Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just Reporting on the Same Holiday Everyone Else Is (Was)

I ended up going out of town to a non-vegan dinner for Thanksgiving. That's OK though - it was not the first time I'd been in that position, and I decided to try one of the recipes that inspired me during MoFo.

The Beast is a casserole layered with semi-traditional Thanksgiving foods and flavors. I say semi because soy curls are probably not totally traditional. Megan over at Down Home Vegan posted the recipe she created after competing in a Vegan Iron Chef competition. Since I needed a meal that would travel for the holiday, I decided this would be it.

I am stunned by how fast and easy this was to make. I wanted to get a head start, so I started making the components while I had a few minutes, and before I knew it, the ramekins were going in the oven.

(Sadly, none of the pictures feature the pumpkin gravy, which was subtle and surprising in flavor).

I had to make a few adjustments, and baking it in ramekins was the first, so I reduced the cooking time a bit. I have these great ramekins that are large enough to hold a meal-sized portion, and that have these handy plastic lids. So they're much easier to pack and lug around, but more importantly, I clearly had a limited amount, and I couldn't share with the omnivores.

Typically, I do like sharing, but it sucks to bring an empty casserole dish home and spend the next few days hearing about everyone else's damned sandwiches and soups while I'm making new meals and being pretty grossed out. This goes doubles for those meals at which NOTHING is suitable except what I brought.

So The Beast was quick and easy, and it worked to suit my selfish side. On top of all that, it was a dish that goes where you want it to go. I couldn't find soy curls, so I used TVP. Then, I decided that I wanted to make my own cranberry sauce, so I used Alicia Simpson's recipe, but I added the vanilla and cardamom as directed by Megan (I will never make it any other way). Finally, I forgot to top it with puff pastry, and it didn't matter because the mashed potatoes made for a lovely crispy topping.

None of that mattered, everything was amazing. Plus, like any holiday food, it was even better as leftovers. I had made it the night before, so it was all leftovers all day!

The Beast was only missing one part of a holiday meal, so I also made the Pumpkin Gingerbread with Pumpkin Butter from Quick and Easy Vegan Celebrations. I made it in a loaf pan and it was super cute. I did stress a little, thinking about how I should have made a glaze rather than the butter, since it would have looked more festive. Someone should have slapped me. The combination was awesome.

So at least I ate well. It's getting harder and harder to sit down to large celebrations that are so closely linked with a practice that I find so utterly revolting. It's heartbreaking and frustrating at best. I don't want to dwell too long on that right now. I'll keep dreaming of a day when I have the space to host the type of celebration of thanks that I'd like to see - one of hope, love, and compassion for everyone.

1 comment:

  1. The pumpkin butter looks awesome! I love that stuff - the thicker the better.
    Single serving stuff can be fun sometimes, that way you can throw whatever weird ingredients in there and not have to explain. But maybe they would have liked it anyway. Once they know how delicious compassion can be?
    Happy Holidays.