, if one is European, one gets to have both these things at the same time – the baking weather and the Festival Of What A Lovely Excuse To Not Stop Baking For A Month. Which makes me envious until I consider that they only get one festival, and I get two. And that, moreover, Melbourne is more than capable of producing excellent baking weather at Christmas, just as I am more than capable of baking every day for a month in July. Or August. Or any other month of the year.
Looked at that way, we really are the Lucky Country…
I seem to have digressed, even more than usual. So let’s get back to the point here, which is that…
The JULY 2014 theme is VEGAN CHRISTMAS IN JULY
(Tidings of comfort and joy, and also cinnamon and nutmeg)
For this challenge, I am hoping to see your best Christmas recipes for a festive vegan Christmas season. As you may have gathered from the above, I’m rather hoping for lovely, wintry dishes, or vegan takes on traditional Christmas flavours – nutmeg, oranges, brandy, mulled wine, apples, winter vegetables – and I’m definitely hoping to see a few nut roasts in the mix, because I’ve never tried one, and now is clearly the time!
I’d also love to see a few vegan takes on the Aussie, hot-weather Christmas traditions, so if you live in the Southern hemisphere and have some awesome summer Christmas dishes to share, I’d love to see them.
Above all, though, I’m hoping for a feast in my linky list – a veritable profusion of all things Christmassy that don’t require animal products to taste amazing. Glorious, colourful, indulgent dishes that delight the eyes and the nose as well as the tongue. Invitations to over-indulgence.
Challenge rules can be found at the main challenge page! Don’t forget to add your post to the linky below once you’ve done all the lovely adding of icons and linking back to this page, so that you can get the code for your own blog hop.
I can’t wait to see what delights you will put on your midwinter Christmas table!