NEW YEAR’S EVE // vegan 3-course menu, decor, and misc. good vibes

Hello everybody and happy new year! I am writing this from my bed, super tired and very happy with how last night turned out, and I cannot wait to show you, so let’s do this.

Covid and table setting: To comply with covid restrictions in Denmark, we canceled all plans with people we did not see on a regular basis. So it was me and Jens, and two of our friends that we see regularly anyway, but we had a blast. I set a table with a white cotton table clover, and we used our normal cutlery, plates, and glasses. Of course, everything is reusable. They are all second hand and vintage finds and especially the glasses I love. The cocktail glasses were thrifted gifts from Jens’ parents from Christmas, and we had stainless steel straws with them.

Avoiding wasteful decor + alternatives: We avoid plastic glitter and confetti on the table, and all types of disposable new years decor, even it is paper. I put some dried flowers on the table. If you wanted more decor you could make confetti out of leaves and paper and then compost it, that would be a good alternative to the store-bought plastic kind.

Our starter: I decided to make vegan sushi for our first course, I think it looks super festive and I was able to get most of the ingredients without plastic. The rice is from bulk, the veggies are from the farmers’ market, so no packaging, the sesame seeds is from bulk as well, the seaweed caviar is from a plastic jar, the vegan nuggets (they are from LikeMeat, came in a cardboard box, and the mayo is from a jar as well. Only the nori sheets are basically impossible to find plastic-free.

Find the recipe for the sushi here: Vegan Sushi // untraditional in every way, shape, and form

Our main dish: The theme of the menu was “whatever food Jens and Gitte love to make” so we had burgers. Lol. Okay seriously, no regrets, it was great. I just made Christmas dinner for 6, 2 times, the week before, so it was actually nice to serve something that required me to do so little. Food with some assembly requires is the lazy chef’s best friend.

Burger combo and condiments: For the burger assembly board we had ketchup, mustard, mayo, fried onions, pickles, bbq sauce, pickled red onions – all of which come from glass containers and was homemade, so the packaging was a minimum here. The veggies were also farmers’ market fresh and came with no packaging. The only plastic related to this dish came from the burgers themselves. We found Beyond burgers on sale in one of the local grocery stores and since we do not buy them often, both because of price and packaging, we decided to splurge.

(check out my recipe for easy homemade pickling onions here) 

Our dessert: was one of my favorites. I am not good with baking whatsoever. But this is a no-bake cake. I made them in small upcycled jars so we did not have to cut a big cake and this worked great. They are so flipping delicious. The bottom layer is crackers, the second layer is a vegan whipped cream mixed with peanut butter and the top layer is a dark slightly bitter chocolate that balanced out the full middle filling. I would go as far as to say that this the best dessert I could have served. The chocolate was plastic-free, the peanut butter came in a glass jar that has since been repurposed. The whipped cream was made with a vegan soy cream that did come in tetrak-pak, which sadly is still unrecyclable in Denmark, and the crackers came in plastic.

Find the recipe here for: No-Bake Peanut Butter Choco Pie

Overall waste: Generally, I am pretty happy with how the food turned out, it tasted amazing, it was all dishes that I love, and the amount of trash was reduced to a minimal amount. Was it perfect? No. But perfection is not the goal either, so I was happy with the efforts we made. We generated a small amount of food-related waste, which is arguably difficult to avoid altogether. The most important type of waste to avoid was definitely the needless and unnecessary kind, the decor kind. The fireworks kind. The confetti bomb kind. That is a big nope for me. Btw I got a lot of messages about how Mols was holding up during the fireworks, and luckily she barely noticed. She looked out the window from time to time but never seems stressed out or scared. She fell asleep shortly after midnight. We boycott fireworks here, but people on our street definitely do not holy fuck. So today and tomorrow we will pick up a couple of pieces of trash when we go out, to avoid it being scattered in nature.

Fancy pants: I wore a 100% second hand look for New Year’s it is a vintage skirt from a shop in Berlin. I bought it 15 years ago before I could even fit it, but I just knew I wanted it. It is one of my only super formal pieces of clothes and I love repeating this outfit combo. I paired it with a thrifted corsage top, second hand heels, thrifted tights and heirloom jewellery (+ a necklace from Stilnest in recycled gold).

Jens wore a suit that he made himself. He made it during lockdown and he is incredible. It is a suit with made from a shimmery fabric that I can only assume contains plastic, but luckily it is not something is washed and worn out. We wash it by hand if needed, to avoid ruining it, and because machine washing synthetics release micro plastic AF.

Then, we saw the Queen’s New Year’s speech in a livestream, we played Worms, Cards Against Humanity and a good time.

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