I love holidays. In fact, I love them all. I’ll celebrate just about any holiday, religious (I’m agnostic) or secular, provided they involve the following : joy, laughter, family, friends, food & fun.
My childhood was idyllic in so many ways : loving, caring parents, a slew of noisy, energetic sibs and a host of family traditions, especially around the holidays.
The holidays meant spending time with my grandparents and my extended family, and our celebrations were built on sharing stories (like the time my 5 year-old mum could hear Santa putting presents under the tree at the same time as she could hear our grandfather snoring! So it obviously wasn’t him…), singing holiday songs (very musical family), playing games (is it wrong to teach a 5 year-old poker?) and feasting on all the goodies that come with the season.
Now before you go barfing on your vegan shoes over the Hallmark Hall of Fameness of my memories, let me reassure you, my family was (is) as crazy and dysfunctional as the next one, but my childhood eyes were all but blind to the ills plaguing members of my immediate family. Nothing was hidden from us, but we focused on other things, more important things, like taking evening walks through the snow to look at the Christmas lights decorating the houses, making decorations out of construction paper and popsicle sticks. The good stuff.
One of my fondest holiday memories is of Christmas Day breakfast. After we’d gotten up far to early to open gifts and loot stockings, it was time for a feast of breakfast foods, and to add to the exceptional nature of the meal, we’d even drink orange juice from wine glasses! Wow. One of my favourite things were the pancakes. We didn’t eat them often as kids, so they were a real treat.
These are the pancakes I’ll be making this year to honor the tradition, Joni’s “No-Fail Buttermilk Pancakes”. These were the fluffiest, lightest pancakes I’ve ever made – hands down. This test recipe is for the “500 Vegan Recipes” book she and Celine are publishing. We’ve all got a “favourite” pancake recipe, right? Well, this one’s mine.
And here’s a little vegan cheese for the holidays. I’m a huge Bowie fan. I also love to listen to Bing belt out the holiday classics. I love this piece of nostalgia – that almost never happened – and the bittersweet memories that come with it.