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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

Whenever I try to cook fresh vegetables for company, it never fails. I always over cook them and have to apologize for goofing up the timing. Any suggestions?

Also, do have a recipe for a spiced holiday punch?

Your friend,

Well, Frieda darlin', I have an idea that oughter put an end to yer frettin'. No more overcookin' with this dish. No sir, ya jes make it a day or two ahead, then simply bring it to the table lookin' as perky as pie. An' I got a secret for ya, this works with lots o' other veggies, too.

Now, fer that punch, well, 'course I got a recipe fer that! Jes scroll on down past the first recipe fer some real tasty sippin'.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie


Carrots This is a deliciously pungent dish that can be served hot or cold. It actually tastes better the following day when the carrots have had time to marinate.

8 medium carrots, peeled
and angle sliced 1/8" (.25 cm) thick
1 C. (240 ml) water
1/4 t. salt

1/3 C. (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C. (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 C. (240 ml) water
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. ground coriander
1 stick cinnamon
4 whole allspice berries

Parsley, finely chopped for garnish

  1. Combine carrots, water, and salt in a 4-quart (1 liter) saucepan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down and steam 10 minutes. Drain off liquid, reserving it for a future soup stock.
  2. Combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, water, salt, coriander, cinnamon, and allspice and add to drained carrots. Cover and cook on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until carrots are softened. Transfer to an oval serving bowl.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle a garnish of 1 to 2 T. parsley over the top. Serves 6 to 8.


1 qt. (1 liter) cranberry juice cocktail
1 6 oz. (180 ml) can frozen lemonade concentrate
1 C. (240 ml) grape juice
1 1/2 C. (360 ml) water
2 sticks cinnamon
10 whole cloves

1 C. (240 ml) whiskey or bourbon
3 lemon slices

  1. Into a large stock pot combine everything but the whiskey and lemon slices.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to medium and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Remove spices and add whiskey and lemon slices.
  4. To serve, ladle into punch cups. Makes 10 servings or 1 3/4 quarts (1.75 liters)

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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