I’m sitting here on a beautiful snowless Sunday afternoon reflecting on yesterday and what a wonderful time I had creating an awesome meatless Thanksgiving Dinner with some wonderful friends.
This adventure started about 3 weeks ago when I decided I wanted to cook a Thanksgiving Dinner – Vegan Style. This was mostly to prove I could do it even though I had my doubts. The first thing I did was google Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner and came upon this wonderful site – http://www.vegkitchen.com/tips/vegetarian-thanksgiving/
At first it was overwhelming with so much to choose from. I finally settled on the following dishes:
- Hummus and Peppers
- Crackers and Treeline Cheese – this is really great cheese you can get a Heinan’s in their gourmet cheese section
- Mixed Greens with Apple, Carrots, and Pickled Beets
- “Three Sisters” Stew
- Vegetable Pot Pie
- Green Bean Casserole
- Walnut Apple Stuffing
- Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy
- Apple Pie
Three weeks ago I started writing everything down. Every weekend I went to the grocery store to buy some ingredients. I felt accomplished simply because I was able to find the ingredients. I hadn’t even begun cooking and I was happy. Small Steps as they say.
Thursday, I decided to make the cheesecake. If you make any cheesecake, the crust consists of dates and walnuts or some other type of nuts. Make sure you use pitted dates or at least take the pits out of them. I believe the dates I used had pits and I didn’t realize it so when I ground up the dates, the pits were ground up as well into tiny little rocks that if you’re not careful, you will break your teeth on. They’re impossible to chew so you just have to spit them out when you get one. Also, this recipe says vegan cheesecake, but the bourbon caramel sauce is made with milk (at least the one I found was) so I would exclude that as a topping.
Friday, I decided to make the Apple Pie. As I made the dough for the crust, I didn’t actually have a rolling pin to roll it out so I tried using a glass. It didn’t work out so well so my crust was a little thick. It says that you should divide the dough into halves – one for the bottom and one for the top. Since I didn’t have a rolling pin, I had to make the dough twice – one for the bottom and one for the top – since I was able to roll it thing enough to make it stretch. It was still delicious.
Saturday – the moment of truth. Would I be able to pull this off and was anyone going to enjoy this with me? Well, the answer to both of those questions is an emphatic yes. My good friend, Brianna, came over early and actually helped me cook and taught me some things in the process. I’m new to this cooking thing so I’m constantly learning while getting a good laugh. It really surprised me that she came over since she wasn’t feeling well the night before. Good friends are hard to find and I have some good ones. Another friend, Pam, called me out of the blue on Friday because we hadn’t spoken in awhile so I invited her over for Thanksgiving Dinner and she accepted so I was all set. All I had to do was cook the food, which is no small task for me.
Thanks to Brianna, I learned how to chop and dice onions and core and slice apples and carrots. Granted, I could have done this all on my own, but she made it look easy and fun. I peeled the potatoes for the mashed potatoes and I think I used 5 lbs. just to get 3 lbs. of potatoes. I have a peeler, but I couldn’t find it so I used a regular knife and I think I through away a lot of potatoes in the process. As soon as Brianna came over, she found it for me and it was right under my nose so the potatoes for the pot pie were a lot easier to peel.
Another lesson I learned is graham cracker crust is not the same as pie crust. We got a good laugh out of this one. The recipe for the vegetable pot pie says to use 2 good pie crusts. As I mentioned before, I’m not the best cook nor do I know what I’m really ever looking for. So, when I went to the store, the first thing I saw was graham cracker crusts and they looked pretty good so I grabbed them. Even though it was technically not the right kind of crust, it turned out to be delicious.
Well, writing about this adventure has made me hungry, so I’m about to go eat some left overs. Until next time, stay well and be compassionate to one and all.