Thanksgiving, 2012: A Children’s Story
I feel like this should be the title of a children’s book: My First Vegan Thanksgiving. Spent with family, this past week was something that I was not really expecting. It was powerful, empowering, and truly supportive.
My family, and there were 12 of us, has always been a family of omnivores, leaning carnivorous for the holidays. Point in case, last year, for 16 people, along with all of the sides, my mother made a 26 lb. turkey and a 15 lb. crown roast. We’ve always been that family.
The blonde was vegan last year for Thanksgiving, so she did most of the heavy lifting for me. There were no series of conversations about whether or not we eat honey, or cheese, or goat cheese, or sausage, because, apparently, these things are different. No, all of those conversations were held last year with my bride as the target of the conversation, while I stood by and supported her, but didn’t have to answer any hard questions.
This year, all of the hard conversations were manged. Again, all I had to do was show up. My mother made vegan dishes, such as cinnamon white and sweet potatoes (one of her rare misses), rice and cranberry stuffed roasted acorn squash, tomato and basil soup, and garlic and ‘bacon’ soup, and sweet potato chili.
We also brought a Field Roast Hazelnut and cranberry stuffed roast en croute.
On top of all of this, of course, is the non-vegan food that my mother made for the holiday, which started on Tuesday. Lots of stuff that, apparently, my uncles were taking bets on whether or not I would cave and eat an animal. There were only two things that tempted me, and one was just the smell that did it. I was honestly tempted by the fresh mozzarella, as it is a cheese that I was practically raised on, but the memory of the last time I had some (I was vegetarian, but lactose intolerant at the time. It was not pretty.) kept me from really thinking about trying it.
The other thing that sort-of tempted me was 4-cheese lobster macaroni and cheese. It smelled amazing, but it looked like. . . well, it looked kind of gross. It looked like melted, runny cheese, and that just was in no way tempting. The food that I was willing to eat over the four days that we were there was all as delicious as I could have asked for. The Field Roast was delicious, and even when I had to make due with oven space, thankfully I didn’t have to put it in the oven next to the turkey, and i fact, it was my dinner Friday night, and our lunch Sunday!
The appetizers that I made, because no dinner would be complete without multiple courses, were the butternut squash and sausage stuffed phyllo cups from That Was Vegan, to whom I was introduced thanks to the Virtual Vegan Potluck. Her recipe claims to make make 30 -40 cups, and I ended up making 45, with enough left over so that I baked the phyllo filling as “stuffing’ to go alongside my and the blonde’s dinner later on. The cups were a huge hit, and of the 45 I made, only 9 were left over for the Blonde and I to snack on around lunchtime Friday.
The rolls I made were tasty, if a tad dense, but they might have been better had I been able to serve them hot. Because of oven space, I had to bake them on Tuesday before dinner, and then hold them in reserve until Thursday.
My First Vegan Thanksgiving would probably have gone like this:
Once upon a time, there were two vegans.
These vegans were a brown-haired boy and a blonde girl who loved each other very much, but didn’t love to eat food from animals.
Instead, they loved to eat everything else.
They ate seitan sausage and butternut squash. . .
They ate stuffed acorn squash, and seitan en croute
And potatoes both baked and sweet,
And rosemary rolls.
They drank wine and beer,
And they ate pie and tarts,
And no animals were hurt when they did.
The boy and girl thought that people would pick on them,
But all the people who ate animals liked the idea of not hurting the animals anymore.
Maybe someday, they’ll stop hurting them, and just eat plants like the blonde girl and brown-haired boy.
And they all lived happily ever after.
(Even the animals that would have been eaten.)
And so ends the children’s tale of My First Vegan Thanksgiving. Enthralling, I know, but it seemed the best way to express how overwhelmingly positive this past week was.