I’ll be honest with y’all – I’m lacking the Christmas spirit this year. While my friends are posting pictures of their freshly cut and decorated Christmas Trees on Facebook (good for you!), I’m looking around my house at the boxed-up bedrooms, constantly messy kitchen, and half-done baby projects. At a point where I can barely move from the sitting or reclining position, I feel as though the month of December is just a waiting game..waiting for this baby to come. To finally meet the kid. To get my body back. To be able to walk up the stairs without losing my breath.
I had higher expectations for Eden’s second Christmas. We were going to get a tree, hang lights, do the activities, and begin creating holiday memories. Instead she is learning how to give her baby brother kisses (which actually the sweetest thing of all) but it’s hard not to feel a bit of sadness as I am unable to make these magical memories with her this time around. I do know, by the way, that I’m being hard on myself (the hormones?). After a very difficult eight months of pregnancy it’s hard not to be just waiting at this point. And Eden is not even two; she has plenty more years of memory magic. Plus she is a lover of life no matter what is thrown at her.
Next weekend we are having some friends over for brunch and a little celebration of baby – a baby “sprinkle” – as a chance to take some time and reflect on this baby, bless him in our own ways, and prepare for the next few weeks leading up to labor. I am so touched by my friends who wanted to help create this space for me and my family. Refocusing on the magic that is happening here – in my body, my family, and my community reminds me that this is exactly where my spirit needs to be this holiday season.
For the party I made this Cranberry Orange Pound Cake, a variation of this recipe. It freezes really well, so I made it over the weekend (my only guaranteed free time) and stuck it in the freezer. Despite my mind being focused on other things, I always have the taste for the holiday flavors of cranberries and orange.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup vegan butter (I use Earth Balance Buttery Sticks)
- 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
- 1/2 tsp orange extract
- 1/2 cup vegan sour cream
- 1 cup chickpea flour
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-3 tbsp orange juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 10" bundt pan and set aside.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a stand-up mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add orange zest, orange extract, and vegan sour cream and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- In a blender combine chickpea flour with wate until thick and creamy. With the mixer running add chickpea flour/water to the butter/sugar mixture in 4 batches, scraping down the sides in between each addition.
- Combine oil and orange juice. Alternating wet and dry ingredients, add flour mixture and oil to the batter in three batches until just mixed.
- Transfer into prepared bundt (or loaf) pan(s) and bake for 50-60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Let cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes then flip onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- To make Orange Glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice until it reaches a thick but pourable consistency. Top cake just before serving.
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