“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell love, you feel it” – Pooh
~ A. A. Milne
Last Saturday, in a sunny backyard north of the city, there was a party absolutely saturated with love. You could feel it at every turn, lots of hearty hugs and big toothy grins.
My brother, Dan, the one I write about most often on this blog (because he’s been vegan for almost 8 years and gets recruited to join me at lots of veg events) is getting married in the fall. He met his bride-to-be while working at Walt Disney World (which makes that Winnie the Pooh quote even more appropriate). With the wedding just a couple of months away, we had a rare opportunity to celebrate with both Dan and his bride. Ali, my soon-to-be-sister-in-law (STBSIL?) is living in Florida at the moment, so when we found out she’d be flying in for a brief visit the whole family rallied together for a surprise summer shower in her honour.
When I think back to my time in Hawai’i last February, the two strongest memories are the beautiful vistas and the incredible fruit. Since we couldn’t transplant the volcanic landscape we opted for a glorious spread of fresh fruit.
Given the large vegan contingent at this gathering (including both Dan & Ali) I wanted to make sure there was a hearty main course for us all to enjoy. I made a tropical quinoa salad with a ginger-lime dressing (recipe below) that received raves from the crowd. My mom also made fantastic skewers of marinated tofu and veggies for the BBQ. Even though there were lots of diverse options for the omni guests – the vegan fare disappeared quickly, enjoyed by all.
I made 48 vegan cupcakes for the celebration using the trusted Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. Combinations included: Macadamia Nut Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting, Mocha Agave Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting, Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting and Chocolate Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting. I coloured some vegan fondant (supplied by the lovely Nicole) to construct tiny leis on top of toasted coconut for the tropical effect and added a cocktail umbrella to the cupcakes with swirled frosting just for fun.
I’ve always been a believer in the power of baketivism and Saturday solidified my stance. I had lots of people request the recipes, one woman who enjoyed four cupcakes said “if vegan food tasted like this I could definitely go vegan”. I was happy to respond “it does”.
The afternoon, involved laughter over silly games, heart swelling stories of love and an opportunity for me to spend a little time with my newest sweetheart – the beautiful, Mackenzie. She has stolen my heart.
I got home feeling tired from all the revelry but also all a glow from the generous affection of my growing family.
Plus…I had quinoa salad leftovers for dinner. Bliss!