My Thanksgiving, by Rachel.
This year for T-day I got to visit my in-laws in south Florida. They’re nice folks but they’re meat-eaters. This made me sad for many reasons, but mostly because the last two years I got to host vegan thanksgiving at my own house and it was SO FUN to plan and cook super yummy food that I could eat all of and that involved no carcasses.
But I can’t always have my way, so the vegan husband and I made the very best of it. Bonus: in Florida you get to eat Thanksgiving outside!
Here’s how we made the out-of-town thing work:
1. We arranged ahead of time to cook our own little sub meal. Main dish (curry-crusted tempeh from The Millenium Cookbook), side (red wine roasted Brussels sprouts from Vegan Holiday Kitchen, review forthcoming), and a dessert (the pumpkin pie from Vegan Pie in the Sky). This worked because we’re more passionate cooks than the in-laws. In other situations, that might not be OK, in which case I’d probably have to cry or raid Whole Foods or something.
2. We gave our hosts a shopping list ahead of time, and we brought some of the weird stuff, like agar powder, with us. We also brought little Ziplock baggies with the spices we needed for each dish, because buying a zillion spices is a lot to ask.
3. We scaled down our ambitions a little. For example, we made pie in a store-bought crust, which we wouldn’t have done at home. It still rocked.
4. We were clear on our mission: This was not an attempt to win over any carnivores with amazing vegan food; this was making sure husband and I had enough to eat that we liked. If no one else had taken a bite of our stuff, that would have been OK. Same if nothing else had been vegan (though a family friend nicely made the effort to veganize her dishes too).
Next year in my own kitchen! But this year was really nice. People even ate most of the Brussels sprouts!