I think my favorite thing about any big celebratory meal is getting to channel my totally unfeminist dreams of being a midcentury housewife: cleaning the house, cooking massive amounts of food, setting the table, getting to use my pretty (though very unmatched) vintage servingware, lighting candles, and playing Astrud Gilberto and Les Baxter records. I love the spectacle and dreamy domesticity of it all, later balanced out by a late-night drinks and karaoke visit to a new Roman Empire-themed gay bar in Minneapolis (yeah, that’s right).
Various stages of available light make up all of these photos, but even the less fancy ones should get the deliciousness across! First, the table before most of the food got on there, but you’ll see the gravy bowl (full of carrot, rosemary, and sherry gravy) and my Pyrex holiday casserole dish atop its candle-warmer stand (it’s filled to the top with colcannon):
I took some individual shots of my appetizer contributions. First, the cashew cheese log which I sprinkled with black pepper and chopped rosemary and served with balsamic marinated and dehydrated red onions and some tasty gluten-free crackers (and yes, it was super tasty!):
I also made roasted mushrooms, tossed in a splash of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and fresh rosemary…they gave me an excuse to bust out my favorite vintage cocktail forks!
By the time our two lovely guests arrived, it was dark outside, so the picture of my appetizer plate is a bit dark. Along with the cheese and crackers and mushrooms, we got to enjoy spicy stuffed mushrooms and sweet spiced nuts – I think the roasted nuts might be my favorite!
We all agreed we could have spent the whole night just eating appetizers, but we restrained ourselves in order to sit at the table and begin the “real” dinner. You can’t see all of it, but this plate is loaded with roasted brussels sprouts, colcannon and carrot gravy, a tempeh-wild rice burger, raw cranberry relish, gf pumpkin cornbread-cranberry stuffing, pecan-topped sweet potatoes, and a yummy raw veggie salad:
As you can well imagine, we were pretty full after dinner, so we sat down to a game of canasta and let our digestive systems do their thing. Eventually we felt brave enough to each have a piece of pumpkin pie, which were smaller than the photo might make them out to be and I baked it in a small springform pan. I took a risk and went with the Voluptuous Vegan pumpkin pie recipe without having made it before, though to make it gluten-free I made a buckwheat-walnut crust based on a recipe from Extraveganza. Though I was nervous about the filling not seeming to set up after baking and cooling (it looked and felt like tinned pumpkin on top), slicing it was not a problem. The flavor was awesome — nicely spiced, just a hint of maple sweetness — and its lightness (a pretty low-fat pie filling recipe) was a great contrast to the flaky, rich crust with an earthy buckwheat flavor. This is my next-day-leftovers picture, and it’s topped with barely-sweetened cashew cream and ground cinnamon:
Today I ate the same thing all over again! It’s a good thing this was pretty much the only meal I had each day, or I probably wouldn’t be able to move. I’m not generally someone concerned with how much fat I’m eating, but this is definitely far more than I eat on a regular basis. Now I’m drinking heaps of water and planning on some very light meals over the weekend to give my body a little well-deserved break from heavier (though delicious) foods. I was lucky enough not to have to work today, so I think I’m going to spend the night curled up with a movie or some crossword puzzles, and get to bed at a good hour. Til next time!