Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving, Veg Style

Our first vegetarian Thanksgiving turned out rather well, if I do say so myself. We attended a great vegan potluck at the beach for lunch. Well, it was supposed to be vegan but I managed to mess that part up! I took some prepared food from Whole Foods that I assumed was vegan, but I'm not a great label reader and it turns out it had Parmesan cheese in it. Someone realized and put an index card next to it with "NOT VEGAN" written on it. I was glad someone caught my error but I was also mortified since they so nicely asked that we bring only vegan food!! At least the two batches of cranberry sauce I had The Eldest make were vegan, down to the vegan sugar. Other than that it was fun, though. The kids had a ball running around near the water and the weather was picture perfect.

I didn't plan anything for our Thanksgiving dinner. I figured the potluck was enough, plus I've been having a tough time with a fibro flare up for the past week so planning has been beyond me. That means I didn't do any menu planning or special shopping for the day. I still got hungry and wanted a Thanksgiving meal a few hours after we got home from the beach, though! I mentally went over what we had in the house and managed to come up with a meal we could all work on together. I went to the kitchen and called all hands on deck, then told them the plan. The kids really came through and figured out some additional things we could have, even The Wild Child, and we managed, with some great team work, to pull together a feast!

I am still so proud of my kids for the team effort and I'm looking forward to many more holiday meals where we work together to create a feast for us all to enjoy. I like cooking with my kids. The only sour note was DH. He HATES to have people in the kitchen with him when he cooks and he got super cranky about it, but he's going to have to learn to suck it up. The lessons the kids learn from working together are too valuable to let the opportunity go to waste. (He does get kudos for all the clean up he did after the fact. The kitchen was a disaster and he worked on it off and on all day Friday to get it back under control. He's forgiven his grumpiness for that.)

I wanted to take pictures when we had the table all set but we couldn't find the camera. Here's what we had and who helped make it:

Potato prep: DH and The Eldest (luckily we had a bag of mini purple potatoes, a bag of baby sized honey gold potatoes, and one baking potato on hand)

Potato Salad: I finished this up

Mashed Potatoes: The Wild Child, Martha Stewart Jr., and I finished this up

Vegetarian Gravy: The Eldest requested this and I made it

Roasted Purple Potatoes: DH

Baked Mac and Cheese: The Eldest (she decided she wanted this, found the recipe, and made it all by herself; it was delicious and a great main dish for the meal)

Deviled Eggs: Martha Jr. came up with the idea and made them all by herself

Green Salad: DH

Corn Bread Sticks: The Wild Child requested these and helped me make them (although we didn't get them done in time for the meal; I ate them with my leftovers on Friday)

Iced Tea with Simple Syrup on the side: The Wild Child, Martha Jr., and I

Table Setting: The Wild Child and Martha Jr.

As a special treat for The Wild Child I also made four chicken leg/thigh quarters, the one thing I purchased specifically for Thanksgiving. That's the first time I've cooked meat in 2010. He ate two of them; the girls ate the others while DH and I abstained. The Wild Child was so happy! He's a carnivore, through and through. He's also a growing boy and needs meat occasionally since he won't eat beans or other vegetarian proteins. He's so darn picky; drives me crazy.

Since Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, I will finish up by stating that I am thankful for my family. We pulled together to accomplish something that turned out to be really wonderful. I think this will go down as my favorite Thanksgiving ever.

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