Happy Winter Solstice everyone! And happy Summer Solstice to my friends in the southern hemisphere!

As I was waiting for the bus yesterday on my way home from work, here is the beautiful sky I was treated to:

Today’s Solstice celebration has been lovely. Several pieces of the meal were prepared in advance so I had what amounted to a great deal of down time today that I am not used to. I must say though it was quite nice to sit down to dinner and not be completely exhausted from standing in the kitchen all day!

Chocolate mint ice cream cake

We eat dessert first in the afternoon with coffee at my house. This year is was chocolate mint ice cream cake. The ice cream is made from coconut milk and cashews. It tasted so good it took all our willpower and the knowledge that there was still dinner later to keep from eating the whole thing! The cake part is baked in one layer and then cut into three pieces and the ice cream gets layered in between. It got to sit put together in the freezer for several hours but it could have used a bit more time because it fell apart a little when I cut off the pieces. But looks aren’t everything!

While Bookman and I were having our treat, the Dashwoods were not forgotten. They got a plate of okara (soybean mash leftover after making soy milk) and sweet potato peels that they thoroughly enjoyed. And Waldo and Dickens both got a few cat treat nibbles.

Carrot-ginger soup

Dinner turned out to be delicious too. It began with creamy carrot-ginger soup. I have made this soup before and like it quite a lot. The carrots are sweet but the ginger and curry give it an little edge and the coconut milk makes it creamy. A great way to begin the meal!

The main course was spicy peanut marinated tempeh sandwiches, sweet potater tots and roasted broccoli. The tempeh marinated overnight and it turned out to not be especially spicy but it was tasty nonetheless. Bookman made the sandwich buns. We had homemade vegan mayonnaise, homemade vegan cheese, a little dijon mustard (not homemade) and home grown alfalfa sprouts. On the side is roasted

Nom nom nom

broccoli (a little olive oil, lime juice and sage) and sweet potater tots (sweet potato, onion, paprika and a few other spices). The flavors all went together beautifully, though I would not have minded if there had been a touch more heat to the spice. But I don’t think this will be the last time we make any of these so there will be the opportunity in the future to play a bit more with the flavor.

All in all a wonderful day. Making a special meal and sharing it with someone you love is, to me, one of the best ways of celebrating anything. We will be sleeping well with full bellies on this longest night of the year. And tomorrow the sun will begin making its way back to us. We might be heading into the cold of winter, but the ever increasing daylight never fails to lift my spirits and make it all bearable.

Wherever you are, may the sun shine kindly upon you and bring you joy and hope.