11/10/10

Thanksgiving!


It's almost Thanksgiving, one of my favorite holidays! Last year at this time I was in Belgium, choking back tears at a 12€ buffet at some stupid posh nightclub where I couldn't eat anything except a martini. Not this year, my friends! Although Germany doesn't "do" thanksgiving, I am going to have a real American one in my little apartment and try to convince people that green bean casserole is really delicious. (Failing that, I will just eat it all myself.) Luckily, my Mom is meeting me in London in a week so I can get her to bring a few essentials that are hard to find here in 'Schland.

As I usually do, I thought I'd do a round-up of ideas for all you celebrating Thanksgiving with your families who still don't know what vegan is. (Or pretend not to know and try to serve you gravy anyways.)

Speaking of Gravy, Tofu Mom over at More Than Tofu and Sprouts is doing a whole month of gravy for VeganMoFo, with lots of varieties (like mushroom and miso gravy) that would be perfect for the occasion.

As for a centerpiece, if you are going to an omni Thanksgiving do as the vegans do and bring a few sides and your own gravy, and maybe put in a request that the mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes be vegan. But if you are hosting your own, or want to have turkey-less centerpiece to impress, there are a few options. How about Hickory Smoked Apple Cider, Maple Syrup and Bourbon Glazed Tofu Lollipops from What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyways? Or you could try the gorgeous Seitan en croute from 1,000 Vegan Recipes.

As for desserts, this Chocolate Pumpkin bread pudding from the NY Times looks pretty kick ass, and cranberry chocolate tartelettes from Mihl is a classy choice.

Looking for a full-on Menu? Over at the PPK Isa posted Thanksgiving in an hour a few days ago, but if you have more than an hour, peruse the rest of the recipes including 3 ingredient cranberry sauce and chickpea cutlets. Yum! VeganYumYum also had a full menu a few years back with a creative stuffed seitan and a yummy green bean casserole. For the more adventurous, non-vegan websites also have excellent ideas, many of which are veganizable with a few tweaks. (Earth balance for butter, no brainer.) Epicurious has a huge selection of recipes and videos at their Thanksgiving headquarters. And over at 101 Cookbooks there are also a handful of luscious ideas, including shredded brussels sprouts and apples, one of my faves.

What will I be serving? Well, I'm going traditional all the way so as not to confuse the Germans. (Well, traditional in my household. I guess we will also have to argue about politics the whole time if I really want tradition.)

My (tentative, very tentative) menu
-A simple salad of roasted Beets, walnuts, and mixed greens
-Green Bean Casserole (with imported vegan cream of mushroom soup!)
-My Aunt Mary's simple and fabulous sweet potatoes w/ apples, pecans and brown sugar
-Fluffy roasted garlic mashed potatoes
-Mushroom and shallot gravy (from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan)
-Roasted brussels sprouts
-Chestnut stuffing
-Cranberry-orange sauce
-And EITHER chickpea cutlets or homemade seitan, depending on whether I can get my Mom to bring some vital wheat gluten.
-For dessert? Natch, pumpkin pie, provided by my friend Kat who doesn't mind making them from scratch (unlike myself, who finds pies nerve-wracking enough w/o the pumpkin roasting element.) Maybe a chocolate pudding pie as well, if I can find the right kind of soft tofu.

Now, this will be a challenge with my tiny kitchen and limited heating space. But I can't take another year in Europe without a proper Thanksgiving and I can't afford a plane ticket, so its worth a shot!

What are you guys cooking up for the biggest food holiday of the year?

12 comments:

Megan said...

That's an ambitious menu! I hope you have fun getting it all cooked (with a few delicious imports from your mum of course)... I love cooking up a feast. Being Australian, I've never gotten into thanksgiving, but the sound of those tofu pops could be enough to make me start...! :)

omgoshimvegan said...

I'm hungry just reading you post. Bring on Thanksgiving day food!

HayMarket8 said...

looks like a great menu!

miss v said...

that is some fall foods! i love all the cut up squash... some foodie porn!

Mandee said...

Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Australia either but I think I'd like to celebrate it this year! Thanks for the recipe links!

shellyfish said...

How many people are you cooking for? That is a huge amount of food, so maybe we should come up to help you eat it all?
You can get gluten in Berlin, but I don't remember the name of the brand. Have you asked Mihl? She could help you! That way your mom can bring cooler things for you!
We'll be doing our annual huge feast, but I'm not sure who will eat all of it since we've moved - maybe you should come?

T said...

Thanks guys! Shellyfish I'll be cooking for between 10-12, and my problem with these people is usually that I cook too little! But I'll have some help. Nevertheless, would love to have a big French/German thanksgiving combo, can't wait to hear what you're cooking up!

jessy said...

ah ha ha! i just finalized my thanksgiving day menu today, T! i love it! you're got one helluva menu - and might i say i'm mighty excited about your chestnut dressing and green bean casserole. i don't see why people wouldn't love the green bean casserole - it's so yummy, and superw00t for your mom coming to London and bringing along some hard to find goods. i'm digg'n the round-up you've got go'n on - totally gonna have to start clicking away & drooling. yay!

tahinitoo said...

Well, now I want to come to your place for Thanksgiving! Your menu plan is monstrous - but deliciously necessary.

caribbeanvegan said...

I am excited to see the spread
I love this time of year..so much good food and inspiration:)
T

lazysmurf said...

I still haven't decided what I am going to make! I need to make a plan!

Bliss Doubt said...

I like green bean casserole too, and often make it for dinner on its own or over brown rice. Vegan versions are better, less gloppy than the original, and personal tweaks like fresh mushrooms and freshly cracked pepper send it over the top. I prefer the original canned fried onion topping over bread crumb toppings. They come with memories of the first gloppy green bean casseroles I guess.

Happy Thanksgiving to you T.