Monday, November 23, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I will be spending this week out of town and may not be able to post. I'll be back later, with some updates on yummy restaurants I intend to visit and other food-related news, but in the meantime I'd like to wish you all Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you enjoy some tasty treats and some time with your loved ones.

I love, love, love Thanksgiving. This holiday -- I guess like all holidays -- exacerbate family differences. It's been quite a while since I've had the family Thanksgiving fantasy I hold so dear. I have fond memories of being a child and seeing my mother organize the menu so carefully, timing out the dishes on a white-erase board on the refrigerator. We'd even make homemade potato rolls.

I love Thanksgiving food, even all the recipes using condensed cream of mushroom soup, as well as seeing family and friends. As soon as you spend a holiday with another family, though, you realize that not everyone does everything the same way. Even having a vegetarian Thanksgiving can't replace those fond family memories. Last Saturday, I went to a cooking class, A Traditional Vegan Thanksgiving. I was super-excited to take a vegan cooking class, and I dreamed of learning how to cook kale or Swiss chard, figuring out what to do with flaxseed and quinoa. Instead, I wasted my $36 going over everyday substitutions, like how to make vegan mashed potatoes and stuffing. Really. I did learn how to use nutritional yeast (for gravy and broth), and although I fully intend to use that in the near future, my entire plate was yellowish-white-and-gray at the end of the class when we sat down to eat.

Even before that class, though, my Thanksgiving has been more of a fond memory, as the actual day hasn't brought me those family favorites. Last Thanksgiving Alex and I were vacationing out west and ate two meals at Jack in the Box -- the only restaurant we could find open. Another year was the first Thanksgiving I spent with his family, eating pink mashed potatoes, avoiding the turkey, and missing all my favorite dishes. I wish I'd brought one my family favorites-turned-vegetarian to share, even at my now mother in law's insistence that I should just be their guest. Before that, I remember a Thanksgiving dinner with a variety of "holiday orphaned" and international graduate students, drinking wine and eating a wilted spinach salad with pomegranate seeds. I think that was the year I realized that dressing and stuffing weren't two names for the same thing.

This year, I'll be spending Thanksgiving on the road, driving back home. Sometime this weekend, we'll make a festive dinner will all the fixin's. I'll be sure to tell you about it.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Thanksgiving! Here's hoping you and Alex can recreate some of your fond food memories. (I am bringing my mom's cranberries to C.'s family T-Giving, because I have to have them, even if nobody else eats them.)