December 03, 2013

My Vegan Thanksgiving

Just like last year, I celebrated Thanksgiving with both my family and J's on separate days.  2 Thanksgivings! I didn't take any pictures of Thanksgiving at J's house, but we pretty much had the same thing as we had at my family dinner the next day. Preparing for his Thanksgiving was easy because we were just feeding the two of us. Though I must note that our food looked so amazing that even the picky eaters and kids had hefty portions of our mac and cheese and sampled the mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing with delight. Since we were making the bulk of the food for my family, it took a lot more preparation. It's a good thing I'm a list maker. And it's a really good thing that I get so much joy out of cooking for others. I had a blast!

We started with brunch on Thursday morning. My mom made egg and sausage mini quiches as well as some breakfast pastries. She also set up a waffle bar with fresh fruits, nuts, and chocolate chips. My dad made a delicious tofu scramble, and I brought ingredients to make gluten-free cornbread waffles to which we added fresh blueberries and cranberries. They have a double waffle maker which is so convenient when you are making waffles for a bunch of people! We've never done Thanksgiving brunch before, but I'd definitely like to keep doing it. It was really fun to take a break between prepping and cooking for a while and just hang.

Our Thanksgiving was intimate, with just 6 of us attending, so my mom asked if we'd make extra of our vegan food so we could share with everyone. Um, yeah!!! Everything was vegan except 2 things: a small turkey and one of the stuffings. My mom and brother are not interested in a full-on vegan thanksgiving, so they made enough of those things for the two of them. I was really excited to contribute in such a large way to our meal of thanks.

We always take a minute before eating on holidays to remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. As I mentioned, I adopted Tulip through Farm Sanctuary's Adopt-a-Turkey program, so I also dedicated the meal to her (she's still "with us"!) and in remembrance of all of the animals who were not as lucky as her. I was going to have the adoption certificate on the table, but it didn't come in time. It came in the mail yesterday though, so you can see it above. It's sitting on my piano now next to my adoption certificate for Jake.

This is what our vegan Thanksgiving looked like (if only you could smell and taste it, too!):

pictured: Cranberry Relish from Crazy Sexy Kitchen, balsamic glazed brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, whipped potatoes with cashew cream, macaroni and cheese adapted from this one on the PPK, Field Roast en croute, mushroom walnut stuffing, and Thick 'n Rich Gravy.

After taking a few hours to digest and play dice, it was time to unveil the desserts. Once again, my mom asked if I minded making all the pies because it wasn't worth getting a bunch of non-vegan pies that only 2 people would eat. I absolutely did not mind! Fran Costigan's chocolate pecan pie was the first to disappear, and everyone raved about it. The other desserts were really good, too, so that's really saying something!

Chocolate Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Tiramisu

You can find the recipe in her hot new cookbook Vegan Chocolate. The photographs by Kate Lewis are stunning and the recipes are divine. I've got my eye on the magic cookie bars and chocolate chip almond biscotti for Christmas treats. This book would make a great Christmas gift for any chocolate lover and/or person who loves to bake! The more you look through it, the longer the "must make" list will get.

Our dessert spread: J's pumpkin pie, Chocolate Pecan Pie from Vegan Chocolate, Dreena Burton's gluten-free Apple-of-My-Eye Pie, Chloe Coscarelli's Pumpkin Tiramisu made gluten free, Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream from Make it Vegan.

There was someone else who enjoyed a vegan Thanksgiving meal and had so much fun being around the family. Guess who?