Fireflies and Chocolate and Benjamin Lay

Benjamin Lay
Painting by William Williams (1750)/National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, via Art Resource, N.Y.

Fireflies and Chocolate, Lucy’s latest novel, written under the pen name of Ailish Sinclair, is out today. And this one features a real vegan from history: Benjamin Lay.

He’s not a main character but he shows up a few times in the story and his appearance is always profound and helpful to Elizabeth, the protagonist. Benjamin Lay lived from 1677-1759 and did not eat, wear or use anything that came from slavery, human or animal. He campaigned against the slave trade, particularly among his fellow Quakers, often in rather dramatic fashion as is shown in this quote from the book:

Mr Lay did stand out in the snow in his bare feet and stab a bible that was filled with some red juice to look like blood. He did this in front of the congregation as a message about slavery.

Fireflies and Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair

FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE was inspired by the 600 children and young people who were kidnapped from Aberdeen during the 1740s and sold into indentured servitude in the American Colonies. The story follows the adventures of Elizabeth Manteith and her determined efforts to get back home. There’s love. There’s derring-dos on the high seas… and there’s chocolate!

Available in paperback and on kindle.

Amazon: kindle and paperback

Waterstones 

Author Website

Fireflies and Chocolate

Vegan Christmas Recipes and Lucky Truffles

vegan christmas recipes

Vegan Christmas Recipes

We have built a large collection of vegan Christmas recipes over the years for you to see here. Soups. Starters. Mains. Sweet recipes. Some of our absolute favourites are the golden soup above, the best nut roast ever and chocolate Yule log cakes.

vegan christmas recipes: chocolate yule log

Advent

Don’t forget those half price advent calendars. Go see!

vegan advent calendar, half price

Lucky Truffles

Now to the lucky truffles. Winter Solstice 2018. Lucy made these:

vegan Christmas recipes: raw chocolate truffles

You can see the recipe here. They’re delicious and quite healthy. And lucky. Within an hour of making them a book publishing contract was received. Obviously it was the truffles. Not the years of researching and writing and polishing… So make these. You never know what will happen!

The book in question was THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR.

Aberdeen’s 1597 witchcraft panic (mermaid) and 18th century kidnappings (fireflies) combine with love and hope in Lucy’s traditionally published novels THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR & FIREFLIES AND CHOCOLATE. Christmas features in both books!

Amazon UK

Amazon Worldwide

Waterstones

See the Historical Novel Society review of Fireflies here and a post on the real vegan historical character contained within here.

The Mermaid and the Bear, the perfect read for Christmas!

A vegan Supermarket for those Christmas goodies!

The UK vegan supermarket GreenBay sell a variety of gourmet vegan products that would be great for Christmas treats such as roasts, chocolate, cheeses (including Camembert), steak and bacon etc.

Camembert for Vegan Christmas

And a lovely festive book…

vcre

‘Vegetarian Christmas’ by Rose Elliot. Not exclusively vegan but there is a plethora of vegan delights included and most of the lacto-ovo recipes are easily ‘veganisable’. Our favourite Christmas dinner of Chestnut and Red wine pate en croute is one of many included here along with lots of advice on taking the work out of Christmas catering. This book is full of ideas for lots of special touches which can be prepared early and frozen – a firm favourite. Now out of print but the hardcover is available cheaply from both UK and USA Amazons below and has lots of lovely photos throughout 🙂 We love this book so much we even wrote a blog post on it!
Buy UK 

Welcome to the Vegan Family House

currants in the garden of the Vegan Family House

We’re Davie, Lucy, Daniel and Charlotte, a vegan family living in Scotland. We’ve been vegan since 1997 and the Vegan Family House website has been online since 1998.

The recipe collection has grown quite large in that time. There’s lots of soups, mains, cakes, smoothies and chocolate, Christmas and Easter pages. You’ll also find food related posts and extra recipes on the food category of the blog.

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chocolate truffles

We love books!

Reading them.

Writing them.

Scottish Historical Fiction

Sometimes we review excellent vegan products and yet more books

Vadasz Pickles and Kimchi

The latest blog posts are below. We hope you enjoy your visit!

Vegan Family House is also on:

Choc Hotlate and The Contented Vegan

Choc Hotlate

Gorgeous Choc Hotlate, a recipe for hot chocolate topped with ice cream, from the equally gorgeous book The Contented Vegan. What could be better on a snowy day?

The book is a satisfyingly chunky hardback with lots of beautiful full page colour photos that reminded me of when my son was a toddler and used to like to look at recipe books. He would point at each picture and say ‘Nums!’ Well, there’s lots to say ‘nums’ about in this book.

Written by a chef who has been vegan for over 30 years, the pages are bursting with great advice for people starting off on the vegan journey and those who’ve been on it a while.

vegan guide

I enjoyed the section on raising vegan children and it also brought back memories. The author advises trying to make the food to be eaten with other children as ‘normal’ as possible. I recall planning such a meal and getting my daughter to check that her friend liked spaghetti, thinking a nice Bolognese style sauce would go down well. Indeed, the initial report came back positive. But I will never forget the look of sheer horror on the child’s face when presented with a bowl of spaghetti and sauce.

‘What is this?’ she asked.

‘Spaghetti,’ said I.

‘But spaghetti comes in orange juice.’

Luckily I did have a tin at the back of a cupboard, so all was well!

The Contented Vegan

Recipe sections include breakfast, snacks, lunch, suppers, family dinners and feasts and celebrations. We’ll be trying the Winter Solstice Pie and the Fennel and Pepper Presto has caught the eye too. In fact I can tell it’s a book of nums that will be dipped into often over many years.

It’s snowing again, may have to make more Choc Hotlate!

a snowy path, time for more Choc Hotlate?

See our main books section here, also books for kids and the book tag of the blog.

Two Vegan Books! One Novel!

Fat Gay Vegan: a vegan book

The first vegan book is Fat Gay Vegan: Eat, Drink and Live Like You Give a Sh!t by Sean O’Callaghan of the well known Fat Gay Vegan blog.

We LOVE this book. It’s political but it’s also deeply personal, containing many stories from the lives of Sean and other contributors. The book is about how to be vegan, but it’s more about how to be a better vegan, and really it’s about how to be a better person. And we can all work on that.

It’s refreshing to read a vegan book that tackles how minorities and traditionally oppressed voices are treated, even within the vegan community. We have experienced and witnessed shocking able-ism and racism in our 21 years as vegans, and yes, sadly, sometimes from vegans. It weakens the movement. It weakens the world. It needs to end.

And we can all check our privilege. We can all watch our language. Some in this house have, upon occasion, described various unfortunate things as ‘crazy’. Not good, Vegan Family House, not good.

So it’s a challenging book, a personally challenging book, but it’s in no way downbeat or depressing. Although forthright, it’s written with a compassionate sense of humour. It’s empowering. Why should we shut up and put up about our veganism to please or appease non-vegan friends and relatives? At the end of each chapter there are little refuelling stops with delicious and simple recipes and food suggestions. And in the final chapter Sean predicts a world that continues to become more vegan, and perhaps more importantly, more kind.

Here it is on Amazon (out tomorrow Jan 4th).

And now, for a practical guide from Veganuary!

How to Go Vegan: a great vegan book

For those who don’t know, Veganuary is a charity that encourages people to go vegan for January and the rest of the year. And this is their compelling guide. It’s so persuasive that apparently the proof-reader went vegan!

The book has sections on why you should be vegan, with warnings of graphic content that you can choose to read or not, and then being vegan at home, when out, visiting friends, answering questions, and everyday foods you maybe didn’t know were vegan. It’s a very good starting point for anyone who is thinking of going vegan and wondering how to go about it and how hard/easy it will be.

And here it is on Amazon.

Enjoy your vegan reading!

And… not a vegan book, but it’s by a vegan:

The Mermaid and the Bear, a novel by Ailish Sinclair

Escape to 1596 with THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR! Exchange lockdowns for witchcraft accusations! Live in a castle, visit the stone circle and taste the Twelfth Night Cake…

Amazon UK

Amazon worldwide

Waterstones

Author website

See more recommendations for vegan books from us here.



A French Fancy and a Watering Can

vegan cakes

Those are gorgeous vegan cakes and biscuits from local business Veg Oot. Do check them out if you’re in the UK, they’re amazing!

We hope you’re managing to spend some time in the sun, soaking up that Vitamin D, and doing/eating other wonderful things to boost your immune system.

lavendar watering can

 Here, we’re reading Terry Tyler’s Wasteland and highly recommend it.

wasterland

Look after yourselves. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay informed. Eat the odd cake 🙂

Veg Oot cakes

Lucy’s novel, written under her pen name of Ailish Sinclair is now free on Kindle Unlimited! Amazon do offer a free trial of KU. Also available in paperback.

Amazon UK

Universal Amazon link 

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, the book features the Aberdeen witchcraft panic of 1597 and a love story.

the mermaid and the bear

hummus, sunrise, and a book in between

homemade hummus

Homemade hummus in the early morning sun. Little bit of parsley in it. Basic recipe here.

The Mermaid and the Bear

The book in between is THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR. Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Out now.

Universal links:

Kindle

Paperback

Sunrise from our garden…

sunset

A Simple Vegan Stir-fry

vegan stir-fry

Sometimes that’s all you need. Vegetables in a stir-fry. Broad beans from the garden. A good book.

And some sea and sand…

sea and sand

Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest or browse all our vegan family recipes.

Enjoying…

the near witch

We are enjoying the gentle magic and mystery of The Near Witch. And hot chocolate. And the spring sunshine.

woodland bowl of pizza

Then there’s beautiful bowls and easy meals. Goodfella’s have a new vegan pizza:

spicy vegan pizza

But, our best place to be? Or one of them 🙂 The wild and wonderful woods…