Wednesday, December 29, 2010

And So This Was Christmas (Swiss-German Style)

My parents were both born and raised in Switzerland (not far from Germany), and our Christmas Eve celebration has a traditional Swiss twist: cheese fondue. While not vegan, this vegetarian meal fed 6 people, with no leftovers. I skipped fondue one year because it wasn't vegan, but in communal situations like this, it became harder to pass on it each year, so my own personal rule applies: eat vegetarian when it's something I'll really savor and love.

The ingredients, simple: a mix of Emmentaler and Gruyere cheeses, garlic (to rub the pan, then soak in a bit of white wine) and cornstarch. Serve with white wine. We also have kirsch at the table for dipping, but I pass on it. My sweetheart chef prepared the meal.

The napkins and the daisy plates were thrifted. I liked the vintage feel of the plates. I almost always prefer retro looking things over modern.

A stollen, a traditional German loaf-shaped cake with dried fruit, spices and covered with powdered sugar. My father picked this up on his recent travels to Switzerland.

Swiss chocolate. Remembering my travels to Switzerland.

Back at my parents' house on Christmas Day, part of their cheerful collection of miniature Swiss chalets picked up at the markets in Germany. Wouldn't it be cozy to stay inside one?

Beef Bourguignon for everyone else, for me: my favorite vegan Field Roast Grain Meat Co.'s Celebration Roast with sauteed mushrooms, along with red cabbage, string beans, and my mom's homemade spaetzle.

Not feeling deprived at all over not doing gifts (aside from charitable ones). One of the highlights of the season: going to church on Christmas Eve, where I took in the quiet beauty of the sanctuary. Hearing the soloist sing "O Holy Night."

Hope you enjoyed the simple pleasures and beauty of the season!


ConsciouslyFrugal said...

I LOVE your daisy plates! So cute.

I am now slightly obsessed with visiting Switzerland after watching Rick Steve's Christmas special. What a beautiful country. But, of course, y'all had me at "fondue." ;)

Happy Holidays Catherine! Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful adventures with us this year.

Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

I adore Rick Steves. That special was so magical, as is Switzerland. I hope you make it one day. And in the meantime have some fondue here. I do a lot of traveling through my taste buds!

Thanks so much for the well wishes, and for your reading and comments. Thank you for Consciously Frugal too – if only we could all strive to be frugal while being conscious of our fellow mankind, animals, and planet. Happy New Year!

Chessbuff said...

Catherine: Wishing you a great Christmas holiday and a happy and successful 2011. We need more conscientious people like you on this Earth.


Catherine @ The Vegan Good Life said...

Ted - thanks so much. Likewise for the sentiments!

sevenbrash said...

Hi Catherine.... this is a slighty odd comnent... but I'm going down memory lane and remeber my grandparents bringing me those chocolates every year after their holiday to Switzerland.... you don't happen to know the manufacturer do you? Apologies for the random request...

Catherine said...

Greetings. Glad I could take you down a happy stroll along memory lane.

Lindt makes these yummy chocolates: