Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Very Vegan Thanksgiving

Rob and I have had 4 Thanksgivings (well 1 of them was actually a birthday party) in the past 4 days. When I was little, I remember Thanksgiving being one meal, on one day, at my great aunts’ house. Times have changed I guess.

Several months ago when I decided to stop dallying around and become a vegan for real, the one thing that gave me pause was what I would do at family holiday gatherings. I decided I’d cross that bridge when I came to it, and this Thanksgiving it was finally time. The end result? Well, I’m not going to be writing a Vegan Holiday Survival Guide, but I might go looking to see if someone else has written one that I can read up on before Christmas.

The festivities began on Wednesday night, when we celebrated niece Vivian’s first birthday and continued on Thursday with Thanksgiving dinner with Rob’s family. To these events, I brought pumpkin chipotle hummus (loosely based off of this recipe) and a sub-par minestrone soup that somehow managed not to re-heat all the way through before dinner, so I ended up eating it luke warm. I also brought some pumpkin spice cookies so that I wouldn’t feel too left out when everybody was eating Vivian’s cake and pumpkin pie. It ended up that I was the only person who ate any of these things (well, Rob politely had some minestrone soup).

What is this, finger paint?

Vivian's birthday cake

Nephew Caleb invented this fabulous game in which I got to sit on the couch while he stood guard for approaching "dinosaurs." Whenever he saw a dinosaur, he would call for me to put up my Magic Dinosaur Shield (a pillow), while he chased away the offending beast. Caleb and I both could have played this game for hours. The best thing about this game was that I got to sit in one place the whole time.

On Thursday night after the Scho Thankgsiving, we drove a very boring 4-1/2 hours up to my sister’s place and arrived late at night. Since we didn’t stop back at home, I traveled with all my various vegan dishes and accoutrements. My sister had made us a fabulous vegetarian chili and also some vegan brownies that are single-handedly responsible for my skinny jeans not fitting anymore. It was totally worth it though.

Nephew Logan playing

Melissa, Rob, & Logan
Rob and Meli with Logan

Michelle, Mark, & Logan
Michelle and Mark with Logan

The Raguet family
Meli's fam

We spent the day on Friday at my sister’s, hanging out with my family and playing with nephew Logan. I also whipped up another batch of Peanut-Butter Noodles (which I keep calling “Thai Peanut Noodles” for some reason) for our 4th and final Thanksgiving with Rob’s family the next day. We left my sister’s at 6:30am in the bitter cold on Saturday morning and drove like hell to get there by noon. The car was loaded down with the peanut noodles, pumpkin chipotle hummus, and pumpkin spice cookies. I felt pretty terrible and was really hungry when we finally arrived. When it was time for dinner, I put the peanut noodles in the microwave, but they didn’t get heated all the way through. I sat down with a plate of ice-cold noodles, which were actually pretty gross. If I were at home, I would have just popped my plate back in the microwave, but we were eating off of fine china, so I just made do.

I think what made this Thanksgiving so difficult was that we went so many places and there were so many different family dinners that I had to bring something to. Considering all the work I went to and how it turned out, I might as well have just packed myself a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich instead of trying unsuccessfully to create a delicious dish that other people weren’t going to eat anyway (except for a few brave or unknowing souls tried my pumpkin chipotle hummus and ended up gagging and writhing on the floor).

Don't tell Cousin Dan, but its pretty obvious that little Brody (14 months) is my favorite Cousin-in-Law. Whenever I'm around Brody, I remind myself of the female howler monkeys who would steal other females' babies to hold them and play with them.

Caleb and Vivian with their momma and Santy Claus. At just 12 months, Vivian is a striding biped. I am truly impressed with her locomotor abilities.

The Bassetts
Rob's family, which you may notice is more numerous than mine.

At any rate, I guess I have to regroup, and get ready to tackle Christmas. If there are any vegans out there who happen to have stumbled on this blog, please, please send your holiday survival tips my way.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

didn't read this one last night -- got so excited over Big Red and the TRAILER that i didn't go any further ... maybe i'm a little tired????? the Thanksgiving family pictures are great and i wish you the much success with vegan Christmas recipes -- HOWEVER, if i were you i'd just do the peanut butter and jelly sandwich thing!!! hugs, auntie

amypfan said...

Logan is SO cute! And Michelle looks just like Mom now that her hair is back to blond again.