I have already been planning my upcoming Thanksgiving menu. In fact, I have been working on it for a few weeks now, since early September as a matter of fact…Am I crazy??
It’s not as crazy as it may first sound given the amount of travel I do each month, and given the fact that this Thanksgiving will be a bit more hectic than normal. Yes, there will be a multitude of pies. That is a must in our family! However, this year I am adding a few more guests to the mix – both for dinner (No, not in a Hannibal Lecter sort of way!) and as house guests. I am also throwing a big bash to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Then there is decorating the house for Christmas…my goal is to have it completed the day after Turkey Day so my eldest can see and enjoy it before he leaves. He will not be back for the holidays this year. To further add to the complexities, this is the first Thanksgiving since my youngest son adopted a vegan lifestyle, so I have been diligently pouring through new recipes to add to many of our traditional ones.
My challenge is to combine traditional Thanksgiving choices with vegan options, but options which are every bit as festive as the holiday itself. I will still make my turkeys (two ways: roasted and smoked…sometimes I add in fried for some extra fun and gluttony!), and I will still have traditional sides such as stuffing/dressing, potatoes, breads, etc. However, I firmly believe that the point of Thanksgiving is about family and friends first, food (gulp) second. Yes, you heard me correctly: food is second. And so I will be adding in vegan choices.
I have not always treated Thanksgiving as a ‘food second’ sort of holiday. In fact, I imagine my family will agree that they often felt the roles were reversed.
This year will be different!
I may even let my family help cook the meal this year! This is a dramatic departure from the norm, and will require a great deal of letting go on my part. My son has already offered to help, and I plan to let him. Vegan options for the main meal are not so much of an issue for me; however, dessert proves the bigger challenge. I firmly believe in butter and lard as not only ingredients to make the best pie pastry, but also that they are healthy for our bodies. All in moderation of course!
Some ideas I have had on the pie front: Using vegan cookies as an option for crusts on the vegan pies. While the vegan butter my son has bought does taste good, it uses oils and ingredients I don’t want to incorporate into my eating lifestyle.
I will keep you all updated as the menu progresses. Perhaps I will even provide a recipe or two.