Thanksgiving Preview

Well, it’s finally here. The holiday season is upon us. Aside from the constant bombardment by advertisers, I know this because when I walked into the kitchen tonight I saw this lovely bowl of autumnal produce perched on the counter. (Some of these items have since made it into the refrigerator.) And wait ’til you see what I found in the fridge (photo below).

I have to admit, when Jane said we were going vegan back in July, one of the first things I thought about was Thanksgiving. Traditionally, Jane got the largest turkey she could find and we spent days making all our favorites… mashed cauliflower (cream), onion pie (butter, milk, cheddar cheese), sweet and sour red cabbage (butter). Our stuffing was killer – a southwestern pepper and cornbread concoction that calls for two cups of heavy cream and 2+ sticks of butter; it’s amazingly good. We’d eat leftovers until we couldn’t stand the sight of them anymore!

However, only two of our traditional dishes are vegan – the braised brussels sprouts (olive oil, lemon, salt and cumin) and cranberry relish (cranberries, sugar, oranges, wine). And last I checked, roasted turkey isn’t vegan. So, when I agreed to this vegan diet I suggested that we revisit the idea of Thanksgiving as it got closer. Confession: I was hoping we’d make an exception for the week. It’s not that I’m unhappy with our vegan lifestyle, but I really LOVE Thanksgiving.

As time has gone by the thought of eating animal flesh has become repugnant. Funny how that happened. And now that I’ve done some reading on the horrors of the dairy industry, dairy products seem far less palatable than before. If we had a local farm with free range milk cows and a farmer who went out and did his milking by hand we would definitely include dairy in our diet. But we live in Los Angeles, and that’s about as likely as, well, a vegan turkey dinner!

So for the first time in 10 years, we’re completely revising our Thanksgiving menu. Jane’s been culling recipes from her vegan cookbooks and a few vegan recipe sites. She’ll also “vegan-ize” one or two of our recipes. I think she’s nervous… which would explain the tofurky thing. But the picture looks good. I’m hopeful.

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