It is Decided

I’m working from home today. It’s the Christmas Eve, it’s cold out, but not cold enough for snow and I can’t decide if I’m happy it’s not snowing or if I’m bummed. I was dreaming of a White Christmas… in theory, maybe. Whatever. The point is, I’m working from home today. I have an article to write for The Gottman Blog as well as some other items on my agenda before I can officially waltz into the glory of love and presents waiting for me tomorrow.

I kept wondering to myself, “What should I do today to get in the spirit?” since it’s just me + Patronus all day until Jesse gets home from work. Then, I looked at my Instagram, and I saw this photo…

It was decided. Today, I will watch the Harry Potter Blu-Rays I was given for Hanukkah. Life is so good, man. I think I’ll also bake and cook, because Christmas doesn’t count unless there’s cookies. Happy Christmas Eve, you filthy animals.

The Present Burn

I’ve never had a problem with waiting for Christmas. I was always just fine anticipating the day St. Nick would ride his merry sleigh to our humble abode in Florida – surprisingly, we had a chimney. I don’t remember ever trying to wait up to see Santa. I was fine with him coming while I was sleeping, eating a few cookies, letting his reindeer chomp on some carrots, and then going places. He is a busy guy… I get it. No need to hold up the show.

Maybe it’s the move to Seattle, my minor bouts of loneliness or longing for my faraway friends, but I am DYING to open our presents sent from far and wide. They are just sitting under our tree, Bruce [the Spruce], taunting me. Yes, I name everything. Deal with it. The presents call to me when I’m sleeping, saying “Look at all this love you can’t see quite yet!” Their voices sound a lot like Patronus’ meows, though. Weird.

Christmas is SO CLOSE and then it’s the New Year. I know I can wait, but I don’t know what the deal is with this year. I’m notoriously an impatient person, but I’ve never wanted to spoil a surprise. Am I becoming completely impossible? Maybe. It’s weird that this NYE, I’ll be in Seattle. I’ll probably freezing my buns (and toes, and nose, and… ears) off. Blech. In spite of it being a great year, I’m ready for this year to be over. I’m in a hurry to start all the exciting things in 2013.

Looking back on this year while catching up with a friend on the phone today, I realized just how fortunate I am to be here at this place in my life. Sure, I’m cold. Sure, I feel kind of isolated sometimes. Sure, I really just want to eat a ton of cookies, watch a chick flick, and cry just to “get it out” (does anyone else have this tendency, as I will choose to call it?). But, being cold is cool (heh, get it?). I get to wear cute boots, cool jackets, and experience a whole different life. I can see the Space Needle from my apartment, all besparkled with a Christmas tree atop it. I get to make new friends, which is always usually fun! If I really want to, I can bake cookies and have my cry. That’s a beautiful thing.

Anyway, to finish out this Friday ramble, I’m really feeling weird at the moment. I am thankful that this year happened, but I’m ready for it to be over. So much lies in the wake of 2012, that I just want it to move aside and let 2013 be awesome. My private practice is *almost* completely ready (more details soon), my program at work is on the cusp of launching, we’re looking for a house (to rent), a puppy (!!!!!!!!)(to love), and Thailand isn’t far off. Man… my life is so good, I just can’t wait for it to keep happening. I think that’s why I want to open the presents… there’s so much good under that tree, I just want to feel the love.

A Vegan Hanukkah

So, Sunday nights are known as Dinner with the Vegans night here. It started as just me, Jesse, and our friend Jeewan, but it’s slowly grown. We started it as a way to enjoy awesome vegan food and each other’s company, while hosting a rotating cast of characters over the weeks. We added a movie after dinner. We moved it from Thursday night to Sunday night. It’s grown.

Jesse decided to take on a massive dinner this past Sunday and cook us all traditional Hanukkah fare. The morning started out with us lazily rolling out of bed. I got groceries (brrr, it was cold out there!), coffee, and I made scones.

I thought my day would be spent watching shows on Netflix and creating some Christmas gifts for my family. Right now, our Netflix is skewed so strongly toward Jesse’s preferences because he’ll stay up long after I go to bed watching crazy movies. I wanted to reclaim my stake in Netflix so it doesn’t suggest things like, “80s Horror Movies,” or “Gritty Action/Adventure Sagas” or whatever. I log in and all it wants me to do is watch really bad 80s Horror films. I don’t even like scary movies!

Anyway, as the day progressed, it became apparent I was needed to help make this Hanukkah dinner happen in time. I was kind of excited – I’ve never cooked Hanukkah food before! So, Jesse got crackin’ on the Matzoh Ball Soup, wearing the only shirt suitable for the occasion.

He’s very focused in the kitchen. It’s cute. Once the matzoh was in the fridge (it has to chill for a bit), we got moving on the seaitan roast. Holy moly, it’s good. We also had it for Thanksgiving (by the way, I finally updated that post with links to all the recipes we used. It’ll take you to my Pinterest board for vegan Thanksgiving).

I was tasked with making latkes. Look at me go. I look a little confused, though.

Jesse also made kasha varnishkes, but I didn’t snap any good photos because I was covered in potato goop.

When all was said and done, we had a beautiful spread, a great group of people, and we finished the night by watching Love Actually. Such a good movie.

We were really happy with how the roast, the kasha, and the latkes turned out. The broth for the matzoh ball soup was god, but the balls were… not very ball like. I have no idea what any of it is supposed to taste like, so I was pretty happy overall. Jesse proclaimed he would make his own recipe next year, which I am really looking forward to trying.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have found such awesome people here. People who are open-minded about joining in for a night of food and fun, without worrying if there will be ribs. People who want to get together and watch sappy holiday movies are fantastic. Most of all, boyfriends who can and do cook quite often are the best. Jesse shares his background and culture with me, which makes me feel happy and loved. I like Hanukkah and I look forward to celebrating it for years to come. Happy Holidays!

All the recipes Jesse used can be found here.